Acne scars have characteristics that are distinct both from different types of acne scarring and other sorts of scars. Acne scarring is a change to the skin, both in texture and surface, caused by the unique process of acne.
Acne scarring is not the dull discolouration left after acne has resolved temporarily (this usually goes away), but to the physical change in the skin’s surface.
The very specific causes of acne scarring
An acne cyst is a space inside your skin that is full of pus, and is typically quite large. The cyst destroys the fabric of your skin in that area, but the skin is not replaced during healing, like skin normally would. This causes the space. This space will at some stage empty of pus, but the space it leaves remains, which is what we call an acne scar.
Sometimes acne scarring can be lumpy (keloid or hypertrophic scarring), which is more likely to be found on the chest or back, remaining red for many years.
Different types of acne scarring
The Boxcar Acne Scar
A box car acne scar is a shallow depression of medium depth with an edge you can clearly see. These scars often appear on the cheeks or temple area. Box car acne scars are easier for your acne scar dermatologist to treat, since they are so shallow that ‘shaving’ off the edges, so that the skin is all even, is a common and effective solution. This results in more evenly-textured skin.
The Ice Pick Acne Scar
Ice pick acne scars are deep and narrow, and tend to drive through multiple layers of skin. Ice pick scars require a different approach compared to other types of acne scarring due to their depth. Raising the middle, removing the whole thing, or remodelling the collagen are all considerations for your acne scar dermatologist. Once the ice pick scar is shallower, resurfacing can take off the rough edges. This leaves you with smoother skin.
The Depressed, Rolling, or Atrophic Acne Scar
A depressed, rolling or atrophic acne scar or collection of scars are typically a mixed bunch of tissue damage which can be connected together in various ways. Your acne scar dermatologist may use a few methods to treat rolling scars, since each collection of these scars will be slightly different.
Mixed Acne Scars
Mixed acne scarring – a collection of all of the above – is the most common sort of acne scarring. Most people don’t just get one type, since the skin on our faces and bodies differs depending on location. This means that how a cyst fills and empties will also vary, even only slightly. Treatments will naturally depend on what is presented to your acne scar dermatologist.
The Macular (red) Acne Scar
A macular acne scar is typically found on the cheeks and forehead, and presents as a red area caused by earlier scarring. Often this type of scar will fade over a year or so, but laser treatments may quicken the process.
Hypertrophic and Keloid Acne Scar
A lumpy acne scar is typically known as a hypertrophic or keloid scar. These most often occur near the jaw, chest, back and neck. Treatment for keloid scarring of any kind is different to regular acne scar treatments, since this type of scar doesn’t respond well to abrasion, but instead may need steroidal treatments. Vascular lasers can also be extremely useful. Your acne scar dermatologist can advise.
Your acne scar dermatologist in Melbourne
Our ENRICH clinic in Armadale, Melbourne, has highly skilled, experienced acne scar dermatologists who know exactly what to do with your acne scarring. Call our Melbourne clinic and start the process of smoothing out your skin.
We can make a dent in your acne scarring.