Skin is one of the largest organs and the most exposed organ that contains million of open pores that help to regulate body temperature, maintain skin pH balance, and hydration level. When skin pores are clogged due to sebum, dust, dirt, pollutants, and dead skin cells, it results in acne (commonly known as pimples) and flesh-colored bumps formation. Acne also occurs due to the hormonal imbalance or overactive production of oil (sebum) through the sebaceous glands that are present deeper inside the skin.
When acne starts to heal, they often leave behind acne scars. Although acne scars are not related to any major health problem, it may lower the self-confidence of the person through physical imperfections. The appearance of the acne scars increases over time and looks like an indented skin structure. Acne scars cause rough and uneven skin texture, and skin damage that cannot be healed naturally. Thus, a consistent dermatological method by skin experts can be of great help in reducing scars. Various techniques help to improve the appearance and texture of the skin.
Factors that cause scars are as follows :-
Inflammation such as the presence of reddish, swollen, and painful acne may result in scar formation.
Inflammatory acne is left untreated.
Picks, popping, or squeezing acne may cause scars.
Scars may form due to heredity reasons.
Medical history of chickenpox or other infectious diseases.
Types of Acne Scars
There are various types of acne scars that are categorized according to their shape, size, and severity. Treatments are also varying according to the type of scar and pattern of the scar.
1. Atrophic scars :
These scars form due to loss of tissue, and the body is unable to regenerate them (due to lack of collagen production), this results in atrophic scar formation. There are three main types of atrophic scars.
Ice pick scars :
Ice pick scars are formed due to the infection that occurred by a cyst or other inflammation on the surface. These scars leave a thin, small, narrow, and deep hole into the skin.
Boxcar scars :
These scars are wider and look like sharp defined edges. These scars occurred due to acne, varicella or chickenpox. These scars look like an itchy rash with blisters. These scars usually cover the thicker area of the skin such as lower jaw and cheeks.
These scars are deep and have sloping edges on the skin. They appear wavy and uneven on the skin.
2. Hypertrophic scar
Healing of wounds or injury causes scar tissue formation which is prominent and red in appearance. So, hypertrophic scars are raised and thickened scars due to excess production of collagen in the skin. These scars may become pale and flat after several months. Main factor for hypertrophic scar formation is an inflammation or injury such as burns, acne and insect bites.
3. Keloid scars :
The spontaneous scar formation causes hypertrophic scars to look like a smooth, firm and hard growth on the skin, and this results in the formation of keloid scar. These scars are itchy or uncomfortable and increase beyond the actual injury. They can develop anywhere in the body, especially shoulders and upper chest. Dark skinned people are more likely to form keloid scars than Caucasians. Although hypertrophic or keloid scars are harmless for general health.
Chemical peels are helpful for treating a variety of skin issues such as acne, acne scars, pigmentation, age spots, melasma, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines. During the treatment of acne scars through chemical peels containing glycolic or salicylic acid is mainly used and are applied over the target skin area. This solution exfoliates the skin and removes the topmost layer for the skin. The chemical peel also removes the pigmented cells, therefore it is equally beneficial for skin tone and texture.
It is a skin resurfacing method that is useful to treat facial scarring. This improves the appearance of acne scars, chicken pox scars, and also removes the scars that are formed due to an injury or disease. This works by using a power-driven hand tool that consists of an abrasive end part. This device rotates around the surface of the scar and removes the topmost layer of the skin, boosts collagen production, and promotes new skin cell formation.
It is a skin resurfacing technique which is less risky and gives a quick recovery than other techniques. It is the same as dermabrasion, however, it works by using small crystals to remove the topmost skin layers. This technique triggers the improvement of more superficial scars and fine lines. This is a painless technique and no anaesthesia is required during this procedure. This treatment works best for treating boxcar scar. This technique needs multiple sessions to achieve the best results.
They are composed of a natural substance like hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite. This solution when injected into the affected skin area it improves the appearance of scars and provides quick and natural outcomes. The fillers boost collagen production and help to fill the deep acne scar area to provide a smooth skin texture. This is effective for treating scars as a quick and short-term method.
Laser technique is safe and effective method that helps to reduce the appearance of acne blemishes & acne scars. It works by exfoliating the skin’s topmost damaged layer and also stimulates the production of collagen by delivering heat in the deeper layer of the skin. Lasers also improves the skin elasticity and provides a youthful appearance. Lasers breaks down the pigmentation by breaking the excess melanin cells that cause acne scar formation, and also promote the growth of new skin cells.
Laser therapy is of two types
Ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers mainly target the surface layer of the skin (exfoliation and new skin cell production) as well as the deeper layers of the skin (remove pigmentation and boost collagen production). Non-ablative lasers target only the deeper layers of the skin (remove pigmentation and boost collagen production. Laser therapy work best to improve the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles and facial pigmentation. It provides improved skin tone, texture as well as a fresh and healthier looking skin.
This technique uses a tool that contains 100 to 1000 tiny needles on its surface. When these tiny needles are rolled on to the skin surface it causes controlled injury that stimulates the healing process and more collagen formation.
After Treatment Care
Apply ice pack to minimize pain or discomfort.
Avoid direct sun exposure and apply sunscreen religiously.
Apply only mild moisturizers and lotions (prescribed by the doctor).
Do not rub and scratch treated area.
Avoid the application of makeup and cosmetics for a few days after the treatment.