Moderate to severe acne can result in acne scarring, which can take the shape of several forms.  The physicians and aestheticians at Village Dermatology in Houston, Texas can discuss acne scar treatment and help make those scars a distant memory.

Why do scars occur?
Scarring in general, and acne scars in particular,  form when the dermis (the deeper layer of the skin) is damaged by trauma or by inflammation.  In trying to heal, the body forms new collagen fibers to mend the damage.  This new collagen formation results in a scar which is usually of a different texture than the normal skin around it.  In the case of acne scars, the inflammation penetrates deeply into the skin, causing damage to the dermis when the acne lesion heals.

Can scars be prevented?
While some scars cannot be prevented, if you are noticing scars forming as a result of acne, there are a variety options.  Isotretinoin (Accutane) is the treatment of choice for scarring, cystic acne or for acne that is persistent despite other therapies.  In addition, for individual, solitary cysts, a very dilute steroid (cortisone) can be injected into the cyst to decrease the inflammation and decrease the chance of scarring.  Finally, it is important that you don't pick your skin, because often scars result from the trauma induced by picking.

How are acne scars treated?
Acne scarring can be treated in a variety of ways.  Microneedling is one of the easiest and most promising treatment options for acne scars, and it works by creating tiny microscopic amounts of trauma to the skin to allow the skin to heal in a more controlled fashion.  Fraxel laser is another option that works in much the same way, but by using heat rather than needles.  Finally, a combination of chemical peels and filler injected into the scars themselves can be very effective. 

Should acne scars be treated?
Acne scars should absolutely be treated if they bother you or affect your self-esteem.  Treatment is easy, effective, and patients are typically very happy with the results.