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Acne scars are the marks left on skin that has been affected by acne. They can be triggered by cystic lesions, picking and scratching. Acne scars most often appear as red or brown marks on the skin and can also look like indentations, giving the skin a pitted appearance. Acne scars can worsen the mental and emotional stress caused by the condition of acne.
Acne scars stay on the skin in the long term and can often appear worse as we age due to the loss of collagen in the skin and the subsequent loosening of the skin. There are treatments, however, that can significantly reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Acne conditions that penetrate the skin damage both the skin and the underlying tissue. As the acne begins to heal, the body produces collagen which provides support and elasticity to the skin. When too much or too little collagen is created by the body, this leaves a visible scar.
Certain conditions or behaviors can increase acne scars, including:
The stress of having acne can also increase behaviors such as picking or scratching.
Doctors and dermatologists have made some significant headway in treating acne scars in recent years. Options for treating this skin condition include:
If you have experienced acne scarring, you might find yourself wondering— how long do acne scars last? Typically it can take anywhere from three to six months for acne scars to fade. More severe scars might take as long as six months to fade, while lighter ones can fade in as few as three months.
When acne scarring involves pitting in the skin, these dips in the skin can remain after the discoloration of a scar has faded. Treatments for acne scars can significantly reduce the time it takes for them to fade.
Can acne scars go away with time? Very often, they do. When acne scarring is particularly severe, however, it can leave permanent marks on the skin. In these scenarios, a wide variety of dermatological procedures can help the situation, including laser treatments, topical retinoids and microdermabrasion.
One of the best ways to prevent acne scars is to avoid picking at the skin when acne develops or scratching at scabs if they form. It is also a good idea to avoid popping pimples whenever possible. Taking preventive measures against the formation of acne is also one of the best ways to limit scarring in the long run.
All cases of acne scars are not the same, therefore we recommend seeing a specialist to help determine which treatment option is the best for you.