What is an Acne Scars?

What is Acne Scars
What is Acne Scars

Definition of Acne Scars

Acne scars are the marks of acne left behind on the skin, as the result of abnormal healing and dermal inflammation that create the scar that happen after the acne is cured.

These inflamed blemishes are usually caused by skin pores fulfilled with excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells.

This scarring is most likely occurring to people with severe acne and any form of acne vulgaris.

Acne scars are classified based on whether the abnormal healing response following dermal inflammation leads to excess collagen deposition, or loss at location of acne lesion.

What Causes Acne Scars?

After acne is cured, the skin uses white blood cells, collagen and others to repair the damage.

When 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 a deeper lesions.

As a result, the skin attempts to repair these lesions from forming new collagen fibers. These repairs usually make the surface of the skin aren't as smooth and flawless as the previous skin, so it leaves fibrous tissues behind, which causes scarring.

Blackheads, whiteheads, and other non-inflamed blemishes don’t cause scarring because they don’t injure skin tissue.

Amount of skin inflammation affects the development of the scars. The greater of inflammation, the more scarring will occur.

Type of Acne Scars

Acne causes different kinds of scars. There are 2 types of acne scars : atrophic acne scars and hypertrophic scars. Here are summary of those types.

1. Atrophic acne scars or Depressed scar

Atrophic scars are the most common type of acne scar (account for approximately 75% of all acne scars ) and are most common on the face. It's a depressed scar sits below the surrounding skin. They’re formed when not enough collagen is made while the healing response.

There are 3 types atrophic acne scars : ice-pick scars, boxcar scars and rolling scars.

1. Icepick Scar

Ice pick scars are deep, narrow ( less than 2 mm across ), pitted scars. It's V-shaped scars that can go deep into the skin. They can look like small round or oval holes, like a chicken pox scar.

These are the most difficult scars to treat because they can extend far under the surface of the skin.

2. Boxcar Scar

Boxcar scars are wide scar, round or ovoid indented scars, or U-shaped scar with sharp edges. It's vary in size from 1.5–4 mm across.

They can be shallow or deep. The shallower they are, the better they respond to skin resurfacing treatments.

3. Rolling Scar

Rolling scars are wide depressions, typically with a sloping or rounded edge and an irregular or rolling appearance, make skin appear wavy and uneven.

These are broader than ice-pick and boxcar scars ( 4–5 mm across ), which have a varying depth and a wave-like pattern of depth in the skin.

Picture of Atrophic Scars

Type of Acne Scars
Type of Acne Scars

2. Hypertrophic scars or Raised scar

Hypertrophic scars are uncommon, caused by too much collagen during wound healing process. Overproduction of collagen commonly occurs when a wound is infected or inflamed, under a great deal of tension or motion (such as in injuries over a joint), or left to heal without stitches.

They are described as firm, thickened, wide and often raised scar from where the skin is injured or where the acne is happening. These scars are more common on chest, back and shoulders.

Hypertrophic scars are the same size as the acne that caused them, unlike keloid scars create a scar larger than the acne that caused them and grow beyond the sides of the original spot.

Simple Tips to Reduce Acne Scars

There are many tips you can try to reduce the appearance of acne scars when acne occur, although acne doesn’t always lead to scarring. Because, scars are most likely to form when you have severe acne.

If you want to reduce the chances of scarring, you should try these tips:
  1. Don't pick, pop or squeeze on acne.
  2. Use a self-made paste of crushed aspirin and water to reduce inflammation.
  3. Use extra sunscreen when you're breaking out. Using it regularly can help reduce the risk of scarring.
  4. See a dermatologist for further advice about handling acne.

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