Acne affects just about everyone at some point in their lives, sometimes at the most inconvenient times, like before dates, parties, or work presentations. Acne often appears when hair follicles, or pores, on your skin get clogged by oil and dead skin cells, forming comedowns. Then bacteria can start to grow, causing inflammation and red bumps.
Acne can be mild, moderate, or severe. In severe cases, acne can cause painful, pus-filled bumps, called nodules or cysts, beneath the skin’s surface. Moderate acne tends to cause red bumps and pus-filled pimples. Mild acne causes less irritated whiteheads or blackheads with or without a few red bumps or pustules.
Most of the time, the light red or brown marks left behind by healed acne clear up over time on their own. But severe acne, especially cystic acne, is likely to leave permanent scarring as it heals.
Permanent scarring is more likely to develop if you pick at or squeeze your acne instead of treating it or allowing it to heal.
Some people don’t experience acne scars. But most people deal with at least a few acne scars at some point in their lives. The type of acne scarring you can expect depends on the type of acne you develop and how you treat it.