Acne scarring can sometimes develop as a complication of acne. Any type of acne spot can lead to scarring, but it's more common when the most serious types of spots (nodules and cysts) burst anddamage nearby skin .
Scars can also occur if you pick or squeeze your spots, so it's important not to do this.
There are three main types of acne scars:
Treatments for acne scarring are regarded as a type of cosmetic surgery, which isn't usually available on the NHS. However, in the past, exceptions have been made when it's been shown that acne scarring has caused serious psychological distress.
See your GP if you're considering having cosmetic surgery . They'll be able to discuss your options with you and advise you about the likelihood of having the procedure carried out on the NHS.
Many private clinics offer treatment for acne scarring. Prices can vary widely (from 500 tomore than10,000) depending on the type of treatment needed.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons website has more information about private treatment available in your area.
It's important to have realistic expectations about what cosmetic treatment can achieve. While treatment can certainly improve the appearance of your scars, it can't get rid of them completely.
After treatment for acne scarring, most people notice a 50-75% improvement in their appearance.
Some of the available treatments for acne scarring are explained below.
Dermabrasion involves removing the top layer of skin, either using lasers or a specially made wire brush.
After the procedure, your skin will look red and sore for several months, but as it heals you should notice an improvement in the appearance of your scars.
Laser treatment can be used to treat mild to moderate acne scarring.
There are two types of laser treatment:
Punch techniques are used to treat ice pick scars and boxcar scars.
There are three types of punch technique:
Subcision is a surgical treatment that can be used to treat rolling scars. During surgery, the upper layer of the skin is removed from the underlying scar tissue. This allows blood to pool under the affected area. The blood clot helps form connective tissue, which pushes up the rolling scar so it's level with the rest of the surface of the skin.
Once subscision has been completed, additional treatment, such as laser treatment and dermabrasion, can be used to further improve the appearance of the scar.
Acne can often cause intense feelings of anxiety and stress, which can sometimes make people with the condition become socially withdrawn. This combination of factors can lead to people with acne becoming depressed .
You may be depressed if during the last month you've often felt down, depressed or hopeless, and have little interest or pleasure in doing things.
If you think that you or your child may have depression, it's important to speak to your GP.
Treatments for depression include:
You may find it supportive to read about other people's experience of living with acne.
For example, talkhealth provides a free acne support and information community .
The Mix (formerly Get Connected) also has a website and helpline for teenagers and young people with emotional and other difficulties.
Despite being one of the most wide spread skin conditions, acne is also one of the most poorly understood. There are many myths and misconceptions about it: "Acne is caused by a poor diet". "Acne is caused by having dirty skin and poor hygiene". "Squeezing blackheads, whiteheads and spots is the best way to get rid of acne"
Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point. It causes spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that's hot or painful to touch. Acne is most common in girls from the ages of 14to 17, and in boys from the ages of 16to 19. Most people have acne on and off for several years before their symptoms start to improve as they get older.
Teenage acne is thought to be triggered by increased levels of a hormone called testosterone, which occurs during puberty. More than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women. It's thought that many cases of adult acne arecaused by the changes in hormone levels that many women have at certain times.
Your GP will be able diagnosis acne by looking at your skin. This will involve examining your face, chest and back for the different types of spot. How many spots you have and how painful and inflamed they are will help determine how severe your acne is. This is important in planning your treatment.
Treatment for acne depends on how severe it is. It can take several months of treatment before acne symptoms improve. If you just have a few blackheads, whiteheads and spots, you should be able to treat them successfully with over-the-counter gels or creams (topical treatments) that contain benzoyl peroxide. See your GP if your acne is more widespread, as you probably need prescription medication.
Acne scarring can sometimes develop as a complication of acne. This is more common when the most serious types of spots burst and damage nearby skin. Once subscision has been completed, additional treatment, such as laser treatment and dermabrasion, can be used to further improve the appearance of the scar.
The self-help techniques that may be useful: Don't wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day. Frequent washing can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse. Wash the affected area with a mild soap or cleanser and lukewarm water. Very hot or cold water can make acne worse. Don't try to "clean out" blackheads or squeeze spots. This can make them worse and cause permanent scarring . Avoid using too much make-up and cosmetics.