What is Teen Acne Anyway?
The skin is constantly shedding dead cells (yuck!) so that it can breathe and rejuvenate (yey!) Pores on the face are connected to oil glands through follicles like a channel. During puberty the oil glands may increase oil production, resulting in the channel getting clogged up. Think of a shower drain without a filter, the hair collects in the pipe, eventually causing an obstruction. So, what is teen acne?
There are many types of acne, but the most common is Acne Vulgaris. Pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and zits are caused by white blood cells rushing to the problem area and are working hard to repair the skin.
Specific medical-grade treatments for acne are available. These skin treatments are drying to the skin, therefore you must moisturize the skin. Once the skin improves and your skin is no longer inflamed, you can consider treating any scars that the acne has left. Continued inflammation can reduce the effectiveness of treating acne scars. It is important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nangrani so she can access and recommend the best treatment for you.
Acne Scars’ Appearance?
Acne scars on the face usually cause pits or depressions in the skin where underlying collagen has healed the skin but is insufficient to raise it to be smooth. Raised scars, where the healing response has produced too much collagen, are more common on the back and chest, other sites for acne.
What is Teen Acne, and What Causes Acne Scarring?
If you have had inflammatory acne, cysts, or nodules, your acne might have penetrated deep into your skin, damaging it. The longer you have inflammatory acne, the scarring is more likely. Never pick, squeeze, or pop acne! This also increases inflammation. If people in your family have developed acne scars, you are more likely to also have them. The best way to guard against acne scars is to treat your acne before it becomes severe. If you have been treating your acne with isotretinoin (Accutane, for instance), under a doctor’s care, you must finish that treatment before trying to reduce your acne scarring.
Your Body Heals Itself
When your skin and the tissue beneath it are damaged by acne, your body works to repair the damage. In a healing response, your body produces collagen. The right amount of collagen restores your smooth skin; too little, you get a depressed scar or pitting, and too much, you get a raised scar.
Treating Depressed Acne Scars
A few depressed but very noticeable acne scars can be treated with surgery, which can lift the scar and make the subsequent healing scar less visible.
If your scarring is widespread and not too deep, you can consider resurfacing your skin by removing layers of skin and allowing your body to produce new skin cells. These treatments include laser skin resurfacing, chemical peeling, and microdermabrasion.
Dermal fillers can safely and effectively plump up depressed acne scars. The doctor can fill the scars from below with collagen, contained in many dermal fillers, or your fat. This treatment is best for a few depressed scars. You can lose the scars from teen acne.
Skin tightening works well for all skin colors and can use radiofrequency technology. The tightening skin makes the scars less noticeable. This treatment requires repeat appointments and involves some at-home care, which your aesthetician will detail for you.
Collagen-induction, or a way of encouraging your body to make more collagen, is another name for microneedling. A device studded with tiny needles pierces your skin, inducing the healing response to create more collagen. This treatment also can be used for all skin colors with widespread depressed scars, but not for raised scars. You will see gradual changes over 9 months or so, and might require 3 to 6 treatments.
Treating Raised Acne Scars
Teen acne may result in scars. Raised acne scars are more difficult to treat. Treatments include injections, surgery and injections, surgery and radiation, laser or IPL therapy, cryosurgery, and creams and gels.
Most treatments can reduce the size and visibility of acne scars, and with time they fade and become less noticeable. As with many conditions, the best treatment is preventing the scars from forming in the first place.
If you have teen acne scars (no matter your age!) that you would like to treat, call 281-298-5476 and come in for a free consultation with Dr. Nangrani and our Spa Director. Together, you will discuss your expectations and design your treatment plan.
Vedas is minutes from I-45 (Houston’s North Freeway) in The Woodlands. We look forward to seeing you soon!