What Is Acne Scarring?

What Is Acne Scarring

The skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s also one of the most important. The skin helps prevent things like viruses, bacteria, dust, allergens, and other undesirables from entering the body to wreak havoc. It also helps the body eliminate waste through sweating.

Unfortunately, sometimes, the pores of the skin end up being blocked by dirt, oils, bacteria, and even dead skin cells. When this happens, acne can develop, with sometimes, disastrous results.

Not all types of acne are caused by bacteria, dust, and shed skin cells. Some forms of acne occur deep in the skin, and are actually triggered by things like allergens or hormonal fluctuations.

As a result, there are a lot of different types of acne. When acne occurs, pus, oil, dirt, and other substances can cause a pore to inflame, and even rupture. When skin is injured like this, it begins to try to heal the damage. Like with any other injury, this healing process can result in scarring, which often remains long after the original injury is completely healed.

Sometimes, picking or popping pimples can lead to more inflammation and tissue damage, which can increase the likelihood that scarring, will occur. However, even if someone does everything they’re supposed to take care of their breakouts, scars can still happen? There are two reasons why acne scars show up while pimples heal.

In one instance, inflammation and tissue damage from the breakout causes a loss of tissue in the area. In a cystic pimple that occurs deep under the skin, for example, tissue can be destroyed as the body forces the contents of the cyst to seek a route to the surface.

After the cyst pops and drains, the route the drainage took can remain in the form of a small, deep hole in the skin, somewhat like an oversized pore. In other cases where surface breakouts become very inflamed, tissue loss can occur on the surface of the skin, leading to pits and shallower, oval-shaped scars.

On the other hand, scars can also happen when there is an overabundance of tissue growth. Scar tissue is formed by a number of chemicals, including collagen. When collagen production is over stimulated by an injury, it can result in raised scars.

Sometimes, this happens deep under the skin, where collagen forms fibrous bands connecting the dermis and epidermis to subcutaneous connective tissue, giving the surface of the skin a rippled, wavy appearance. In other cases, collagen overgrowth occurs nearer to the surface, resulting in a raised scar that can end up looking almost like a wart or mole. Sometimes, these scars are even larger than the original breakout.

So, while acne scarring can be unsightly, there’s often not anything someone can do to prevent it other than try to avoid breakouts in the first place. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. However, there are a number of treatments available that can help reduce the appearance of acne scars, or even remove them entirely, giving skin a smoother, healthier appearance.

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Last updated on April 11, 2017