What Is Acne Scar?
An acne scar is a result of inflammation caused by acne within dermis of your skin. Acne affects almost 85% of people at some point in their life. It may last for a few months or a few years and go off by itself. Once an acne lesion heals, it leaves behind a red or hyper-pigmented mark on the skin. This mark is not a scar but only a post-inflammatory change. Usually our skin takes 6-12 months to heal and remodel itself. But if the mark does not go away for more than a year, it is definitely a permanent scar. Thus an early and appropriate treatment is all you need to prevent acne from leaving acne scars and dis-pigmentation behind.
How scars are formed?
Every acne lesion works to heal itself naturally. But sometimes, it results in too much of collagen collection at one spot and a scar is formed.
Thus, every acne or pimple results in either loss of tissue or formation of new tissues over the skin. This is what forms a scar after your acne is healed. The loss of tissue results in milder scars such as ice pick, indented boxcar, rolling and depressed fibrotic scars, while formation of new, thick layer of tissue results in severe forms of scars such as fibrotic, hypertrophic or keloid acne scars.
In many cases acne heals without leaving any scars, but in cases of severe, cystic and inflamed acne permanent scars are often left out. Such scarring gives a very old look to your skin and the skin may also lose its elasticity over the time.
Generally there are two causes of acne scars.
* The first is the increase in tissue formation due to collagen build-up in the skin. Scars caused by increased tissue formation are also known as keloids scars. It is believed that keloid scars are generally genetical.
“* The second cause is loss in tissue formation. Such scars are more common.
One of the main steps to prevent acne scarring is simply not to pick, pinch, and squeeze your pimples. Besides, you can use glycolic peels and some special creams to soften the scar tissue and enhance the texture of the skin. You can also use cryotherapy, collagen injections and some other vitamins and minerals that help reduce acne scarring such as the vitamins A and E, as well as zinc.
Types of scars
Ice Pick Scars-
A scar that makes your skin appear as if it has been pierced by a pin or needle is known as ice pick scar. Such scars are deep and narrow and they usually extend up to the dermis. The scar usually looks like a small hole in the skin or a large one may resemble an open skin pore. It is usually a result of cystic acne or a deep blemish.
Ice pick scars are best treated with punch excision or punch grafting.
Boxcar Scars are wider than ice pick scars. They are round or oval depressions in the skin with steep vertical sides. They form small pits in to the skin as those appear after one has had chicken pox. They are a result of tissue loss caused due to a severe inflammatory breakout.
Boxcar scars are best treated with the help of punch excision, punch elevation, dermal fillers or laser resurfacing.
If you get a wave-like appearance of scars over your skin, it could essentially be a wave of rolling scars. These scars are formed when fibrous bands of tissues develop between the layers of skin. These bands pull the epidermis and bind it to the deeper structures of the skin to form an impression of rolling waves on your skin.
Rolling scars are best treated with the help of subcutaneous incision, also known as subcision.