What are acne scars and what causes them? 

Acne scarring is very common, with an average of 1 in 5 sufferers affected. What are acne scars? Let’s find out.

Acne scarring very commonly develops as a complication to acne, with an average of 1 in 5 sufferers affected. While it is possible for any type of acne to scar, nodules and cysts are most likely as they are the most severe and affect deep within the skin. If you too are dealing with the complications of acne, lets find out what causes acne scarring. 


What are Acne Scars

Scarring caused by acne looks very different from any other scars – it’s the deficit of collagen in the specific region that gives rise to acne scarring. Acne scars can appear on the skin in one of two ways. Firstly, a scar may develop as an indentation in the surface of the skin. Or, acne scars can develop in the opposite way, and appear raised on the skin’s surface. Find out more about the specific types of acne scarring here. Not all acne scarring is permanent and treatment is available to get rid of scars, or minimise their appearance. 


What Causes Acne Scarring 

Acne breakouts occur from deep within the epidermis, and cause lots of tissue damage when they penetrate through the skin. The pore swells during a breakout, and often cause the pore wall to breakdown. After the acne has subsided, the affected skin region needs collagen to heal and repair. If the skin underlying the subsided acne doesn’t have it, or has too much, then it tends to scar during the healing process. The type of scar you suffer with depends on how much collagen your body makes.


Risk Factors

What causes acne scarring varies on an individual basis. As well as being dependent on the amount of collagen in the skin, there are several risk factors. Some individuals are predisposed to acne scarring. If you suffer from inflammatory acne (swollen, red, and painful), you are more likely to suffer acne scarring. This increased risk is due to the increased depth that the cysts and nodules penetrate into the skin, and the damage they cause as a result. Linked to this, if you delay treatment of inflammatory acne, you are also more likely to experience scarring, as the damage to the skin is prolonged. Finally, interfering with the acne on your skin can increase the risk, as picking, squeezing, or popping increases inflammation.