If there’s a black cloud over a your head due to acne, it probably has something to do with a breakout at the most inconvenient time. But acne is more than just periodic pimples. This common condition affects some 80% of people between 11 and 30, and those blemishes can leave scars behind, making you self-conscious about your appearance well into adulthood.
At Eterna Vein & Medical Aesthetics in Puyallup, Washington, our expert team of aestheticians understands how uncomfortable acne and acne scars can be, which is why we offer state-of-the-art laser treatment to help give you a clean and clear complexion. Here’s what you need to know.
The causes and types of acne
Urban legend would have you believe that acne comes from eating greasy foods, not washing well enough, and/or wearing makeup. While all of these can contribute to outbreaks, they’re not the main culprits.
Your skin contains numerous small openings called pores that allow oil and sweat to rise to the surface. A pimple (or lesion) develops when the oil mixes with bacteria, dirt, and dead skin cells, filling up and inflaming the pores or a hair follicle. The most common forms of acne are pus-filled whiteheads and blackheads; they’re small and usually resolve without scarring. However, if the inflammation continues, or is severe, it can lead to other types of acne that do cause scarring.
Other types of acne include:
Pustules: pus-filled swellings with a red base and white or yellow top
Papules: pink or red bumps that hurt when touched
Nodules: solid, deep lesions larger than papules and pustules and more painful
Cysts: painful, deep pustules; the most likely type to scar
The causes and types of acne scars
If a papule, pustule, or cyst becomes infected, the mix of oil, bacteria, and dead cells may cause the pore or hair follicle to rupture. This allows some of the infected material to leak down into your middle skin layer, destroying healthy tissue. Your body responds by creating new proteins (fibrous collagen) to repair the damage.
But, if the skin produces too much collagen, the extra cells form a scar. This scar can be either raised or depressed, and it’s often a lighter or darker color than the surrounding skin.
If you develop acne scars, you’re likely to have more than one type. Each can be treated with varying degrees of success. Acne scars come in three primary forms:
Atrophic: a loss of tissue results in a shallow indentation in the skin’s surface
Hypertrophic: excess tissue production causes a raised ridge the same size as the original blemish
Keloid: a raised ridge that grows beyond the edges of the original blemish
Discoloration: the inflammation often related to a blemish can lead to discoloration as part of the natural healing process, presenting as red or brown.
Treating acne scars
Many people try OTC creams to treat their scars, with minimal success, but we offer in-office treatments that include plasma resurfacing (Neogen) and CO2 resurfacing, both of which are highly effective.
We also offer the Icon® laser by Cynosure®. Icon is an FDA-approved machine that offers the ability to treat separate skin conditions in one unit. That means it’s effective in treating all of the following:
Fine lines and wrinkles
Many people with acne scars also have other skin imperfections, at Eterna, we offer and array of aesthetic services including lasers, to address the varying types of acne scarring.
Laser, specifically works by sending pulsed beams of concentrated light energy onto your facial skin, heating the tissues beneath. The heat acts as an “injury,” stimulating the tissues to increase collagen production. As the collagen levels build, the new cells fill in the area of your acne scar, making it much less noticeable.
We offer both ablative and non-ablative options for treating your acne scars. The master aestheticians at Eterna will customize each treatment according to your specific needs, to ensure that you receive the best results.
If you’re dealing with acne scars and aren’t happy with your appearance, we can help. Give Eterna Vein and Medical Aesthetics a call at 253-268-3400 to schedule your consultation with us today.