Three Signs Your Acne May Leave a Scar

Growing up, kids hear many well-intended sound bites from their parents that serve as reminders to do their best.

“Please brush your teeth.”

“Did you comb your hair?”

“Wear your mask and bring a spare just in case.”

While some lessons are seasonal, others stand the test of time.

“Don’t pick at it, or it will scar.”

Kids the world over have grown up with this sound advice about acne care. “Whether children heed this advice or not, thankfully not all those who develop acne in their teenage years will enter adulthood with scars from their acne,” notes Dr. Melanie Pickett, board-certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas.

Why do some get acne scars and others do not?

While there are a number of factors that play a role in the development of acne scars, some factors create more of a risk than others.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the following are risk factors for acne-causing a scar:

  1. Popping or picking acne lesions. What parents have been saying is true! Though acne itself is associated with inflammation, acne lesions that are popped or picked become more inflamed. “With this increased inflammation comes an increased potential for scarring, especially if the acne is left untreated,” shares Dr. Pickett.

  2. Genetics. If you, your siblings, or other close relatives suffer from severe acne that has led to scarring, there is a strong possibility that your child will too.

  3. Inflammatory or cystic acne. Though all types of acne carry some risk for scarring, acne that is deep or cystic has a higher chance of leaving a scar on the skin. “Even without picking or popping these lesions, the inflammation caused by this type of acne can be significant and enough to leave a lasting mark on the skin,” states Dr. Pickett.

Scarring from inflammatory acne or genetics can feel out of your control, but there is hope! “Prevention is key!  Initiating treatment for acne early can greatly reduce the risk of scarring, discoloration, and other unwanted effects of acne on the skin,” says Dr. Pickett. “Acne scars affect so much more than the skin– their presence can have negative effects on self-esteem and self-confidence. It is important to address acne at an early stage to reduce these risks as much as possible,” she continues.

Contact Us

Sanova Dermatology offers a range of treatments for acne scarring from laser therapy to chemical peels and microneedling, and we’ll work with you closely to develop an individualized treatment plan for your child’s care. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists to discuss treatment options for acne and acne scarring and to help your child enter adulthood with the confidence that comes with clear and healthy-looking skin.

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