You've just finished your battle with acne, expecting your skin to go completely back to normalwhen youquicklyrealize that you've been left with a variety of indents, discolorations, lumpsand bumps. It isn't leftover acne or acnebeneath the surfacejust waiting to go away, no it's more than likely anacne scarleft behind(thanks to that lovelylittle blemish that’s been residing on your face for the past year). You didn't pick, took care of your spotsproperly, and didn't pile on too many aggravating products- so what gives?
If you suffer from whiteheads and blackheads, your acne most likely will not leave any scarring behind; the more aggressive and deep forms are those which cause a disturbance in the collagen fibers of your skin. Pustules, nodules, and cysts are themostcommon types ofsevereacnewhich form deep beneath the surface of theskin, leaving behind acne scars.
As theseporesfill with pus and bacteria they swell up to an unmanageable size and come to the surface as an inflamed lesion. Because there is not enough room beneath thesurface, a deep break occurs in the folliclewall. You can actually physically feel when a cystic spot isbeginning to scarby an itching or burning sensation. To repair the damage your skin forms new collagen fibers, whichtypicallydon'tlook the same as your old skin,thatmy friendsis a scar!
FYI, popping and prying your zits is never a good ideaand can increase chances of scarring, butnopopping doesn’tnecessarily mean no scarring. Because nodules, pustules, and cysts form so deep beneath the surface, acne scarring can still occureven if you don't pop (like me). The best thing to do in the case of deep spots,isto just let the pimple run its course.Most will go away rather quickly(1-2 weeks)as long asyou're not touching and piling on aggravatingproducts!
Identifying the type of acne scarring you suffer from is extremely important because once you are aware which type you have, then you are able to properly tackle it using the correct treatment options.
Acne scars can be divided into two maincategories,atrophic, which is a loss of tissue, andhypertrophic, which is an excess growth of tissue. Within those two categories are four subcategories, rolling, boxcar, ice pick, and keloid. All scars can be superficial to severe, depending on the amount of skin tissue lost. Each havedistinctive qualities as to what constitutes them as that specific type of scar as well aspreferred treatments geared towards the individual scar type.
Icepick scars are those which are deep andnarrow,sometimesresembling the appearanceof anopen pore, andcanalso be large. The skin looks as if it were pricked by an ice pick or by another sharp object, thus the nameIcepick scar.
Icepick scars form when a cyst or another inflamed spot makes its way to the surface; the skin tissue is destroyed leaving behind a long, deep scar.
How To Get Rid Of Ice Pick Scars
Treatment Options: Icepick scars are usually treated with punch grafting, punch outexcision, and lasers.Because the scarring is deep and narrow, things like micro-dermabrasion and needling are not often recommended.
Rolling scars look exactly as the name says, they appear asa rolling or wave like texture. They typically are wide and shallow, with less defined edges. If you suffer from cheekscarringtry takinga photograph straight on; if there are large patches with less defined edges that hold the appearance of a wave or rollingmotion,you more than likely have rolling scars.Another easy way to tell if you have rolling scarsis to puffout your cheeks, if the scarsdisappear then you have rolling scars.
Rolling scars typically occur on people who had long term inflammatory acne. They begin toform as the skin ages and loses its originalelasticity.
Rolling scars are often termed the "best" scars to have due to the various treatment options that all workin repairing the skin.Because they have sloping edges you can see noticeable results through laser resurfacing, micro-dermabrasion, chemical peels, needling, andsubcision.
Cosmetic fillers are not typically recommended for rolling scars because they tend totake up alarger area of skin.
Boxcar scars again, typically appear as the name states, in a more defined, carved out, box like texture (but can also be round in shape). These scars are deep andwide with steep defined edges, giving the skin a pitted appearance.
Boxcar scars form when a breakout destroys the collagen and supporting tissue aroundthe skin. The skin is left without any fibers to support where the breakout began, creating a depressed area.
How To Get Rid of Boxcar Scars
Treatment Options:Because boxcar scars cover a smaller area than rolling scars and have defined edges, cosmetic fillers are usually a good option. The steep edges make it harder to smooth out the skins surface soit typicallytakes multiple lasertreatments inconjunction withpunch out excision and surgicalsubcisons. Shallower boxcar scars respond well to chemical peels and microdermabrasion but are ineffective for deeper scars.
Keloid scars are the least common type of acne scars. Theyappear asa raised mass of tissue, sometimes resembling a cystic spotthemselves. Keloid scars usually grow bigger than the breakoutand are most commonly foundon the bodyrather than on the face.
Keloid scars are hypertrophic, meaning that they form due to an overproduction of skin tissue and collagen rather than a loss of tissue like the other three types of scarring.
How To Treat Keloid Scars
Treatment Options:Steroid creams and cortisone injections are most commonly the first line of defense when it comes to the treatment of keloid scars. Because they are raised, Keloid scars are treated much differently incomparison to atrophic scarring; the focus is placed on flattening, shrinking, and softeningof the scar tissue.