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What Causes Acne Scarring?

Acne scarring can be devastating. I know, because I’ve been there and I still have acne scarring and I’m in my late fifties! Delaying the treatment of active acne can eventually result in scarring and even the smallest blemish can affect our mental health and confidence. Understanding acne scar prevention and how to plan skin rejuvenation is essential.

There are a number of possible outcomes of this delay and abnormal healing response and they can occur in isolation or combination. Here we take a look at the three common types of scarring and why they occur.

Of paramount importance is reducing breakouts and preventing scarring with the right skincare system.

What Causes Red Scars?

These ones appear angry, red and inflamed and can sometimes be mistaken for active acne. The medical term for these is post-inflammatory erythema (PIE). This means redness that stays behind after the skin has been damaged. Importantly, erythema is a characteristic of early acne scars including future atrophic and hypertrophic acne scars (see Textural Scars, right). Early intervention is essential.

For some of us, when the skin is damaged, it reacts by growing extra tiny, red blood vessels (capillaries) to repair it. When this happens, the area gets red marks that can last for months or years. Red marks are generally more common in people with lighter-coloured skin types.

One of the ways to prevent this is to use a serum with a high quality Vitamin A called retinaldehyde (Vitamin A & B Serum). Retinoids like Vitamin A help promote collagen building and healing.

What Causes Brown Scars?

These appear as brown, freckle-like blemishes that are left behind when a pimple has healed. The medical term for these is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).  PIH is more common in people with darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick Skin Types III and higher).

PIH can be the result of both active acne and any skin irritation that is related to the use of topical acne treatments. It can also be a side effect of energy-based devices like lasers or IPL. Care should be taken when introducing any skincare products when you have a darker skin tone because if they are too irritating, they can cause PIH.

The key to preventing brown scars is the use of a Vitamin B (niacinamide) serum to reduce pigmentation (Vitamin A & B Serum) and re-establishing a strong skin barrier using a Hydra Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid, Manuka Honey, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper and Peptides.

What Causes Textural Scars? 

These are the most complex, most difficult to treat scars and are also the most permanently disfiguring. They are a result of an abnormal healing process where there are increased collagen deposits, resulting in hypertrophic scars: white, or red/purplish hypertrophic or keloid scars; or decreased collagen deposition, resulting in atrophic scars. 

These disfigure and pull the skin and can look like holes and divots in the skin. To prevent these you need to start as early as possible on some quality medical-grade skincare like our Breakout System. This will help to reduce bacteria and inflammation and restore the skin barrier so that it can heal in a cohesive manner.

At the first sign of textural scars please, please, please, please (is that enough pleases?) go and get some professional help from a skin expert who stocks our products.