More than “simple” marks on the face and body, scars resulting from severe acne are able to affect the mental health of those who suffer from the problem – it is not uncommon to encounter cases of people who have developed problems of self-esteem and image disorders due to account of those signs.
According to dermatologist Alexandra Peres Paim Pedra e Cal , from Espaço Médico Brasil, these scars are more likely to appear in patients with a family history of acne in high degrees , that is, people who already have a genetic predisposition for the formation of multiple highly inflammatory blackheads and pimples. Fernanda Junqueira , a dermatologist at Hospital das Clínicas (SP), also highlights some cases of fulminant acne that are triggered by the use of certain systemic medications.
Cases in which the disease appears even before puberty, as well as people who over-manipulate such injuries (squeezing and allowing bacteria to enter), also tend to make the list, which has male individuals as the most affected.
How to identify acne that can leave scars?
Larissa Montanheiro , a dermatologist member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD) and Hospital Sírio Libanês (SP), explains that acne develops in different ways, but its evolutionary process is easily noticeable: it starts with the appearance of comedones, or blackheads, that can evolve into so-called papules (solid, rounded and hardened lesions).
If left untreated, these papules can turn into pustules – or lesions with pus -, nodules (lesions due to inflammation, which can destroy tissues and cause scarring) and, finally, cysts, which are larger than pustules and, when inflamed, they also cause pain and scarring. Factors such as excessive stress and hormonal changes have a direct influence on the worsening of cases.
Any area of the body affected by acne can result in a scar, as long as it has a deep inflammatory lesion – mainly nodules and cysts, as we have already explained. However, on the face, it is the region of the cheeks the most common to present the marks, while on the trunk, its appearance occurs in greater quantity in areas such as chest and back.
While people with oily skin are more prone to the formation of scars resulting from acne, since in these cases the production of sebaceous glands is considerably more active, those with black skin (and more melanin, of course) are more likely to have dark spots – “ Today’s red lesion will be tomorrow’s dark spot ”, sums up Alexandra. And Fernanda adds:
“Due to the greater pigmentation in these phototypes, the inflammatory process of acne can be accompanied by pigmentary effusion, that is, spots resulting from the inflammation. Lighter skins are also not exempt, and can form more reddish spots, which are difficult to treat ”.
Anyway, paying attention to the family history of severe acne is one of the best ways to start scar prevention now.
The best way to prevent the appearance of scars is to treat any signs of acne early, especially if your family history is critical – after all, taking care of acne is much simpler than removing a scar. Be aware of the first signs of acne that appear on your face or body, and avoid manipulating pimples and blackheads with your hands.
Do not be afraid to invest early in oil regulating products, and be disciplined with your self-care : do your best to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and, finally, look for a dermatologist to recommend the ideal assets and products for women. your questions and follow the evolution of your treatments.
Not every scar can be 100% removed from the skin. Because they are reactions resulting from the loss of elastic fibers and collagen, they can be permanent if they reach the organ in very deep levels. However, any scar can be softened, even if some of them require more time and number of combined therapies when being treated.
“There is no ‘cake recipe’ in the treatment of acne scars, the repetition of treatments and the constant stimulation of the procedures is what will guarantee the best results”, says Larissa.
Both for those who already have acneic skin and some scars, and for those who have oily skin, some daily care is essential, such as washing your face with an appropriate soap, using moisturizer for skin with acne, cleaning with the aid of a tonic, making use of sunscreen and, often, invest in periodic exfoliations to remove more superficial blackheads (all with medical monitoring, combined?).
The use of antibiotics, topical and oral acids can also be considered if the dermatologist recommends. These habits help to soften spots and scars already acquired, and also to prevent future injuries.
In the office, the results are more satisfactory when different techniques are combined to treat the scars – each technique applied will vary according to the type of brand in question. Facials with extraction of comedones, peels chemical peels located with strong acids, microagulhamento sessions, application of lasers and to fill with hyaluronic acid are some alternatives available today in the cosmetic market.
It is important, as Fernanda suggests, to avoid homemade treatments or recommended by friends, family and lay people on the subject, since self-medication may be able to delay an accurate diagnosis and further favor the appearance of scars.