Perhaps one of the worst things about acne is that once you’ve finally gotten rid of it, you’re left with not-so-subtle reminders of what was there. Acne scars can often be as annoying, if not more so, than pimples themselves. The right skincare routine and talking to a dermatologist can help bring down those pesky pimples. But what are you supposed to do with the leftover scars?
What Causes Acne Scars?
The result of inflamed blemishes, acne scars occur when the follicle wall breaks. Shallow lesions can heal quickly, but deep breaks in the wall of the pore take longer to heal. A mix of collagen fibers and other treatments can help repair acne scars.
Understanding the Types of Acne Scars
Having a better understanding of the type of acne scars you’re struggling with can help steer your treatment in the right direction. While home remedies can be effective in many cases, sometimes professional assistance is required.
These look like flat, shallow depressions that start healing under the top layer of your skin. Cystic acne is often the culprit of these types of scars. They can be either:
- Boxcar Scars: tend to look box-like with sharply defined edges. Chickenpox and varicella can also cause these types of scars.
- Ice-pick Scars: usually smaller and narrower, commonly found by the cheeks. They require more aggressive treatment.
- Rolling Scars: these vary in-depth and often make the skin appear uneven.
Hypertrophic & Keloid Scars
These are formed as raised bumps, appearing over the area where acne once was. Unlike other types of scars, hypertrophic ones are an accumulation of scar tissue buildup. They often appear by the jawline, chest, shoulders, and back.
Probably the most common type of scars, they appear once the acne starts to heal, leaving either a discolored patch of skin or a darker tone behind. They’re not technically scars, rather hyperpigmentation issues that can be resolved with a proper sun protection regimen. If you pick on your acne, most likely, you’ll develop hyperpigmentation.
When to Seek Help
For most people, acne scarring is not such a big deal once the acne is gone. It often feels like a relief, not to mention it usually goes away by itself. However, those struggling with discoloration or other scars for more than a year should speak with a dermatologist.
When at-home remedies seem insufficient, professional treatments can help reduce the appearance of acne scars faster and safer. So, if you’re struggling with severe acne scars, know that there are treatments available to help you restore your skin’s health.