There are many different scar types among acne sufferers and they can come in many different shapes and sizes. Acne scars are very common, as about 99% of the population will have acne at some point from birth, and most of us will have scars from this.
One of the main types of acne scars is depressed acne scars. These scars are a result of inflammatory acne, which includes papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. The inflammatory acne can sit on collagen rich tissue and prevent the skin from repairing the depressed scar.
Rolling scars- Rolling scars are wide and shallow depressions. The edges of rolling scars tend to be sloping or rounded and this tends to give the skin a rolling or wavy appearance which comes from damage underneath the skin.
Boxcar scars- Boxcar scars are similar to rolling scars as they are quite wide, yet tend to be deeper in the skin. This is because the scars have defined and steep edges instead of more soft and sloping edges. These scars resemble chicken pox scars.
Ice pick scars- Ice pick scars tend to be deep and narrow. They resemble a large empty pore and are usually less than 2mm wide. These types of scars catch light the most and are the most visible.
Depressed acne scars- these are common; however, acne sufferers can get raised acne scars (these are less common). Similarly, raised acne scars are also a result of inflammatory acne yet tend to be more noticeable. In the case of these types of scars, scar tissue is on the surface and causes the surface to become uneven.
Keloid scars- People with darker skin types are more prone to keloid scars. Excess collagen production causes scar tissue to form on the skin’s surface causing a keloid scar. When skin is broken, collagen is produced to help the wound heal. However, with excess collagen production, collagen can spread outside the wound and cause the bumpy uneven surface.
Hyperpigmentation- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, also known as dark or red spots are marks left behind after acne has healed. The skins inflammatory process creates these marks and they are more common among people of Asian, African and Latino descent. These marks do fade on their own and can take several months to do so. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is often referred to as a scar, however, they are not permanent. Topical retinoids, chemical peels and regular use of Alpha hydroxy acids can speed up the fading process of these marks.