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Acne 101: Why Are My Normal Pimples Scarring?

By February 27, 2018May 10th, 2023Acne Treatment, dermatologists, Dermatology, Skin Care

You’ve heard it a thousand times now: don’t pick your pimples! Hopefully, you’ve taken that skin care advice to heart and left them alone to heal properly. But unfortunately, even the most vigilant non-pickers will find that every once in a while, a pimple that’s left alone still leaves its mark. But these aren’t actually scars—they’re simply acne marks that cannot be avoided in some situations. Knowing when and why they happen helps to minimize their appearance.

Why Do Acne Marks Form?

The good news is that these acne marks are only temporary and are part of acne’s normal healing process. Typically, the temporary discoloration fades away on its own, but it can take up to six months for that to happen. While non-inflamed acne, such as whiteheads and blackheads, don’t typically cause any long-term marking, deeper breakouts can often lead to inflammation and dark marks. As the inflammation goes down, new collagen forms in the skin and the mark begins to fade. Unfortunately, true acne scars (permanent marks left behind from picking at pimples) can only be reduced or minimized using chemical peels, laser treatments, or fillers.

Minimizing Acne Marks

You’re already leaving your pimples alone, so what other skin care steps can you take to prevent acne marks? The single best step you can take if you’re commonly experiencing blemishes is getting any existing acne under control with professional acne treatment, whether you pick at them or not. Our dermatologists can evaluate you to find the best skin care products for your needs and skin type. Even the most expensive over-the-counter facial cleanser could be making your problem worse if it isn’t the right formula for your skin type, so changing up your skin care routine on your own isn’t necessarily the right step.

If you’re experiencing a rare flare-up of deeply inflamed acne, our dermatologists may be able to provide you with a cortisone injection; the steroid helps to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of marks and scarring.

Once a pimple is gone, we can help you remove the acne mark sooner by providing you with a glycolic acid peel, which helps bring dark skin cells to the surface to remove them faster. Overuse of over-the-counter creams and medications can permanently alter the skin’s pigmentation, so we discourage you from taking the DIY approach to acne mark removal.

If you’re seeking professional acne treatment, the physicians at The Dermatology Clinic are here to help. Request an appointment online with us online or give us a call at (225) 769-7546 to discuss skin care options for acne spot removal today!