Acne Scarring 101

When acne heals or when treated by a dermatologist, there are some instances when it will leave some scarring on skin. This is especially true with acne that appears on the later stages of life. Adult skin does not have a store of collagen that helps the skin heal and regenerate. Scarring may also occur when the acne is quite severe. This is because the problem is more intensive, cutting through the skin with more depth than what is usually seen with acne that are only on the surface.

A scar may initially appear as reddish in appearance. After a white, when the skin heals and try to regenerate, the scar will become lighter, sometimes turning white, several shades lighter than the skin tone. There may be pain sometimes, even irritation. Itching is of course not uncommon because as the skin heals, the wound dries up. Sometimes, there may also be some inflammation, swelling and redness.

Normally, only nodules and cystic acne types result in scarring. However, there are people who are more prone to scarring than others. With these people, even the common lesions may result in scarring if not treated well. This is why it is important that people have their acne treated even at the initial stages to prevent scarring and permanent damage to the skin.

Basically, there are two kinds of acne. One kind is the one caused by the increase in tissue formation while the other is caused by the loss of tissue on the skin. The former is what people call keloids, which does not look like your usual scar. Keloids are bumps of skin that resemble a pimple, forming even after the wound has already healed. It can even form on the surrounding healthy tissue. Keloid scarring is actually quite rare and only affects people who have family history of it.

Hypertrophic scars, on the other hand, form above the skin level and appear as bulges and bumps on the skin. Because of this, some people do not think of it as scars but rather pimples that have not yet healed.

The more usual scars are the deep and shallow kind that resembles small crevices on the skin. These are called the Atrophic scars, which are formed below the skin level. There are several types of these kind of scar depending on the shape that it forms on the skin. The ice pick scars, which is the most common, is characterized by deep pits that form v-shapes on the skin. Another form is the boxed scars that are usually seen on temple and cheeks. They are angularly shaped, almost similar to the ones gotten in chicken pox. They can be either superficial or deep depending on the severity of the acne condition. The rolling scar, on the other hand, is the kind that gives the skin a wave-like appearance.

Scarring can actually be treated depending on the severity of the scarring problem, your skin type and of course the type of scars that you have. Sometimes, the location of the scars will also affect the treatment. Often, scarring at the back and at the chest are more difficult to treat compared to those found on the face.

There are a lot of treatment procedures available for scarring such as corticosteroid injections and cryosurgery. Surgical procedures may also be done to remove the scarring as well as x-ray therapy.


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