Guest blog by VeganAcneSufferers
Knowing what type of acne scars you have is the first step in determining your acne scar treatment plan. After all, you cannot treat your scars unless you know what types of scars you have.
Depressive scars are the most common type of scar that results from inflammatory acne. Within this class of scars there are three main types that are common among acne sufferers:
1. Rolling scars
Roll scars are relatively broad depressions in the skin with rounded, sloping edges. The combination of several such scars in one skin region gives it a rolling appearance, hence the name.
Rolling scars are a type of scar that commonly occurs in people who have patches of skin that suffer from chronic inflammatory acne. They become more pronounced with increasing age of the skin and lose their original elasticity and fullness.
Treatment of rolling scars:
Because rolling scars have rounded, sloping edges, many of the available scar treatment techniques can achieve positive results. Laser resurfacing (ablative and non-ablative), intense pulsed light (IPL), chemical peeling, microdermabrasion and even red light therapy can improve the appearance of roller scars. Cosmetic fillers are also used occasionally, but the size of the affected area often makes fillers an unattractive option. Gentle surgical procedures such as microneedles are also used. You can also try microneedle treatments at home. Make sure you buy a high quality microneedle device to avoid injury. Banish sells high quality microneedle kits for acne scars.
2. Scars from freight wagons
Boxcar scars are also relatively wide depressions, but have steep, defined edges and are easier to feel in the defined areas.
Since boxcar scars have clearer and steeper edges than roller scars, it is more difficult to balance them and insert them into the surrounding skin. Laser resurfacing, especially ablative resurfacing with an Er: YAG or CO2 laser, often leads to good results, although many treatments may be required to achieve maximum improvement.
How to treat boxcar scars:
Boxcar scars often cover smaller areas than rolling scars and are better candidates for cosmetic fillers. Flat boxcar scars can be treated with chemical peels and / or microdermabrasion, but these treatments are not very effective for deep scars. Surgical options include die cuts, microneedles, and surgical undercuts.
3. Icepick scars
Icepick scars are, as the name suggests, deep and narrow scars. In many cases, they resemble a large, empty pore in the skin.
Treatment of ice pick scars:
Icepick scars are often the most difficult type of acne scar to treat without surgery. Icepick scars are often very deep, making it very difficult to treat using standard surface renewal techniques. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and many types of laser treatment are unlikely to have a significant impact on ice pick scars because these techniques do not remove enough tissue to be effective.
Some forms of laser therapy can effectively destroy the underlying scar tissue. Since Icepick scars are quite narrow, punch-out excisions are a popular, slightly invasive and effective treatment technique.
In general, all types of depression scars rest on a piece of fibrous, collagen-rich scar tissue. This fibrous tissue anchors the base (underside) of the scar in the subcutaneous tissue, maintains the depression and prevents the regrowth of healthy tissue.
Effective treatments for depressive acne scars usually involve breaking up or removing this scar tissue in order to replace it with functional, healthy tissue.
4. Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars
Often referred to as hypertrophic or keloidal scars, raised scars represent a different problem than depressed scars. Hypertrophic scars are those in which excess scar tissue forms at the site of the injury, which is a raised area of fibrous and solid scar tissue.
If the scar tissue forms in large excess, it can become a large knot of dense, rubber-like scar tissue, which is referred to as the keloid. The development of hypertrophic and keloid scars is less common in acne patients than the development of depressive scars. A number of factors may be involved in the process, including the severity and duration of the acne, genetics, and secondary infections.
How to Treat Hypertrophic Scars: Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars are more susceptible to treatments such as laser ablation and microdermabrasion. They can also be removed surgically. Hypertrophic scars generally respond less to treatments such as chemical peeling, since the scar tissue is much more resistant to the ingredients of a chemical peeling than healthy tissue.
The trauma associated with acne damage can cause many other abnormal conditions in the skin in addition to the formation of fibrous scar tissue. Probably the most common long-term form of acne scars is abnormal skin discoloration.
Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which increased amounts of the pigment melanin accumulate in the skin. This creates the appearance of freckled stains or stains. Hyperpigmentation occurs when melanocytes (the cells that produce the melanin pigment) begin to proliferate at the site of the injury or when an existing melanocyte population begins to produce excessive amounts of melanin. Both events may be due to trauma caused by an inflammatory acne lesion.
Fading Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation is often treated with laser treatments that specifically target melanin, such as KTP and pulsed dye lasers, and with IPL therapy (Intensive Pulsed Light). Prescription drugs such as hydroquinolone, which inhibits melanin production, and topical retinoids, which increase cell turnover in the skin, also work against hyperpigmentation.
Hypopigmentation occurs when melanocytes at the injury site are exhausted or lose their ability to produce melanin. This is often the case in areas of the skin that have been replaced with scar tissue that tends to have a light, pink appearance. It can also appear in otherwise healthy looking skin areas.
Treatment of hypopigmentation: In general, this condition is more evident in people with darker basic skin tones. Vitiligo is a disease in which melanocytes lose the ability to produce melanin. There are not many effective treatments for hypopigmentation.
Erythema is a condition in which small capillaries near the skin surface are damaged or permanently expanded. This condition presents itself as a region of reddening in the skin. Occasionally, individual capillaries are visible. It is somewhat common in acne patients and most visible in patients with lighter skin tones.
How Erythema Is Treated: Erythema can be treated with topical prescription medication to reduce vasodilation. However, the results are usually temporary. Erythema generally responds well to laser and light based treatments that selectively target hemoglobin, such as argon and pulsed dye lasers.
It is indeed helpful to know the different types of scars. From there you can identify what type of
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I got acne for the first time in high school and it came back in my early adulthood. I have mastered these difficult times and have strengthened, become smarter and healthier as a result. I am here to help you do the same!
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