Acne scars refer to the scars left behind after acne itself has diminished. Acne scarring, however, should not be confused with macules, or reddish spots, which characterize the area of prior acne, or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. As it is, there are a number of aspects, related to acne scarring. In case Acne appears on the skin as a reaction to sebum, the body might try to address the inflammation condition with white blood cells. Even after the inflammation has been diminished, the tissues might not be totally repaired. Due to this reason, scar tissues would show up. However, not all marks are scars and the simple marks would normally disappear over a period of time. It is interesting to note that some people are more prone to acne scars, whereas others are less prone to acne scars. There is as such no explanation for this.
Acne scarring can be categorized under two categories, i.e. hypertrophic scarring and atrophic scarring. Hypertrophic scarring refers to a condition in which there is a growth of tissue. In this condition, excess collagen production takes place; and in the acute cases, large outgrowths might be visible. Atrophic scarring, on the other hand results in the loss of tissues. This kind of scarring is more common than hypertrophic scarring, and may appear in the form of atrophic macules, depressed fibrotic scars, follicular macular atrophy, ice-pick scars, as well as soft scars. Atrophic macules appear as small, bluish-whitish colored scars and are more visible than other forms. Depressed fibrotic scars refer to large, jagged depressions on the skin. Follicular macular atrophy refer to tiny, slightly raised lesions, which appear similar to whiteheads. While ice-pick scars are less depressed fibrotic scars, whereas soft scars are gentle, scar-type depressions of the skin.
Currently, there are a number of medical procedures, which may be used for the treatment of acne scars. Dermabrasion is one such procedure. The treatment involves cosmetic removal of the skin by way of abrasion, i.e. sanding. The procedure is used for the removal of sun-damaged skin, as well as scars and dark spots which appear on the skin. The procedure is quite painful and in most cases, general anaesthesia is required to be administered to the patient. After the completion of the procedure, the skin gets red and rough. The skin may take several months to heal and get back to shape. This procedure is quite effective in case of hypertrophic scars. However, it is not very effective for treating atrophic scars. The procedure was earlier done with the help of a tiny, sterilized, electric sander. In the current times, CO2 or Er:YAG laser is more in use; and is easier to control and gauge. It results in virtually no blood loss and hence it is considered to be a much better option than the conventional way.
Microdermabrasion is another effective way of treating such scars. The procedure is a more natural; it is gentler and takes lesser time to heal, as it is less invasive, as far as exfoliation on the skin is concerned. The procedure aims at the elimination of the superficial layer of the skin, which is known as the epidermis. There appears a roughness on the skin, which is better hydrated and appears in the basal layer. This roughness is actually keratinocyte, which get pushed through the epidermis, until they get to stratum corneum. Here they take the shape of a layer of dead, compressed, or strongly keratinized cells, which are known as squamous cells. The layer works as an efficient barrier towards the entry of infectious elements inside the body. It also lessens moisture loss. The procedure may be used for the treatment of scars which appeared during puberty, and even several years later.
Laser therapy is another effective way of getting rid of acne scars. By way of fractional laser resurfacing incisions are made on the skin through microscopic pulses. With the help of various treatments, the scars get softened, while the body redevelops the regions of microthermal wounding. As it is, various types of lasers are available, like Matrix RF, Fraxel Laser, Affirm Laser, Pixel Laser and Sciton Profractional laser. The technique is usually used in laser surgery, where the molecular bonds dissolved by way of laser. CO2 or erbium energy is put to use for treating the regions of discoloration at the surface. The technique is quite useful in elimination of damaged cells as well as stimulation in the growth of new collagen. The growth of new skin cells, along with collagen stimulation helps in effectively improving the condition of the skin.
Chemical peels can also be an effective way of treating acne scars. The procedure is quite effective in improving the texture of the skin, by making use of a chemical solution, which leads to the skin to develop blisters and thereafter peel off. The new skin is smoother and scar-free. Acne scars can virtually ruin your social life and therefore, it is better to get it treated as soon as possible. Acne medication and Acne skin care products usually do not help with scarring.