Scars left behind on the skin after the acne has healed is called post acne scarring.
Post acne scarring occurs when the skin is damaged by the acne and the body responds by producing either too much tissue (hypertrophic scar or keloid) or too little tissue (atrophic scar).
Scarring from mild and moderate forms of acne is usually not permanent. However, picking and squeezing acne can increase the risk of scarring. Severe forms of acne which are usually painful cysts filled with pus tend to leave permanent scars.
Scars can be of the following forms:
- Having a gradual depression (rolling scars)
- Deep and narrow (ice pick)
- Depression with a sharp border (boxcar)
- Thickened and inflamed (hypertrophic or colloidal)
- Dark pigmentation (not true scarring; slowly heals without treatment)
- Pink or red regions (not true scarring; slowly heals without treatment)
There is no best way to clear up scarring caused by acne. There are several dermatological procedures that help minimize scars. One Skin Clinic can help you choose the best procedure suitable for your skin type and condition.
Some of the treatment procedures that your doctor may choose include:
- Soft tissue fillers: injecting collagen/fat under the skin to stretch out or fill in the skin; thereby lightening the scars
- Dermabrasion: peeling away the top most skin layer using a rapidly rotating wire brush
- Chemical peels: peeling away the top most skin layer using a chemical
- Laser beam: destroying the outer most skin layer using a high energy light source, and encouraging growth of new skin
- Microdermabrasion (newer acne scar treatment): abrading or polishing the skin’s surface with tiny crystals and removing the loosened skin cells
- Skin surgery (punch excision): removing individual scars through a minor surgical procedure and using stitches or skin graft to repair the excised area
- Broadband Light (BBL): reducing oil glands and minimizing pores using a blue filtered light