Acne can come in all shapes, sizes and forms and differ in terms of severity, sometimes they vanish after a few days or even a few weeks but in some cases they leave a scar. Acne can appear in the form of red pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, or pus-filled cysts. Below we will go through them with the help of Healthline.
These are flat, shallow depressions that heal below the top layer of skin. These scars are commonly caused by severe cystic acne. However, other types of acne can cause them as well. It is an indented scar that heals below the normal layer of skin tissue. Atrophic scars form when the skin is unable to regenerate tissue. As a result, it leaves behind imbalanced scarring.
Chemical peels are a common treatment method. The peeling process involves destroying the damaged layer of skin by applying chemicals to its surface. The chemical solution causes your skin to peel, producing a fresh layer underneath.
This regeneration decreases the appearance of atrophic scars. Peels can take days to weeks to show improvement. In some cases, your skin requires substantial time to heal. Below are some effective chemical peel products to try out:
The appearance of atrophic acne scars can vary depending on a person’s history with acne. There are three types of atrophic scars:
Boxcar scars are broad, usually box-like depressions with sharply defined edges. Boxcar scars are caused by widespread acne, chickenpox, or varicella, a virus causing a red, itchy rash with blisters. Boxcar scars most often form on areas like the lower cheeks and jaw, where skin is relatively thick. Soft-tissue fillers are a common treatment specifically for boxcar scars. They are used to level or raise the indented scars to match the normal layer of skin. Fillers are injected under the scar and provide almost immediate results. Over time, the soft tissue fillers improve skin volume and decrease scarring appearance.
Ice pick scars
Ice pick scars are smaller, more narrow indentations that point down into the skin’s surface. These scars are common on the cheeks. Ice pick scars tend to be very tough to treat, and often require persistent, aggressive treatment. One treatment method that is very effective are punch excision treatments. In this procedure, your doctor uses a needle the size of your scar to cut out the scar tissue. Then, your doctor closes the wound with stitches. If your scars are more severe, your doctor will take a small skin graft from behind your ear to fill the wound. The punch excision and replacement graft methods may result in an uneven skin pigmentation and marks from the stitching. Be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor before starting.
Rolling scars have a varying depth, with sloping edges that make skin appear wavy and uneven. Subcision is an inexpensive surgical procedure best used to treat rolling atrophic scars. While effective as a solo procedure, subcision is often combined with other treatments including microneedling and chemical peels. The subcision method loosens the area around the indented scar and creates a new wound that can heal properly and match your normal layer of skin. During this procedure, your doctor will insert a needle under the skin repeatedly in various directions around the scar tissue, using a fanning motion. After the procedure, pressure and ice should be applied to the affected site to prevent bleeding. Subcision may be repeated if your scar is more severe.
Hypertrophic and keloid scars
Unlike atrophic scars, hypertrophic and keloid scars form as raised lumps of scar tissue where the acne once was. This happens when scar tissue builds up, sometimes from previous acne spots.
Hypertrophic scars are the same size as the acne that caused them. Keloid scars create a scar larger than the acne that caused them and grow beyond the sides of the original spot.
Hypertrophic and keloid scars are more common on areas such as the jawline, chest, back, and shoulders. People with a darker skin color are more likely to develop this type of scarring.
Your dermatologist can perform one or more treatments to start reducing the appearance of your hypertrophic and keloid scars by minimising the height of the scar. This can include:
- Steroid injections: Steroids are injected directly into a scar to soften the scar tissue, which can reduce its height. Usually you’ll need several steroid injections spaced several weeks apart.
- Surgical removal
- Laser therapy: This may include both ablative and nonablative laser therapy.
- Laser resurfacing
- Steroid injections to soften the scar tissue and reduce its size
- Surgical removal
- Over-the counter (OTC) scar treatments like silicone sheets or oils
(Note: Information from Healthline)