Everyone wants to know that they are beautiful. But the truth is that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. There is some solace to be found in this old saying that at one point or another, someone will find you beautiful. That being said, let’s get to the question at hand, are acne scars unattractive?
Acne scars are not unattractive. While beauty standards are significantly subjective and vary across individuals, the key to beauty is symmetry. And acne scars will not change that or reduce your inner beauty.
Truth be told, the attractiveness of acne scars is a personal opinion. And if you are looking for my opinion, I don’t think they affect your attractiveness. It is important to remember that What one person finds unattractive, another may find attractive.
It is understandable that acne scars might cause you insecurity and discomfort such that you might want to minimize their appearance on your face. There is no denying that smooth and even-toned skin is beautiful, and it is understandable to want to create smooth skin.
Before we explore more about scars, let’s explore the cause of acne
What Causes Acne
Acne is a common skin condition, which according to the article The Striking Burden Of Acne Vulgaris Across The World published in the British Journal of Dermatology, affects 9.4% of the global population. To put this into perspective, 9.4% of 7.8 billion is about 700 million; we are not alone.
Acne occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles, which are tiny holes in your skin. Each hair follicle contains an individual hair that grows out of it. Also, your skin has tiny glands near the surface known as sebaceous glands, which attach to the hair follicles.
Sebaceous glands prevent the skin from drying out. They moisturize both the skin and hair by creating sebum, an oily material. Acne occurs when sebaceous glands start to produce too much sebum, such that the extra sebum combines with dead skin cells to form a clog inside the follicle.
When a follicle just below the skin’s surface is blocked a whitehead develops when a blocked follicle is located just below the skin’s surface. If the blocked follicle is on the surface, a blackhead can if formed.
The clogged follicles can subsequently get contaminated and infected by normally non-harmful skin-dwelling bacteria, leading to papules, pustules, nodules, or cysts.
Factors that Influence the Likelihood of Getting Acne
While the exact cause of acne remains unknown, factors that can increase the risk have been identified. They include
For most people, acne is genetic and runs in families. Research with twins and siblings has shown that acne tends to run in families, which implicates genetic components. According to News medical net, school-going children with acne tend to have parents and siblings with acne.
Your genetics will influence whether you get acne or not. Most importantly, it will also influence how severe your acne will be. Research shows that the genes that influence the function and activity of sebaceous glands also affect the variations of acne and severity across populations. It is for this reason that acne treatments can vary per person.
- Hormonal Influences
This one is easy; hormones are greatly implicated in acne. Puberty, pregnancy, and even PMS can influence the appearance of acne. Puberty is, in particular, influential when it comes to acne. For instance, when undergoing puberty, the hormonal changes in the body can send sebaceous glands into overdrive, causing them to produce more oil. The extra oils mix with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog the hair follicles leading to acne.
- Diet and Stress
You are what you eat is more than a cliché slogan for diet fads. Your food and stress will affect hormonal changes in your body, which can influence the functioning of the sebaceous glands, hence acne. High levels of stress can lead to hormonal changes that can trigger acne in susceptible individuals.
Research has shown that foods high in sugars and fats increase the likelihood of acne. The American Academy of Dermatology holds that a low-glycemic diet may lead to fewer pimples. Such foods include fresh veggies and fruits, beans, and steel-cut oats.
Bacteria implicated in acne are freely found on your skin.Propionibacterium acnes or Cutibacterium acnes is a slow-growing bacterium that survives on your skin. However, when there is excess sebum and dead skin, P. acnes can overgrow, leading to acne.
- Skin Care Products
Some skin care products that have high oil content or ingredients that can clog poles can increase your risk of developing acne. If you have acne problems, consult a dermatologist before changing skin care products.
Now that we know the causes of acne, you may be wondering why your acne scar because not everyone who has acne ends up with a scar. Here are some of the explanations as to why the acne may scar.
Why Does Acne Scar
Acne scars arise when the skin becomes damaged due to severe and prolonged inflammation that often occurs with acne. Because acne lesions tend to occur deep within the skin, the natural healing process follows but can result in scar tissue.
As the body tries to heal the damaged tissue, collagen is produced to repair the damaged parts. However, sometimes the body can produce too much or too little collagen, which leads to scarring. Also, if the collagen fibers are not properly aligned, a scar will form.
So which factors increase the likelihood of acne include.
- The severity of the acne
Severe acne causes excessive damage to the skin, which during the healing process, leads to scarring.
- The duration of the acne
The longer your acne lasts, the more damage they cause. As a result, the healing process may lead to scar tissue formation.
- The individual’s skin type
Sensitive skin can result in more scar formation than others.
Genetics determine the severity and duration of acne, which determines the likelihood of scar formation
- Picking or popping acne lesions
If you pop or pick your acne, you interfere with the healing process, which can result in acne since the skin does not heal properly.
Types of Acne Scar
Not all acne scars are the same. Different types of acne scars include:
- Atrophic Scars: These scars occur when acne leads to tissue loss, causing a depression or pit on the skin
- Hypertrophic scars: These scars happen when acne scars become discolored, especially red in color, and are raised on the skin.
- Keloid scars: Keloid scars occur when acne causes damage that extends deep into the skin. They are usually thick and raised on the skin. They are also larger in diameter than the original acne.
How to treat acne scars will depend on the kind of acne scars and how extensive the damage is. Please consult a dermatologist for an effective diagnosis and treatment options. Treatment options include chemical peels, laser treatment, surgical procedures, and topical creams.
How Can I Treat Acne Scars
- Topical creams include retinoids and hydroquinone. They work by reducing the appearance of the scars. They do this by increasing the production of collagen and reducing the discoloration on the skin.
- Chemical peels involve using chemical solutions that remove the top layer of the skin cells. This layer is usually the one with the scars, so when it is removed, it leaves a smooth appearance. Chemical peels can also promote the production of collagen, giving rise to a smooth texture.
- Microdermabrasion includes the use of machines as a means of exfoliating the top skin layer. When this happens, the inner layer left is smooth and has less scarring.
- Injectable fillers are used to treat atrophic scars. The fillers fill in the depressed acne scars leading to a smoother appearance.
- Laser therapy includes multiple forms of treatment. For instance, fractional laser resurfacing creates small wounds on the skin, which promotes the production of collagen, leading to healing. On the other hand, pulsed-dye laser therapy reduces the discoloration of the skin as well as the redness.
- Surgical procedures include punch elevation, punch excision, and sub-incision. They are used to remove deep scars or improve their appearance.
In some cases, a dermatologist will recommend a combination of treatment procedures. Also, the scars may take time to heal after any procedure.
How To Prevent Acne from Scarring
Preventing acne from scarring requires a proactive approach to managing your acne. Here are some steps to take:
- Keep your skin clean to prevent acne from getting contaminated.
- Treat acne early or as soon as they appear to prevent them from scarring.
- Do not pick or squeeze the acne. Picking and squeezing increases inflammation and skin damage.
- Use sunscreen. Exposure to excessive sun can make acne scars worse.
- Avoid smoking since it reduces blood flow to the skin. It also slows down the healing process, which can increase the risk of scarring.
- Consider professional assistance.