Acne is an inflammation of the skin that is caused by clogged pores that are a result of an overproduction of oil mixed with dead skin cells. When an acne lesion becomes infected it damages the skin's collagen, leading to changes in the texture and appearance of the skin. To repair the damage, the body produces more collagen; however the skin's appearance is never quite as smooth and supple as it was to begin with and can leave the skin with a scar.
There are two main types of acne scars; atrophic, caused by a loss of skin tissue and hypertrophic, caused by an over production of collagen. Hypertrophic scars are raised lumps of skin tissue that can become larger than the original wound and are often found on areas of the back and chest. Atrophic scars are the opposite. They form into shallow pitted depressions that can be superficial or severe depending on how much skin tissue was damaged.
There are a variety of factors that can cause a person to develop acne scars including genetics and hygiene. But, what puts people at the highest risk of developing acne scars is not receiving treatment at the onset of the condition. The more breakouts you experience and the longer the condition lasts, the higher the chance you have of scarring. Consulting with a skin care profession as soon as acne symptoms appear is the best way to prevent skin damage and keep your skin looking healthy and radiant for years to come.