Upon penetrating the deeper skin layers, acne breakouts cause damage to the dermis (innermost layers of skin) and the underlying tissues. The body deploys its natural repair system as the acne heals to produce collagen to support the process of restoration.
Too much Collagen
But a depressed acne scar will develop if an insufficient amount of collagen is generated. This may appear as a pit, depression, or pockmark on the skin’s surface. The production of an excessive amount of collagen can lead to an elevated scar, which is more common in patients with darker complexions.
Dr. Q Medical Spa, led by board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Suzanne Quardt provides acne scar treatments to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and surrounding communities.
Causes of Acne Scars
It is nearly impossible to predict who may develop acne scarring. However, some factors do seem to contribute to scar development:
- Inflamed, reddish, or painful acne (i.e., nodules, cysts)
- Popping, squeezing, or picking acne
- Chronic inflammatory acne because of no treatment or delayed treatment
- Genetic predisposition to acne scarring
Inflammation as a Primary Cause
Acne scars usually result from an inflamed lesion, such as a pustule, papule, or cyst. Swollen blemishes develop when the pore, or follicle, becomes clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess oil. The pore becomes inflamed leading to a break in the follicle wall.
In case the rupture occurs near the surface of the skin, the lesion is often minor and heals rapidly. But when there is a deep break in the follicle wall, more serious lesions develop. The infected substance spills out into the dermis destroying healthy skin cells.
The skin produces new collagen fibers to repair the damage to the dermis. Collagen refers to the fibrous protein that provides the skin with strength and flexibility. The finished “repair work,” unfortunately, never appears as smooth and unblemished as prior to the injury.
The single most important factor to gauge scar development is inflammation. The likelihood of developing scars is proportional to the level of inflammation on the skin.
The chances of scarring also increase in deep breakouts that take a long time to heal. Whiteheads, blackheads, and other non-inflamed blemishes usually do not lead to scarring as these lesions do not damage the skin tissue.
Types of Acne Scars
In an attempt to heal the wound, the body sometimes generates an excessive amount of collagen which leads to elevated tissue on the skin’s surface. This type of scarring is known as keloid or hypertrophic scarring.
But acne most often causes depressed or atrophic scars. Atrophic scars occur when there is tissue loss. Two examples of atrophic scars are boxcar and ice pick scars.
Sometimes what seems to be an acne scar is not really a true scar. Rather, it may be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This is the temporary discoloration of the skin which will eventually resolve by itself. The fading time may be reduced by the use of certain meds such as Retin-A.
Treat Acne as Soon as it Develops
Controlling acne as soon as possible is the best thing a patient can do. The treatment should begin right away, and patients should consult their doctor promptly is their acne is not responding to over the counter acne treatments.
Timely med spa treatment can ensure that acne breakouts remain under control and may prevent the acne from developing into more severe forms. The treatment of pimples will help prevent scarring.
Dr. Q Medical Spa receives patients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and nearby areas for acne scar treatments.
For more information on Plastic Surgery and Non-Surgical Medical Spa Procedures and Treatments in the Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and surrounding areas please contact the offices of Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Suzanne Quardt (Dr. Q) by clicking here or calling 760-324-2660.