Acne leads to inflammation of the skins follicles. This causes breaks in the skin and damage to our skin tissue. Our skin may attempt to heal itself by laying down collagen and melanin where there are breaks in the skin. This disregulated healing process can lead to scarring, unevenness and hyperpigmentation at our skin's surface.
Acne scarring can be subdivided into four main types:
HYPERTROPHIC SCARRING (KELOID SCARS): This type of scarring is due to excessive healing. Your skin produces more tissue than needed to heal the wound, which leads to raised scars. This type of scar is mostly found on your back.
BOXCAR SCARRING: Well defined, deep depression in the skin. These resemble chicken pox scarring.
ROLLING SCARRING: Rounded, deep depression in the skin, with poorly defined edges.
ICE PICK SCARRING: Deep and narrow depressions in the skin, as if the skin were pierced with an icicle.
Acne scarring can often be permanent but there is a lot thing that you can do to reduce the appearance of your scars:
SPF: UV-radiation is no friend to your skin. Sunlight can cause dark marks to become darker. Take care to use SPF on a daily basis.
Stop picking at your spots: Bacteria from your fingers continue to clog up the follicles and lead to further inflammation.
Chemical peels: Hydroquinone and salicylic acid peels remove the first layer of cells from the skins surface. The new skin cells that replace this outer layer normally form a smoother surface.
Soft-tissue fillers: Such as Juvederm temporarily plump up the skin and fill in the depressions caused by scarring.
Dermabrasion: Surgically sanding down the skin to resurface the skin tissue.
Microdermabrasion: Tiny crystals are sprayed onto the skin to exfoliate the outer layer of skin cells. This technique does not work for really deep scars.
Punch Graft Replacement: This is a surgical technique where the doctor punches a hole over the scar and fills it in with a skin graft from a different area of your body. This is useful for deep acne scars such as ice pick scars. This procedure can be expensive.
Surgical Excision: This is where the scar tissue is essentially cut out of the skin and then closed with stitches. This is a surgical technique and is good for deeper scars.
Laser Resurfacing: This is where light beams are directed at the skins surface. This is a very precise technique aimed at the specific problem area. It helps to remove the outer layer of skin, allowing new cells to form a smoother surface.