Can Acne Scars Go Away?
It’s a shame, but it’s true; some scars heal faster than others, while others never heal at all. No, I’m not quoting a Fionna Apple song; I’m referring to skin scarring. Yeah, high school didn’t just have emotionally scarring moments, but many of us also experienced physical scars from that time as well. Of course, I’m talking about dreaded acne scars, which typically appear on the skin after acne begins to recede and hormones re-balance within the body; puberty can be a real B!
Not everyone will experience acne or acne scarring, and acne scarring is a generalized term encompassing different skin-altering conditions that can happen to anyone upon reaching puberty and beyond. Hormonal acne in adulthood causes some of the worst acne scarring and is pretty common in women. In this blog, we’ll examine acne scarring and determine whether or not acne scars can go away with proper treatment.
Can Acne Scars Go Away? Why It Happens in The First Place
Acne scarring happens to our skin from picking at the zit, mainly over picking and picking badly, causing excess damage. The swelling under the skin and within the follicle causes inflammation and damage; picking at the follicles opens the skin, causing a cut and further damage. To keep it simple, just remember that acne is when hair follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, which triggers a response from the skin in the form of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and the absolute worst – the dreaded cystic acne that just festers under the skin, never coming to the surface – who hasn’t had that ruin a day on more than one occasion? Acne scarring is how our skin presents itself after battling acne, usually for years or even decades for some.
The Three Primary Types of Acne Scars
Under the umbrella of acne scars, three primary conditions/categories present themselves with varying degrees of severity.
Hyperpigmentation is when the melanin in our skin becomes overly active and creates the appearance of dark spots. These spots are not actually scars, and they can heal themselves, but they can take weeks or months, depending on the severity of the case. Hyperpigmentation is the least severe form of acne scarring regarding the time and amount of treatment needed to improve the appearance.
Atrophic scarring, sometimes called “depressed scarring,” is what most people associate with when picturing acne scars. These scars are the shallow or deep pits/patches on the skin that are visible after the skin heals itself from acne by shedding layers; this shedding causes intermittent patches of thin skin, which appear as scars.
Hypertrophic scars, sometimes called “keloids,” most often occur in people having a higher Fitzpatrick rating (darker skin tone). These scars happen when the body produces too much collagen throughout the healing process and can be very difficult to treat; they can form in shapes of many sizes, from small lumps and bumps to large and twisted growths. Simply removing these types of scars with surgical methods may not always work because the healing process causes more collagen production, hence more growth.
Can Acne Scars Go Away? What Treatments Are Available?
Everyone’s experience with acne scarring will vary, and different conditions will require different treatments, but thankfully, with treatment, the appearance of acne scarring can be greatly reduced. For those suffering from mild-to-light acne scarring, self-applied topical ointments and light facial services will help clear up the blemishes without great strife. More advanced treatment options exist for those suffering from moderate-to-high levels of scarring.
Microneedling/Collagen Induction Therapy is a treatment we frequently provide at Elevation Massage and Spa, as it’s very effective at promoting healthy, rejuvenated skin growth and increased collagen production. As we mentioned earlier, the “pits” seen with atrophic scarring are areas of skin that have shed too many layers and have “thinned” out. By puncturing the top layer of the dermis, we can promote healing/increased collagen production within this scarred tissue, resulting in a more even and smoother skin surface – the best results for treatment are done in a series of 3-4 sessions once monthly.
A TCA Chemical Peel is when a chemical solution is applied to the skin to help remove the top layer of skin, helping to create a more even tone across the face and reduce the appearance of scarring. It’s not recommended for people with very dry/sensitive skin, but it can do wonders for those suffering from hyperpigmentation and “blotchy” skin tones.
We Can Help Reduce The Appearance of Scarring
We all have skin conditions that leave us desiring smoother, silkier, and healthier-looking skin, and at Elevation Massage and Spa, we help our clients make improvements with each visit.
Whether you have acne scarring you’d like to improve or simply want to be pampered with a relaxing facial and massage in Houston; please contact us today to book your appointment for some self-care!
***Disclaimer: results vary from individual; there is no guarantee that you will get the same results as other clients have from these treatments. Results vary. Best results happen in a series – recommendation is a series of 3-4 appointments. For best results, sun exposure must be limited in the first 48-72 hours after treatment; no direct sun exposure 24/7 SPF is required during the post-treatment recovery time. Consultation is required prior to a microneedling appointment. – Elevation Massage and Spa.