Hello, ladies! It’s that time where we talk about acne scars and how much we hate them and feel like our lives would be 100 percent better without their existence. With that out of the way, let’s double check that we’re on the same page here, because what you think could be a scar might actually be something else… Ready? Let’s go.

What acne scars look like

Acne scarring is not hyper pigmentation—the dark spots that are left after a breakout. That discoloration is just your body’s response to acne or other abrasions to the skin. Note: your skin gets that dark look after a cut or a bug bite. Given time and some helpful product, hyper pigmentation willfade. Imagine how rotten our skin would look by now if we could see a history of all the cuts and bites we’ve ever gotten still visible on today’s skin… Yikes! Thank goodness, this isn’t the case.

So if you’ve been worried about discoloration after a pimple has died, nope that’s not acne scarring. Acne scarring is when there is skin indentation or raised bumpiness to your skin, versus a smooth surface.  

Where acne scarring comes from

Another way to tell if what you are dealing with is acne scarring is simply to look at the source. Whiteheads and blackheads rarely lead to acne scarring. Rather acne scarring is a result of cystic acne, those huge, painful bumps that form deep within the skin, and which you poked and prodded—and it’s likely that poking and prodding is half the reason for the scar in the first place. Sigh. We never could learn to leave well enough alone…

But now that the damage is done, what to do about these texture irregularities? Good question.

What to do about them: the surgical option

Enter the world of laser treatments for your skin woes. Specifically, fractional laser treatments. In very simplified terms that seriously downplays the science behind how it works, fractional lasers target the scarred tissue, breaking it up, resulting in skin that heals evenly. Almost like microneedling, except that fractional lasers are more precise as they are administered at a doctor’s office versus at home or at a beauty spa.

For ice pick scars, your dermatologist can use a pen-like tool and cut out the scar and sew up the skin. This results in skin that is basically as smooth as it was prior to the scarring.

What to do about them: the non-surgical options

If you thought fillers were only for reducing wrinkles, you’re in for good news… they’re also for smoothing scar depressions and are another way to even out skin texture without getting surgery. Some of the more well-known types include Juvederm and Restylane, both of which are made of a hyaluronic acid gel. 

Additionally, you can choose topical beauty products, like Mizon’s All in One Snail Repair Cream, that works to plump out skin, thus reducing the appearance of the scarring.

Certain makeup products can help you achieve a smooth look to your skin. For instance, Pore Silky Balmby 3CE is a primer that you use before you apply foundation or a BB cream. Its magic lies in how it fills indentations.

Naturally, the best and simplest way to deal with acne scarring is to have a rocking prevention game. If you are prone to cystic acne, talk to a dermatologist about what you can include into your skincare routine. For those with severe acne breakouts that result in painful cysts, you might want to look into an oral retinoid or a cortisone shot.  

Emma Jean

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