Types Of Acne Scarring
Acne scars are caused through the bodies reponse to inflammation, trauma and injury
People with acne either have a high inflammatory response (known as secondary inflammatory response) or a low inflammatory response (single inflammatory response).
Those with a high inflammatory response have a much higher tendency to scar as a result of their acne.
Unlike those with a lower inflammatory response that even during the severest cases of acne, will not scar.
There are several types of acne scarring, the most common types are:
Ice Pick Scars
These are scarring that most people will be familar with.
Ice pick scars are pitted scars that are normally only about 2mm across in diameter and the get the name from their appearance, it looks as though the skin has been jabbed or ‘pricked’ by an ice pick.
Rolling scars give the skin an almost ‘wavy’ or criss-crossed appearance and are caused from skin damage underneath the skin’s surface. These scars are fairly shallow but they can be quite wide.
These scars are very similar in those left from chickenpox. They vary in their severity, some scars may be deeper than others but they are very angular in appearance with vertical edges. They are commonly found on the cheeks and the temples.
Less Common Scarring
Hypertrophic scarring is usually the end of result of severe acne such as acne conglobata, due to the amount of cysts and nodules that are present. They have a raised and lumpy appearance.
They normally appear around the area where trauma or a wound occurred and over time they can decrease in size.
They are most commonly found on the back or chest but can occur on the face and neck.
Acne Scarring Is Believed In Some Cases To Be Hereditary
While not strictly scarring, hyperpigmentation can leave behind a permanent pigment or ‘mark’ called a macule. This occurs after a spot has healed and it can persist for months, even years afterwards. They do eventually fade although it can take a considerably long time for them to be unnoticable.
What Are The Treatments For Acne Scarring?
Microdermabrasion is an exfoliation process where a highspeed (usually) diamond chip wand is carefully rolled over the skin’s surface, removing the first superficial layer of skin.
This helps to remove scarring and reduce the appearance of deeper scars and help to give the skin a smoother texture.
The healing process can be lengthy and at times it can be uncomfortable.
Several treatments are sometimes required so it could get rather costly.
The side effects include:
- Small grazes and abrasions
- Tightness of skin
- Increased sensitivity to sunlight
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser Skin Resurfacing (laser peel) is a procedure that uses concentrated beams of light on scarred, wrinkled and damaged skin to remove the affected skin by each layer.
It’s not suitable for darker skins or those with active acne.
Carbon dioxide and erbium laser are normally used in laser resurfacing and they work by destroying the damaged skin cells on the skin’s surface.
Side effects from the procedure include:
- Bacterial infection
- Pigmentation changes
- Possible reactivation of the cold sore virus
- Milia (small white bumps on the skin’s surface)
- Redness of skin that can persist up to 6 months
TCA Peel (Trichloroacetic Acid)
A TCA Peel uses Trichloroacetic Acid (which is a chemical similar to acetic acid) to treat acne scars, pigmentation problems as well as lines and wrinkles.
The acid removes the damaged layer of skin by causing trauma to the epidermis of the skin which causes the outer layers to peel away promoting new skin cell growth so healthy skin takes its place, revealing smoother, clearer skin with a more even tone.
The depth of the peel can be adjusted according to the individual but the higher the concentration of TCA the longer the recovery time.
It’s not suitable for dark skin or very sensitive skin.
Side effects include:
- Swelling and discomfort
- Pigment Changes
- Increased eye and skin sensitivity
Natural Scar Removal Creams
There are many natural scar removal creams on the market, available either on the high street or online that help to diminish the appearance of scarring making it less noticeable.
Scar removal creams typically contain ingredients such as Retinol (a form of vitamin A) Vitamin C and Vitamin E.