Acne scars

Acne breakouts can be frustrating, and they can also leave scars on the face and other areas of the body. Acne scars do not have to be permanent, as some home remedies and medical treatments can help get rid of them. Scars are formed when a breakout penetrates the skin deeply and damages the tissues beneath it. Before you try to treat your scars, it’s important to know what type they are. Each type responds to treatment differently, and some treatments are better for particular types than others.

What are Acne Scars?

Acne scars are usually the result of inflamed blemishes caused by skin pores engorged with excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. The pore swells, causing a break in the follicle wall. Shallow lesions are usually minor and heal quickly. But if there is a deep break in the wall of the pore, infected material can spill out into surrounding tissue, creating deeper lesions. The skin attempts to repair these lesions by forming new collagen fibers. These repairs usually aren't as smooth and flawless as the original skin.

There are two main types of Acne Scars;

Atrophic scars: These scars appear as small indentations in the skin. They occur when the skin does not make enough fibroblasts in the healing process.

Hypertrophic or keloid scarring: These scars are caused when the body produces too much collagen as acne wounds heal, resulting in a mass of raised tissue on the skin's surface.

Atrophic or depressed scarring: These scars develop when there is a loss of tissue. There are two common types of atrophic scarring. "Icepick" scars are usually small, yet obvious holes in the skin. "Boxcar" scars are depressed areas, usually round or oval in shape with steeply angled sides, similar to chickenpox scars.

How do dermatologists treat acne scars?

If you and your dermatologist believe that treatment is right for you, your dermatologist will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. In creating this plan, your dermatologist will consider many things, including scar types and where the scars appear on your body. If you have taken isotretinoin to treat acne, be sure to tell your dermatologist before treatment for acne scars begins.

To obtain the best results, your dermatologist may recommend more than one treatment. For example, if you have a deep boxcar scar (often looks like a large pore), laser therapy and a type of acne scar surgery called “subcision” may be necessary to give you the results you want.

Medical treatments for acne scars:

Several Medical Treatments are available to help reduce acne scars. A dermatologist may recommend different procedures depending on a person's skin type and the extent of the scarring that include:

  • Chemical Peels
  • Injections
  • Dermal Filler
  • Microneedling
  • Laser Treatment