What is the collagen-acne scars relationship? Let’s start by describing some of the acne forming process. Basically, as an acne cyst forms, the neck of the sebaceous gland opens up and gets filled with bacteria, cells and sebum that are unable to pass through to the skin’s surface. Eventually this cyst explodes, projecting the matter into the dermis and, because it is recognized as a “foreign matter”, it is attacked by white blood cells which fight off infection.
What most often follows is the loss of tissue as collagen is destroyed in the dermis. As these cells are eliminated, the cells above on the superficial level of the skin receive no support from below. And that is when that area of the skin collapses, resulting in a soft saucer-shaped depression (what many refer to as a pock mark) or jagged ice pick scar (which is deep and narrow). Unfortunately, this kind of scarring occurs often on the face and affects both men and women.
Another important fact to consider in the collagen-acne scars connection is that aging can affect your collagen levels and therefore, scar visibility. After you turn 40, 1% of your dermal collagen is lost annually. This extra loss of collagen together with reduced skin tone as you age can make scars become a lot more apparent.
So, those are some of the ways that collagen is related to acne and scarring. Collagen is also used in the treatment of acne scars. Acne scars are often the result of long-term infection and inflammation of the skin’s glands. This condition results in an uneven skin surface with peaks and valleys. There are various treatments for acne scars, and filler injections, such as collagen, could be the most sensible one for you. Fillers help to raise the valleys so that there is less of an indentation around the peaks. This leads to the appearance of a smoother skin surface.
Collagen fillers are just one type of fillers. Others include hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapetite, and polymethylmethacrylate beads. While collagen fillers usually last from 3 to 6 months, other types can last from 6 months and longer – with some even being permanent. Which type you can use depends on your skin and your scars. If you have just a few acne scars and they are relatively shallow, collagen might be a good fit. There’s a way to quickly evaluate if this is an option for you (although of course you will talk to a professional regarding treatment possibilities)–stretch the scarred area. If it flattens out when you stretch it, collagen is a worthwhile consideration. Many people prefer to go with the collagen choice because it is less expensive than other options.
However, if you have deep ice pick scars, you would probably want to go with another procedure like chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, punch grafting and others.
The above information about collagen-acne scars does not substitute medical advice given by a health professional.