Acne scars are the blemishes left on the skin after an outbreak of acne. When the hair follicles or pores are inflamed due to excess oil or dead skin deposits they leave behind lesions due to swelling of the follicle wall. These lesions sometimes heal unevenly due to a low production of collagen while the wound heals. This results in scarring. Although the scars once healed are painless, it could affect the confidence and self-esteem of a person due to its unappealing appearance.
Type of scarsAcne scars are treatable depending upon the type and severity of the case. It is important to first understand the type of scars in order to proceed with the right treatment plan. There are mainly 2 types of scarring
- Atrophic or depressed scars – The scar heals with a low amount of collagen creating a depression amidst surrounding skin
- Hypertrophic or raised scars – They are raised scars due to an excess of collagen during healing.
- Boxcar – Depressed scars that are sharp edged with well defined shape, shallow or deep. Shallow scars respond better to treatments.
- Ice Pick – These scars occur in deep small pits.
- Rolling scar – These scars are wide shallow depressions with rolling edges.
Treatment optionsMany treatment options are available to treat acne scars. Dermatologists may recommend a combination of different procedures to get significant results. One of the first steps is to even out the skin; remove damaged skin until healthy skin appears. This could be achieved in any of the following ways
- Chemical peels – A strong is used to remove the top layer of the skin to reduce the depth of scars
- Dermabrasion – A procedure that exfoliates the top layer of the skin.
- Laser – A laser is also used to even out the skin by removing the top layer
- Fillers – A filler is used to smooth out a depressed scar. It usually contains collagen, commercial filler or your own fat.
- Minor surgery – To remove prominent scars, minor surgery is performed where the scarred skin is cut away and repaired with stitches (these scars would fade away in time).
- Side Effects – There aren’t any significant side effects from any of these procedures apart from mild redness, inflammation, swelling and itching. They are dependent upon skin types and are not a common occurrence for all.