With millions of Americans suffering each year, acne scarring is a widespread cosmetic concern that affects people of all walks of life. Despite acne being a common occurrence in many people’s lives, there is still a good amount of misconceptions about acne scarring. To help you decipher fact from fiction, the board-certified dermatologists and physician assistants at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta have debunked a few myths we routinely hear about acne scarring.
#1: Only teenagers can get acne scars.
Since teenagers traditionally get acne as they enter puberty, some may think that this means you can only be at risk for scarring when you are that age. Unfortunately, you can get acne at any age. Additionally, as we naturally age, the skin loses collagen which accentuates the appearance of scars. This can make acne scars appear worse than they are and can also make the skin less equipped to fight future scarring.
#2: Getting a tan can help hide acne scars.
Planning on going to a tanning salon or spending prolonged periods exposed to the sun in order to hide your scars may seem like a good idea, but in reality, it can cause even more damage. While it can be tempting to think that darkening the skin around your already dark scars will help blend them, this is ill advised. When acne scars are exposed to prolonged UV light, this can cause the scar tissue to darken even more, make effective treatment more difficult and even lead to skin cancer. As always, if you are planning to go outside, you should wear and regularly apply sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.
#3: Acne scars only occur on the face.
Acne scarring can occur anywhere on the body where acne is present, not only on the face. Areas such as the back, shoulders, neck and chest are all prone to potential scarring. We commonly see acne scarring on the face because that part of the body is almost always exposed and this increased visibility makes it more tempting to pick and mess with existing acne. We strongly discourage this as it can make scarring worse. Additionally, since our faces are the first thing other people notice about us, it makes sense that we tend to be more concerned with visible scars than hidden ones.
#4: Acne scars are unpreventable and permanent.
The notion that acne scars are inevitable is far from correct. There are numerous prevention methods you can take to prevent scars from forming including not picking at acne and avoiding prolonged sun exposure. Additionally, seeking treatment when acne first starts to form is an effective and safe way to nip the problem in the bud. Because there are different types of acne, receiving an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan from a licensed professional is essential for a smooth recovery.
If you already have acne scars, we offer a wide variety of treatment options to help reduce the appearance of scarring. Some treatment options include microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser resurfacing. The shape, type, size and severity of your scars helps to determine which treatment will be most effective for your skin.
With the proper dermatological care, acne and acne scars can be managed and easily treated. If you are interested in learning more, schedule a consultation with Dermatology Associates of Atlanta today. Also, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more skincare insights and monthly specials.