Acne scars are stubborn and treatment is different from one person to another. Various procedures can improve one’s complexion. In order to have an idea of what acne scarring is all about, the following details on the causes, types of scars, prevention and treatment of scars will help in the understanding of this common skin problem.
Causes of Acne Scars
Acne scarring can negatively impact a person’s quality of life because of the permanent damage such scars cause the skin. Usually caused by an inflamed lesion like a cyst or pustule, acne scars are the obvious effects of acne breakouts. When pores become puffed up with sebum, bacteria or dead skin cells, blemishes become inflamed. These inflamed pores swell and create a break in the follicle wall and the deep ruptures in the follicle wall can destroy healthy skin tissue and leave you with permanent acne scarring. Two types of scars may result – ice pick scars or deep pits which are the most common form of acne scarring, and keloids or elevated thickened tissues.
Prevention of Acne Scars
Scarring caused by acne occurs to people in different ways. And while it is hardly predictable on who will have scar, or how deep the acne pits will be, it is similarly hard to project how extensive the damage of the scars will be on one’s skin. One way to help in preventing or at least limiting the damage of scars is to immediately treat acne at its early course and until it is fully treated. Preventing the onset of acne breakouts increases the chances of preventing acne scarring. Consultation with a dermatologist is necessary in order to have the right scarring preventive measures in case of acne breakouts.
Types of Acne Scars
Acne scars are generally classified into two types according to the tissue response to inflammation:
- Scars caused by increased tissue formation. Scars that enlarge spontaneously forming firm, hard but smooth growths are called keloids or hyperatrophic scars. Keloids and hyperatrophic scars are associated with overproduction of collagen, which is the skin cells’ response to injury. While most people do not form keloids, there are those who develop keloids after minor injuries, insect bites or pricked pimples.
- Scars caused by loss of tissue. These scars are quite similar to the scars that result from chicken pox. They are more common than keloids or hyperatorphic scars. They are classified as:
- Ice-pick scars which are small with jagged edge and steep sides similar to sounds from an ice pick, usually appear on the cheek.
- Depressed fibrotic scars which are usually large, with sharp edges and steep sides and the base of the scars firm to the touch.
Treatments for Acne Scars
People with acne scars should understand that treatment prescribed for acne scars may not restore the skin’s condition prior to the acne breakouts. Treatment will help improve the skin’s appearance and condition. The various scar treatments available include:
- Autologous fat transfer- used to correct deep contour defects caused by scarring.
- Dermabrasion – a skin resurfacing procedure.
- Microdermabrasion – new technique or surface form of dermabrasion.
- Laser Treatment – used to recontour scar tissue and reduce the redness of skin.
- Skin Surgery – ice pick scars are removed by ‘punch’ excision of each scar.
- Subcision – a surgical probe is used to lift the scar tissue away from the unaffected skin, elevating a depressed scar.
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