What causes acne scars?

Acne scars occur as a consequence of injury to the skin during the healing of active acne. Inflammatory acne can result in permanent scars, the severity of which depends on delays in treating acne. Scars are developed when a breakout punctures the skin profoundly and destroys the tissues beneath.

Types of acne scars

There are two types of acne scars depending on whether there is net loss or gain of collagen tissue, namely- atrophic and hypertrophic.

1. Atrophic scars are more common on the face. A depressed scar sits below the surrounding skin. They are formed when enough collagen is not formed while the wound is healing. Acne scars are a cosmetic after-effect of acne which may have a negative impact on self-esteem, social life, and relationships in adolescence as well as in adult life. It is to noted that there are no effective medical therapies available for the atrophic acne scars. However, a number of treatments are available to reduce the appearance of scars which can give the patient a visibly smoother and improved facial skin. 

Atrophic scars can further be classified based on their clinical appearance, which can be of the types mentioned below 

  • Boxcar: These are wide, U-shaped scars that have sharp edges. They can be shallow or deep. The more superficial they are, the better they respond to the skin resurfacing treatments.
  • Ice pick: Ice pick scars are narrow, V-shaped scars that can go deep into the skin. They can look like small round or oval holes. These are the most challenging scars to treat because though they appear small on the surface, they can stretch far under the surface of the skin.
  • Rolling: These are wide depressions that typically have round or curved edges and an irregular, rolling appearance.

2. Hypertrophic Scars are a type of raised scarring and can occur after a bout of inflammatory acne. Men suffering from severe acne, suffer from the hypertrophic scar that appears on their torso. These scars are formed when the body produces too much collagen, during the healing process of inflammatory acne, or it forms after deep wound or trauma. The face can also develop hypertrophic scars. However, they are mostly in popular forms over nose and chin and pose a challenge to conventional treatment. 

The following are the advanced acne scar treatments for optimum results:

  1. Plasma Induction Therapy: It is effective in healing mild or shallow atrophic acne scars and open pores. A sterile roller is used, which causes micro-injuries in the skin by creating tiny holes with micro needles. This starts the healing mechanism of the body. It heals open wounds by propelling collagen production that improves the scar, its texture, and elasticity of the skin. Plasma rich in platelets and growth factors when infused with micro needling boosts collagen production and helps in improving the skin texture as well. Growth factors also hydrate the skin and impart glow to the face. All of it leads to smoother texture and healthier skin.
  2. Pixigenus Laser: It is used in case of medium depth scars. Latest is non-ablative and fractional laser technology. This creates a pattern of tiny microscopic wounds surrounded by undamaged tissue. The micro-beams penetrate deep resulting in re-growth of cells and collagen remodelling. Unlike traditional non-ablative laser, this does not remove the complete skin layer, instead creates selective small perforations in the skin leaving surrounding tissue intact, thus reduces the downtime of treatment and helps skin heals faster as epidermis regenerates. The micro injuries created during the procedure will start the healing process as collagen remodels, skin tightens, and texture improves. This protocol is completely safe. During the treatment, the patient can feel mild heat sensation for about a couple of hours, and after that virtually there is no discomfort at all.
  3. Neoclone Laser: This involves thermo-mechanical energy. It vaporizes channels in the skin and is used in medium depth scars. As a result, new collagen is produced that effectively treats active acne scars. Also, these channels are useful to deliver a cocktail of serums and plasma rich in growth factors to a deeper layer of skin and yield faster and efficient collagen production with faster healing.
  4. Microneedling Radiofrequency: This technique is the most advanced and unique as it is useful in most of the difficult acne scars. It is used in medium to deep scars. It can be used in patients with pigmented and tanned skin. It has less downtime and better compliance. Extremely tiny insulated needles are introduced in the skin and radiofrequency is given to heat the dermis. This leads to collagen induction and skin rejuvenation. It is one of the best treatment as provides with minimal downtime and best results.

Acne scarring is no longer a problem without a solution. Never forget, scarring is preventable. The earlier it's dealt with, the less likely acne scars will occur in the future. Prevention is the best and most effective form of treatment. Always consult your dermatologist for the best solution.

Keep Healthy Keep Glowing!