Acne Scars: Diagnosis, Types, Treatments

Acne is nothing less than a double punishment. First, we have to ensure its frustrating and painful inflamed blemishes. And after this, dealing with stubborn scars is just as much of a struggle. Acne is simply the clogged oil and dead skin in the pores that later cause blemishes and pimples in various forms. These clogged pores also become suitable for bacteria to grow and worsen the situation. This skin condition is very common among people that fall into age groups between 11 to 30. Acne is a state that is not preventable, and people who experience it cannot stop it. But there are multiple treatments in the market that are noninvasive and minimally invasive and can help reduce all types of scars and skin issues. These include Micro-needling, Radiofrequency, Picosecond Laser, Infini RF, Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion, etc. 

Usually, small breakouts heal independently and do not leave such scars that become permanent. But when acne breakouts become intense, they can irritate the surrounding skin tissues and worsen the condition. This causes the skin tissue to break down, and while healing, the skin cannot stay smooth and firm. Hence, scars appear. Contrary to common beliefs, these scars are reducible and, with proper treatments, can go away too. 

How Are Acne Scars Diagnosed?

Acne scars appear on the skin when active acne subsides, and the skin tries to heal itself. After healing, every lesion and pimple leaves a scar of its own and adds to the imperfections on the skin. Usually, acne scars are diagnosed in two types. One is due to loss of tissue, i.e., atrophic scars, and the other is due to excess tissue, i.e., hypertrophic scars. These scars differ in the way they appear on the skin. Atrophic scars seem like an indentation in the skin, and hypertrophic scars are thick and raised above the skin, unlike any indentation or 

discoloration. These scars appear after your skin keeps on fighting with pits, impressions, lumps, and color spots that tire it. Depending upon the type of scar, the diagnosis and treatment begin later.  Cutera Aesthetics can help you with active acne and deal with stubborn scarring. Contact today to get a free consultation with our experts. 

Major Types of Acne Scars 

If we put acne outbreaks on a mild, moderate, and severe scale, these blemishes can cause different kinds of scars and marks. The two types of acne scars (Atrophic and Hypertrophic) are further divided into other sub-categories, depending on their size, depth, and shape. Following are the most common types of blemishes:

Atrophic acne scars 

These scars appear as pit marks and impressions and are present deep within the skin, making them hard to treat and heal. Following are the common types of atrophic scars:

Icepick scars

These appear as a result of severe acne marks. When the acne pimples and lesions penetrate the skin at a deeper length, scars in the form of indentation appear and can cause skin damage on a significantly deeper level. The scar is open-mouthed at the top, but as it deepens into the skin, it becomes narrower and takes the shape of an icepick. The name represents the scars’ shape as they are depressions that look like pricks using an icepick. After experiencing severe acne, these scars appear mainly on the jawline, chin, and forehead. These scars appear at places where the skin is thinner. 

Boxcar scars 

Just like icepicks, boxcar scars also appear pitied into the skin and can penetrate it deeper to the dermis layer of the skin. The difference between these scars is that they seem much wider than icepicks and have sharp edges. Temples and cheeks are where these scars appear as the skin appears thicker in such skin areas. 

Rolling scars 

Rolling scars are also deep and wide, but they do not have sharp edges. Since they also cause indentation and discoloration, making the skin appear uneven and rough. While a person is young, these scars do not look too bad, but with aging comes saggy skin, worsening the situation. 

Treatments for Acne Scars 

Surgical and invasive approaches are not the only solution for acne scars. Various minimally invasive procedures can reduce the appearance of such marks and scars. For instance, Micro-needling is an all-rounder treatment that promotes collagen production naturally and heals the skin as a response to tiny pricks and micro-injuries into the skin. This treatment improves cellular activity to heal itself and gives it a firmer, smoother, and clearer appearance. 

Another common treatment is using a Picosecond laser that defies thermal energy and uses sound energy to create vibrations with the help of ultrashort pulses. Picosecond laser enhances the skin condition by regenerating a healing response and increases collagen and elastin production of the skin to heal it and improve its tone, texture, and firmness. The plus point of these treatments includes the additional skin benefits they promise, such as skin tightening and skin smoothening. These aspects have added to the importance of such minimally invasive treatments.