Acne Scars: Know the 5 Main Types and How to Treat Them

Acne Scars: Know the 5 Main Types and How to Treat Them

A lot of people will get acne at some point in their lives. This may be due to genes, stress, poor skin care hygiene or even hormones. And the sad truth is it affects not just teenagers but adults, both men and women, as well.

Acne is a type of skin condition that occurs when the sebaceous glands produce too much oil.

AcneAlthough this may not particularly be harmful, the problem lies when the excess oil join forces with dead skin cells, thereby creating an ideal environment for bacteria and dirt to grow. Hence, acne happens. If you think that acne is already a burden, more so when it started to leave marks on your face.

So what are acne scars? Can it be treated? Can it be prevented? Read on to find out.

What Are Acne Scars?

Acne ScarsWhether you call it pimple scars, acne scars or scars that result from inflammatory acne, having an acne scar can be a burden. It occurs in areas where past cystic blemish lesions were present. This means that even without picking your pimple, acne scar can happen if your acne condition is severe.

Keep in mind that an acne scar is different from a hyper-pigmented red mark on your skin that happens once the acne lesions has healed. It is merely a post-inflammatory change which the skin has to go through during the healing and remodelling process. But if the color change or defect did not fade after a year, then it can be considered as a permanent defect or scar.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Scar happens when there is an injury to the tissues. In the case of acne, the build up of bacteria and excess oil in the follicles causes the injury. As a response, the body sends out white blood cells and inflammatory molecules to the damaged cells. It stays in there for several weeks to allow the cells to heal and to prevent further infection.

Normally, the damaged tissue will return to its former state. But there are instances where the follicle wall is so damaged or there is a bigger infection in the deeper layers of the skin. If this is the case, it can result to tissue loss and permanent scarring. Hence, acne scars.

What Are The 5 Different Types Of Acne Scars?

Not all acne scars look the same. The appearance, depth and the type of acne scar will depend on the damage done on the skin and how the skin was able to repair itself from such damage.

Acne scars come in 5 main forms.

  • AtrophicAtrophic, which is mostly shallow. Because of the loss of skin tissue, it will create a pitted or pockmarked look in your skin.
  • Boxcar-shaped. This type of acne scar is usually round or oval in shape with steeply angled sides. It looks wider than ice pick scars, hence the pitted appearance.   
  • Ice-picked shaped scars are deep but very narrow scars that go deeper into the dermis. From the name itself, this type of acne scar looks as if your skin is pierced by an ice pick or a sharp instrument.
  • Hypertrophic or keloid scars. When the skin produces too much collagen during the healing process, a raised mass of tissue will be created. However, raised scars are not very common on acne scars but it can still happen.
  • Rolling scars. As the name implies, rolling scars causes a rolling or wavelike appearance on your skin. It pulls the epidermis and binds it at the deeper structures of your skin, hence the rolling look.

DermatologistCan It Be Treated?

Of course. Like any other skin conditions, there are several ways on how to treat acne scars. But before you subject yourself to any of the available treatments, it is important to have yourself checked by a dermatologist. Acne scars come in variety of forms and has a corresponding method to effectively reduce the appearance of the scar.

LaserHere are some of the available treatments for acne scars.

Acne scars treated using laser come in two forms: ablative, which removes the outer layer of the skin; and non-ablative or a procedure where the dermis is changed without causing damage to the skin’s surface. Non-ablative lasers also tighten the skin while stimulating the formation of collagen.

Punch techniques. Acne scars can also be reduced using the following methods:

  • Punch excision. This procedure uses a small punch tool to cut the scar from the skin. Once the scar is excised, the skin will be sutured closed.
  • Punch graft. When the scar is excised, a skin graft will be used to fill in the void. Usually, the graft is taken behind the ear since it is less noticeable.
  • Punch elevation. When it comes to this method, only the base of the scar is excised. Then the base of the skin will be elevated to the skin’s surface where sutures, steri-strips or skin glue will be used to attach it.

Hyaluronic acidDermal fillers. In this procedure, a filler substance such as human collagen or hyaluronic acid will be injected into the acne scar. Then the base of the scar will be elevated so it is more even with the skin’s surface. However, the results are not permanent and the treatment needs to be repeated after a few months.

Steroid treatments. When it comes to hypertrophic or keloid scars, this treatment can work best. Steroids will be injected in the scar tissue causing it to shrink or flatten. Once the scar tissue is softened, its overall appearance will be improved.

Subcision. This method is advisable for rolling or depressed acne scars. A needle or small scalpel will be used to cut the bands of tissue that tethers the skin to deeper levels. As a result, the skin will lift visibly, smoothing the skin’s surface.

Scar removal creams or gelsScar removal creams or gels. If you want a safer, scalpel-less procedure, then scar removal creams can be your best bet. However, not all topical solutions are meant to work. The good news is Dermefface FX7 won’t let you down. It contains essential ingredients that push scarred cells on the surface of the skin and be replaced by normal, healthy cells. Plus, it increases collagen production to make the scars less visible.

How Can Acne Scars Be Prevented?

But why would you want to go through any of these treatments when you can prevent pimple scars on the first place? If you want to minimize acne scars, especially when you are suffering from cystic acne, here are some of the things you can do.

  • Treat acne as soon as possible. In short, don’t let it go worse.
  • Stay away from anything that can further irritate or inflame your skin.
  • Do not squeeze, pick, prick or pop pimples.
  • In case of cyst or deep breakouts, consult your doctor immediately.

Remember that there is no single treatment that is the best and most advisable for everyone. Trial and error will come into play until your body is able to properly respond and eventually get rid of acne. Treating acne scars and the effective of the chosen method varies from person to person. After all, no one is alike.