One of the biggest fears of many people suffering from acne is permanent scarring. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that scarring can be a result of improper skin care. Squeezing or picking at acne can damage the skin tissue around the acne. This can lead to the scarring that is such a concern for many people.
Temporary scars are a possibility as well - they usually take anywhere from six months to three years to fully heal and fade away. This is roughly the same amount of time that is necessary for the removal of “pseudo scars" known as macules. These are the flat reddish spots that often remain after acne inflammation goes down.
Sometimes these inflamed areas are left with a slight discoloration of the skin which can also last for several years in some cases. Exposure to sunlight can make these conditions worse.
Scars develop because of the loss of skin tissue due to acne outbreaks. These scars are often referred to as “ice pick" scars because of their appearance. They're small, although they can be deep, and the texture can vary.
If the scar tissue is soft enough, it can be stretched to remove the scars but if the tissue is harder it may not be possible to repair it. In these cases, over time the scars can become very firm and unyielding. In most cases the only way to reduce or eliminate these types of scars is through surgery.
Another type of scarring is a result of excess tissue forming around acne lesions. These scars are known as keloids or hypertrophic scars and are most often a result of an increased production of collagen.
There are a number of both cosmetic and dermatological procedures to minimize or eliminate these scars. The most basic is to simply inject additional collagen in the scarred area. This lifts the skin and helps to fill small depressions and softer scars. This form of treatment doesn't work particularly well for ice pick scars, however.
Before this collagen treatment is attempted, a person need to be tested for allergies. If they're found to have an allergic reaction to the collagen then alternative methods will need to be considered, such as dermabrasion or microdermabrasion.
Nathan James writes about effective acne scar treatment and other related topics for the Acne Squad website. Read more and sign up for our free newsletter at http://www.acnesquad.com .