Types of Acne Scars - Can Acne Scars be Removed?
To understand scars, you need to understand acne. Acne refers to lesions or pimples caused when the hair follicles (or "pores") on the skin become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Knowing acne scar types is an important issue because acne scar treatment, to a large extent, depends on its different categories. This acne scar type is also known as hypertrophic scars. Meaning of the term hypertrophic is overgrowth or enlargement. Keloids are formed due to overgrowth of collagen. Formation of collagen is otherwise a normal reaction of the skin to an injury which sometimes exaggerates abruptly and gives rise to bulge-like formation all over the skin surface. Each bulge measures around 1 to 2 mm in diameter and some are even larger in size. It has been observed that the tendency of keloid formation is transmitted through families, or in other words, they are genetically transmissible in nature. Therefore people who bear instances of keloid scar in their family are more susceptible to this type of strange growth of tissue. It is uncertain as to how long the keloids would persist; they might remain unchanged for years or even diminish in size over time.
Ice-pick scars: Ice-pick scars are steep and shallow in appearance. They are identified by jagged edges and steep sides. This type of acne scars is either hard or soft to touch. Soft scars have an advantage over their harder counterpart which is that they could be stretched in an attempt to fix the scar while the skin of hard scars can not be stretched. Ice-pick scars are more common on the cheeks.
Atrophic macules: This is yet another acne scar type that might appear both in face and body. The ones that appear on face are very tiny in size, while on back they take larger shape which might extend up to 1 cm or even larger. They are soft to touch, and usually have a slightly creased base. The blood vessels that lie right under the scar make it more visible by giving it a bluish appearance. However, the color changes in time and it gradually becomes bluish or ivory white and is hardly noticeable on skin surface.
Treating Early Acne Scars
Acne scars frequently heal by themselves after the underlying problem has been treated. Dermatologists have developed several approaches to treating acne scars, or pockmarks, that do not heal on their own.
The post-inflammatory changes caused by acne are part of the skin's natural healing process. There are certain practices and medications that can help facilitate this healing process.
Dermabrasion is a treatment that involves physically scraping off the top layer of skin. After deep dermabrasion treatments, time off from work or school is needed for recovery. This method removes acne scars very effectively. The less invasive approach, microdermabrasion, scrapes off a very thin layer and doesn't require recovery time away from work or school.
Subcision is a process used to treat deep rolling scars left behind by acne or other skin diseases. Essentially the process involves separating the skin tissue in the affected area from the deeper scar tissue. This allows the blood to pool under the affected area, eventually causing the deep rolling scar to level off with the rest of the skin area. Once the skin has leveled, treatments such as laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion or chemical peels can be used to smooth out the scarred tissue.