Acne is the bane of adolescent existence. It never fails: You end up with a breakout exactly when it’s the most embarrassing time. However, acne is more than just oily skin and periodic pimples. This “rite of passage” affects some 80% of teenagers and adults between 11 and 30, and those blemishes you get can leave noticeable scars behind, making you uncomfortable about your appearance well into adulthood.
Our expert team of aestheticians at Med Physique Center for Aesthetics in Austin, Texas understands how self-conscious acne and its scars can make you feel. That’s why we offer a number of facial treatments and other procedures to clear your skin and remove the visible reminders of your teenage years.
Why does acne form, and what types can develop?
The rumor mill says that acne comes from eating greasy foods, not being hygienic enough, and/or wearing the wrong kind of makeup. While all of these can certainly contribute to outbreaks, they’re not the main problems.
Your skin contains numerous pores, small openings that allow oil and sweat to come to the surface; and follicles, the birthplace of hairs. The pores and follicles can fill up with oil mixed with bacteria, dirt, and dead skin cells, becoming inflamed and creating a lesion known as a pimple. The most common forms of acne pimples are pus-filled whiteheads and blackheads. These are small and usually heal without scarring. If the inflammation continues, though, or if it’s severe, it can lead to different forms of acne that do cause scarring. These include:
- Pustules: swellings filled with pus, have a red base and white or yellow top
- Papules: pink or red bumps that are painful when touched
- Nodules: deep, solid lesions, larger and more painful than papules and pustules
- Cysts: deep, painful pustules; the most likely type to scar
Picking or fussing at acne lesions only increases inflammation, pain, and the potential for scarring.
What causes acne scars to form, and what types of scars are possible?
If a papule, pustule, or cyst becomes infected, the pore or hair follicle can rupture, allowing some of the infected material to leak down into your middle skin layer and destroy healthy tissue. Your body fights the damage by creating new protein (fibrous collagen), but, if the skin produces too much collagen, the extra cells collect to form a scar. This scar may be raised or depressed, and it’s often lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
Acne scars come in three primary forms, and if your form of acne creates scar tissue, you’re likely to have more than one type:
- Atrophic: replacement cells don’t fill the entire damaged area, resulting in a shallow indentation in the skin
- Hypertrophic: excess cell and tissue production causes a raised ridge the same size as the original lesion
- Keloid: a raised ridge that extends beyond the edges of the original lesion
Each can be treated to varying degrees.
I’m embarrassed about my acne: what can I do?
At Med Physique Center for Aesthetics, we offer a number of options to remove acne and its related scars.
This treatment combines three steps: exfoliation, extraction, and infusion. It exfoliates the outer skin layers and extracts the dead skin cells, whiteheads, blackheads, and other acne close to the surface, while hydrating your skin to nourish and replenish it with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You won’t experience any peeling following the procedure, just smooth and silky skin.
Chemical peels use a form of acid brushed on the skin to peel away the outer layers and the imperfections (like acne) contained within them. For acne and acne scarring, we recommend a peel using trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which is considered a “medium” peel. It goes deeper than the surface, but it doesn’t reach down into the lowest skin layers, which shortens your recovery time.
We also recommend our anti-aging peel, The Perfect Peel®, which uses glutathione, a potent antioxidant. It, too, helps the appearance of acne and acne scarring.
If you’re embarrassed about your acne, you’ve got options, and at Med Physique Center for Aesthetics, we’re here to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Call the office at 512-361-2650 to schedule a consultation, or book online with us today.