Do your acne scars constantly trouble you? Acne in itself is quite emotionally draining! But the prominent scars they leave behind can cause you more stress.
The good news is, these scars can be treated with time, dedication, and the right treatment. But before that you need to understand what they are.
In this article, we have put together information that will make it easier for you to understand more about acne scars and how you can treat them.
What is Acne Scarring?
Acne scars are the result of breakouts caused by skin pores blocked with dead cells, excess oil, and bacteria. Blocking leads to swelling of the pores, which may cause breakage in the follicle wall. This can create deep or shallow lesions that prominently appear on the skin.
Shallow lesions are usually minor and heals faster than the deep ones. Deep breakage in the wall of the pore increases the risk of spilling out the infected material into the surrounding tissues thus creating deeper lesions. Your skin tries to repair these lesions by forming new collagen fibers. However, these repairs aren’t smooth compared to your original skin.
Why Do We Get Acne Scars?
Scars appear because your body tries to repair your acne. How your body responds to a wound determines the amount of scarring you will get.
Acne scars are the result of inflamed acne lesions. These lesions penetrate through your skin, damaging the tissues beneath it. This may leave a mark or pit behind.
Acne scars take on two primary forms. One in which a scar develops where there is a loss of tissue resulting in an indentation on the skin surface, or the other form in which a scar, a raised one, develops on the skin surface. This type of scar indicates that your skin is doing its normal function well. In the process of helping the acne heal, your skin creates collagen. When there's too much collagen, then there are chances that raised scars develop.
Are Acne Scars Genetic?
They are not genetic. While acne scars themselves aren't a genetic condition, certain genes can certainly influence how likely you are to develop acne. It's such that if your parents struggled with acne, you might too. This can ultimately lead to development of acne scars.
Types of Acne Scars
Acne scars can be atrophic (caused by a loss of tissue) or hypertrophic (caused by excess tissue).
A. Atrophic Scars
Such scars are shallow, flat depressions that usually heal below the top layer of the skin. Severe cystic acne is the most common cause behind atrophic scars, but there might be other types of acne as well.
These are further segregated into ice pick scars, boxcar scars and rolling scars.
B. Ice Pick Scars
Ice pick scars are the result of a severe acne lesion. They usually develop after an infection from cysts that work their way deep into the skin. Ice pick scars are commonly noticed on the cheeks.
These scars are narrower than boxcar and rolling scars. However, they are deeper and more noticeable to the naked eye. Ice pick scars tend to be tough to treat. Home remedies may not work for these scars and it requires aggressive treatment.
C. Boxcar scars
Boxcar scars are wider than ice pick scars. They look like round craters or box-like depressions with sharp edges, giving the skin a pitted, uneven appearance. They can be narrow or deep.
Boxcar scars are caused by widespread acne, chickenpox, or varicella. They occur due to inflammatory breakouts that destroy the collagen. This leads to loss of tissue, which creates depressions in the skin. Boxcar scars are common on the lower cheeks, or jaws, where the skin is relatively thick.
D. Rolling Scars
As the name suggests, rolling scars are wide with rounded, sloping edges. They make the skin look uneven and irregular.
They are caused by fibrous bands of tissues that develop between the skin and subcutaneous tissue below. The bands pull the epidermis, giving the skin a rolling appearance.
E. Hypertrophic Scars
These scars appear as raised lumps of scar tissue. They are the result of excess tissue in the area where the lesion had developed. This happens when scar tissues build up from previous acne spots.
Hypertrophic scars are equal to the size of acne that caused them. They are commonly noticed on the jawline, back, chest, and shoulders. Those with darker skin color are more likely to develop these acne scars.
F. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
You may notice a dark or discolored patch of skin after your acne heals. This is not a scar but post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, that happens when your skin is damaged by severe acne or if you’ve picked or squeezed your acne. However, your skin will regain its natural color over time with a good sun protection routine.
How to Remove Acne Scars- Treatment Options
There are several home treatments and in-office methods that people use to get rid of acne scars.
1. Home Treatments
Before starting any treatment for scars, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist. It’s important for you to know your skin before going ahead with a treatment to reduce your acne scars.
A. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid, a naturally occurring compound, is a popular ingredient in most anti-acne skincare products. It helps clear dirt, skin cells, debris from your pores and reduces scarring. which otherwise leads to acne.
This magic ingredient can be used to reduce swelling and redness in the area, which may minimize the appearance of scars. Salicylic acid is great for all scar types, however for people with sensitive skin, it is recommended to conduct a patch test before applying it on the entire face, as it may cause irritation or dryness.
B. Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Not only are they used to treat acne, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) also helps in reducing the appearance of scars . It helps to get rid of dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores.
AHAs help exfoliate the rough outer surface of the skin to improve texture and reveal fresh skin underneath. This may help with discoloration due to scarring.
C. Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is found in the form of various creams and lotions, available at your nearest drugstore. Many products for acne contain lactic acid.
Lactic acid works as a gentle peel to lift dead skin cells. It improves the overall texture of the skin and reduces the appearance of scars. Lactic acid may help lighten dark scar tissue, however, it may cause hyperpigmentation in certain cases. Due to this possible side effect, it is advised to conduct a patch test before using
Get customized face care product formulated specially as per your skin type and problem. Click on the button below to know more:Order Customized Face Care Products