Acne Scars: Story of Diagnosis and Treatment
Acne, who haven’t had those in life. Pesky little nuisance they are. On top of that, it is frustrating when they leave a scar behind and take ages to heal.
Acne scars are left behind by severe acne, which mainly occurs during puberty, hormonal imbalances, menstruation, pregnancy, and more.
What causes acne to scar?
Skin is the first defense of our body, it does a lot of heavy lifting, protecting our fragile internal organs.
Areas with sebaceous ‘oil’ glands are prone to acne.
Scarring occurs when acne gets inflamed. Some are small and will heal quickly. Sometimes when the contents of the blemish will spill into surrounding tissue and cause a deeper scar.
They come in two forms:
- Keloids or Hypertrophic scars
These scars grow above the skin. They form due to the excess production of collagen during healing. They typically are found on the chest, back, and shoulders.
- Atrophic scars
These are depressed or sunken scars formed below the skin surface. These scars come in three types. It could be large, broad – boxcar and rolling scars, or small pits that are ice pick scars.
Sometimes when a skin breakout flattens, it leaves a dark-colored mark behind. It usually isn’t considered a scar as it disappears on its own.
Factors that increase the risk of scarring:
- Touching, picking, or popping acne is the worst thing you can do to your acne.
- It runs in your genes, meaning that it is easy for your skin to scar even if you take proper precautions.
- If the inflammatory acne is left untreated
How To Treat Acne Scars?
First and foremost, it is necessary to know that no treatment will give you instant results. Acne scars treatment, whether you do it home, get it done by an esthetician, or by a dermatologist, will take time. Well, not everyone chooses to get treated professionally, for them it may not be so bad. Correct skincare works just fine. For others, it is severe enough to consult a dermatologist to get treated.
There are various treatments for acne scarring, even surgical ones. We will only look into detail about the most common ones performed.
- Skin Resurfacing Procedures
This category has some procedures under it. What it does is remove the top layers of skin cells, inducing the production of new ones.
- Laser – A widely used & trusted procedure is laser treatment. Laser of a specific wavelength is used, delivering heat to the scarred tissue under the skin, encouraging the body to produce new healthy cells.
- Microdermabrasion – Friction is the principle behind it. Just like sanding, a particular tool is used to remove the top layers of skin.
- Derma Fillers
Dermatologists will fill the depressed scars with hyaluronic acid or with your fats, these fillers will raise the scar to the skin’s surface, leveling them and giving you smoother, firmer & even texture. Some fillers are not permanent & may require refilling after 6 to 18 months. These are best for a small number of a boxcar or rolling scars.
Also called collagen induction therapy. Tiny needles repeatedly prick the skin stimulating the growth of new collagen. It is a good option for depressed scars. Microneedling is also a great choice to improve the visible signs of aging, stretch marks, and fine lines. After the therapy, the skin shows redness that may last for a few days.
PRP – Platelets Rich Plasma contains a plethora of beneficial growth factors that will help heal the skin and promote collagen and elastin regeneration.
PRP isn’t a chemical; it is a part of our blood.
Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and put into a centrifuge, which will separate the white, red blood cells and PRP into levels.
PRP is extracted via an injection which is then injected into sites on the face with acne scars. The concentrated solution of platelets and plasma has a abundance of beneficial growth factors that will promote healing and stimulate the regrowth of collagen and elastin.
These are just some of the procedures that are opted. Along with them, there are more, like skin grafting or punch excision, electrodessication, skin tightening, surgery, and subcision more.
Which one you choose will be decided by you and the dermatologist based on what your goals are, skin type, and how severe scarring you have.