Acne, on its own, is extremely frustrating and can take a serious toll on our confidence. Unfortunately, even after active acne controlled and cleared with the right skincare products, we’re often left with a long-term reminder of the pimples that were once there—acne scars. While post-acne dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be treated successfully with a dark spot remover, treating real, textured acne scars is challenging. That said, it is certainly possible! Read on to learn more.
What causes acne scars?
Acne scars result from active acne inflammation in the dermis (i.e., the thick layer of living tissue below the epidermis, which gives strength to the skin). The acne scar is actually created by the wound trying to heal itself, resulting in the overproduction of collagen fibers in the area where the pimple once was. While most pimples will heal independently without leaving a permanent scar, cystic acne lesions are more likely to leave behind a scar due to the more significant inflammation and damage to the dermis. Besides, popping and picking pimples dramatically increases scars’ risk due to greater damage and disruption to the healing process.
What are the different types of acne scars?
Hyperpigmentation: the term “acne scar” is often misused when referring to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). These are post-acne marks that aren’t technically scars but rather dark spots left on the skin after a pimple heals. They can range in color from dark brown to reddish, to pink, depending on skin tone and severity but tend not to be textured (pitted or raised).
Atrophic Scars: These depressed or raised scars can be divided into different groups;
Icepick scars: Deep, narrow scars that appear like pinpoint pits (deeper than they are wide).
Rolling acne scars: Broad, inconsistent depressions that give the skin a wave-like appearance.
Boxcar scars: Sharply defined, pitted scars that are depressed with steep borders. These are usually round or oval and tend to appear on the temples and the cheeks. Boxcar scars are more difficult to treat than another type of acne scar.
Hypertrophic scars: Raised, tough scars caused by overproduction of collagen during the skin healing process. Keloid scars are similar but extend beyond the size of the original wound.