How Can I Get Rid Of My Acne Scars? | Dear Derm | Well+Good

– Remember guys, when you pop a pimple, a scar is born. (light upbeat music) I’m Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist in New Haven, Connecticut, and I’m here to answer your
most pressing questions about skin care, so send them my way. Today’s topic of choice, acne scarring. (light upbeat music) In order for us to understand
what to do about acne scars, the first thing we need to do is understand why and
how they actually happen. When a pimple forms, collagen is damaged and when that collagen starts
to heal in a wonky way, it leads to scarring. Most derms would guess that
any time you get a pimple there’s about a 6% risk that
it will turn into a scar. And that number goes up if
you pop it or pick at it, which causes damage to the
dermis layer of your skin. When you get any sort of a wound, including a self-inflicted one from that pimple you just had to pop, your skin cells and connective tissue start to multiply and
try to repair the damage. The scar is made up of
that connective tissue, which feels a bit more
grissly than regular old skin. One more thing that could be contributing to the remnants of your high school zits that keep showing up on your face, genetics, so thanks mom and dad. (light upbeat music) So just to set the record straight, when you’re talking about scars, you’re really talking more
about textural changes on the skin, not just discoloration that can happen after a little breakout. If you’re just concerned
about hyperpigmentation, that’s when products like retinol, glycolic, vitamin C, and sunscreen can really
make a big difference because with time, it’s going
to fade naturally by itself but sometimes it just needs
a little extra jump start and you can do that easily at home. (light upbeat music) Nope, there are a few
different types of scars that can stick around after
your pimples are long gone. Keloids are raised and reddish and develop at the sight
of any sort of injury. They’re not exclusive to acne scars. Sometimes they even happen
on the back of your ear, and they happen when all that connective tissue keeps growing and looks like a raised bump
coming out of your skin. Hypertrophic scars are similar
to their keloid cousins but don’t grow quite as large as keloids. They tend to stay right
where the pimple actually was instead of growing out of bounds. Luckily, these have a tendency just to be on your chest and back. Ice pick scars, otherwise
known as pitted scars, are small but deep holes
on the surface on your skin that basically look like little pits. They start out as plugged up pores, otherwise known as comedones, which are filled with
puss and create pressure and inflammation underneath the skin. Rolling scars are like ice pick scars but are shallower and more
smooth around the edges. They tend to happen when
skin loses elasticity, so are more common as you get older. And the last type, boxcar scars, which kinda look like
someone pushed a fingernail in your face, are the
frustrating aftermath of those red, inflamed pimples, otherwise known as inflammatory acne. They’re shallow like rolling scars but they’ve got sharper edges. (light upbeat music) As you know there are a lot of
different types of acne scars and about as many different
treatment options out there to help you deal with them, but treating your scars doesn’t have to involve hauling over
to your dermatologist. There are certain products that can get the job done at home too. The triple threat combination
of retinoids, vitamin C, and glycolic are definitely worth keeping in your beauty cabinet. A retinol, like the one from Skinmedica, helps to stimulate collagen regeneration. A vitamin C serum, my favorite happens to be from Skinceuticals, helps with discoloration, and a glycolic acid, the one from Drunk Elephant is great, helps to stimulate skin cell turnover and collagen regeneration. Some require a trip to
the dermatologist office. For deeper scars, microneedling and fractionated laser resurfacing create controlled
micro-injuries in your skin. Your body responds by producing collagen to help heal those wounds. This is particularly helpful
for those deep-pitted scars that really mark up your texture. For the deepest of the
deep ice pick scars, a process called subcision, which involves cutting under
the surface of your skin, can help. If your scars are superficial, chemical peels can work wonders. Keloids can be removed. They can be cut out. They can be injected with corticosteroids or steroids to flatten them out. There are pressure devices. There are all kinds of ways
to make a keloid go away or be less apparent but it’s really a genetic thing and so if you have a tendency to keloid, you may keloid in other places as well. (light upbeat music) I think most commonly what people come in my office concerned about
is actually not scarring, but hyperpigmentation or discoloration from an existing pimple, so just be reassured and feel relieved that those are easy to deal with and it’s not something you
have to stress out about. Scars, still nothing to stress out about, but they just may be more
of a marathon than a sprint and coming up with the treatment plan and different procedures
can definitely make them fade significantly. See ya next time for another
episode of Dear Derm. Make sure to subscribe to Well and Good and comment below for any questions.

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