What are Acne Scars?
There are two types of scar tissue from can form after an acne blemish heals. One is called an atrophic scar. It’s an indented or pitted area in the skin tissue where the acne lesion was once formed. Unlike hypertrophic scars that produce an overabundance of collagen, atrophic scars occur after the collagen has been destroyed. That's why the scar tissue is sunken into your skin. These types are scars are usually caused by chicken pox or cystic acne.
Treatment for atrophic scarring is not medically necessary, though it can be bothersome as the scarring can look pitted and create the appearance of having small holes on the face. Treatment usually consists of dermal injections to fill in the scar tissue. Laser treatments, chemical peels and microdermabrasion can also help smooth the top layer of the skin and reduce the appearance of scars.
Some dermatologists may prescribe topical retinol creams, which increase the cellular turnover rate, to help address acne lesions and prevent the development of future scars. A daily at-home regimen, using professional-grade skincare products, is necessary to continue the cellular turnover rate and keep the skin smooth. Proper skincare products that contain glycolic and lactic acids, as well as other AHAs, are a part of an at-home treatment. These ingredients keep the skin exfoliated and remove top layers of dead surface cells, refining the skin's texture.
Post-inflammation hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is a scar formation left over from acne blemishes. When an acne lesion heals, it leaves a red-purple discoloration on the skin. This damage affects melanocytes (the cells that create melanin), instead of the skin, which is trying to repair trauma. The pores, where sebum (oil) is produced, become congested and clogged as bacteria builds up. As a result, a pimple forms. The inflammation of the pimple in the pore causes it to expand. When it starts to heal, it leaves behind a mark.
PIH isn’t harmful, but it causes the complexion to become uneven and discolored. PIH can be treated after its formation in the same way that hyperpigmentation would be treated. First and foremost, the acne lesions need to be treated with healing products that balance out the skin's oil production to prevent future blemishes. Skin-lightening serums that contain natural extracts of licorice, daisy and natural lactic and kojic acids help lighten the discoloration from PIH. These types of lightening products also act as an anti-inflammatory, helping reduce redness and irritation that comes with acne.
Whether scar formation is from acne or a skin-inflicted trauma, scar tissue can be treated, though maybe not completely removed. At least, though, there’s hope the skin can be smoothed so the scar becomes less noticeable.
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Scarring of any sort, can be physically unappealing and in some cases, living with scars can be traumatic. Whether they are minor or severe, scar creation is the natural result of the body healing from a wound. Scars come in different forms. Most are flat and pale, some are sunken or pitted and others can be raised. Sunken or pitted scars are most common for clients that suffer from severe acne conditions.The formation of acne caused scars starts with the body’s production of collagen fibers to repair the wound. When pitted or acne scaring occurs, the exterior wall of the scar...Read more