On our blog we’ve discussed different methods to treat your acne scars, but what exactly are acne scars? There are several different types which we’ll go over.
But first – what exactly is a scar? A scar is a mark left in the skin by the healing of a wound, incision, or burn. The scar mark can be raised, meaning above the level of the skin, or depressed – a mark into the skin.
Red marks left on your skin after an acne outbreak are not scars. While they may linger on your skin for a while, they will disappear over time. You may develop macules on your skin after an acne breakout. These are flat reddish spots that can remain on your skin for several months. Like the smaller red marks caused by acne, these will disappear over the course of several months. Acne scars however, will remain and are permanent unless treated.
Raised acne scars – as their name implies, these types of scars expand out of the skin. There are several types:
Hypertrophic scars stay within the area of the original acne outbreak. They can be itchy and can cause pain and discomfort.
Keloid scars are larger and will spread out over a larger area. Like hypertrophic scars they can be itchy and uncomfortable. Keloid scars are more common for people with darker skin.
Depressed acne scars – these types of scars are more common. There are three main types:
Ice Pick scars are small deep scars that form pits into the skin. Like their name implies, these scars look like impressions left by an ice pick or other narrow sharp object. Some of these scars can be very deep.
Boxcar scars look a lot like chickenpox scars. They have well defined edges and are most often found on your cheeks or temples. They are usually round or oval in shape. The depth of the scar can vary and some can be very deep.
Rolling scars are wide shallow scars that create a wave-like appearance on the skin. These scars occur when the top layer of skin attaches to some of the tissues below the surface of the skin.
What’s the best way to treat your acne scars? There are many different treatment methods for your acne scars. Not all treatment plans work the same on different types of scars. We’ve described several different acne scar treatment methods in previous posts. Your acne scar treatment plan should be unique to you and your skin care needs. Your healthcare provider can go over the different types of procedures that can be used to treat your acne scars.
What’s the best way to prevent acne scars? Realize that the skin is your largest organ and that it serves many functions including acting as a waste removing organ otherwise called an excretory organ. In the teen-age years, acne is very common. This is usually due to the changes in hormonal levels during those years. Acne is usually a self-limiting condition and can usually be managed by your medical provider. Unfortunately for some, the body’s response is severe and can lead to acne scars. However, focusing only on treating the skin’s appearance without a more thorough investigation of the other potential causes of acne may lead to acne well beyond the teens.
The best way to prevent acne scars is to take good care of your skin to prevent or minimize active acne. Start or maintain good skin cleansing habits and routine. Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. Drink plenty of water during the day and no, soda doesn’t count. Avoid excess sugar and carbohydrates since this can lead to acne and other health problems. Some may be allergic to eggs, dairy (including milk and cheese), gluten containing foods (such as wheat, rye, barley and spelt), and to other types of foods. Some may have a poorly functioning intestine or perhaps have the wrong type of bacteria or fungi growing in the intestines. Acne can also be an indication of a toxic system. In short, there are many causes for acne since acne can be more than skin deep. In aggressive or severe cases of acne, antibiotics and other types of treatment may be used by your medical provider.