Acne eruptions can be frustrating enough, but the scars that acne can leave
behind feel really awful. Acne scars reduce one’s quality of life and have
significant emotional and psychological effects leading to social
embarrassment and withdrawal, decreased confidence, low self-esteem, and
But no more worries, as the acne scars can now be treated! However, before starting the treatment for acne scars, you should first treat the acne since new acne can lead to new scars, and thus defeat the entire goal of the treatment.
Acne scars are the irregularities in the skin surface occurring after the healing
of acne lesions. They are seen as holes and depressions in the skin, varying
in shape, size and depth.
Acne scars are commonly classified as ice-pick scars, rolling scars, and boxcar scars. All these are the atrophic scars. In some individuals, acne may also result in raised and thick scars which may be hypertrophic or keloidal.
Acne scars occur as a result of skin inflammation associated with deep and
When the skin attempts to repair these deep lesions, it heals them by forming new collagen fibres. These repairs usually aren't as smooth and flawless as the original skin, causing acne scarring.
Popping or scratching the acne lesions can also increase the chance of scarring.
Acne scars are different than dark spots from acne.
Scars are the irregularities in the skin surface seen as holes and depressions. Sometimes, acne scars can be elevated as well. Scars require tissue to be damaged or overgrown. Scars are difficult to fully remove, and while they may fade over time, they usually remain visible.
Dark spots from acne, on the other hand, are flat lesions. They don’t indicate any long-term damage to your skin cells, pores, or follicles. It can take a while, but dark spots tend to become lighter over time, and eventually go away completely. It can take anywhere from 3 months to 2 years for them to vanish from view.
Ice-pick scars are more deep than wide. They are narrow (usually less than 2mm in diameter) with deep vertical walls, which are wide at the surface and narrow at the base.
These are distensible depressed scars with sloping edges, usually wider than 4 - 5mm.
Boxcar scars are circular depressions with sharply defined vertical edges. They vary in depth and diameter. They are usually 1.5 - 4mm wide.
Anyone who is positively motivated and wants to improve their aesthetic appearance can undergo acne scar treatment. People with active acne lesions are not suitable for scar treatment. In such cases, it is advisable to first get the acne treated and then proceed for scar improvement.
The choice of treatment for acne scars depends on the types and severity of
scars. Because no one ever has just one type of scars, therefore, usually a
combination of different treatment modalities is required for best results.
Options for mild acne scarring include:
Microdermabrasion - applies tiny rough particles from a special machine to remove the uppermost layer of skin.
The appearance of moderate to severe acne scars can benefit from the following procedures:
Dermabrasion - is the surgical removal or exfoliation of the outer layer of skin on acne scars.
Microneedling - is a procedure that uses small needles to create controlled micro-injury to the skin. This helps to stimulate the body’s own collagen production and smooth acne scarring.
Laser Treatment - uses a focussed beam of light to treat the acne, simultaneously preserving the normal surrounding tissue. It works best when combined with other modalities of treatments.
Laser Resurfacing - uses a laser to remove the scarred upper layers of skin and encourage new healthy collagen to grow in its place.
Subcision - is a simple, low-cost solution to severe acne scarring whereby a needle is used to break apart the fibrous bands of tissue that prevent the skin from laying in its natural position
TCA CROSS - Used for icepick scars.
Dermal fillers - improve the skin’s appearance by injecting a filler directly into the acne scar.
Excision and punch replacement graft - involves cutting into the skin to remove the acne scar and then stitching the wound. In punch replacement grafting, the scar is removed with a special tool, and a skin graft – usually taken from behind the ear – fills the wound.
There is no single best treatment. What will give you the best results will depend on the type and severity of your scars. So it is highly recommended that you visit an experienced dermatologist for careful assessment and detailed discussion about the therapeutic options.
You can start to notice changes after the first session itself. Collagen remodelling is a gradual and continuous process, so the improvement continues to occur for up to one year after the treatment ends. Best results can be appreciated at the end of 9-12 months.
Unfortunately, the scars can not be treated a hundred percent, but they can be reduced by a significant amount so much so that can no longer be appreciated at distance, and do not cause social embarrassment.
Yes. The results you get after completion of treatment are permanent.
The best way to prevent scar formation is to get your acne treated during early stages itself to minimise the extent and duration of inflammation.
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