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Home :: Skin Disorders

Acne Scars - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Acanthosis Nigricans
Acne Scars
Acrodermatitis Continua
Actinic Keratosis
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Paget's Ddisease
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Strawberry Hemangioma
Sunburn Treatment
Telogen Effluvium
Tinea Capitis
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Tinea Infection
Tinea Versicolor

Acne scars are the marks of acne even after the acne is cured. These scars are often prominently visible on the face and therefore women get concerned. Most serious scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne. There are different kinds of acne scarring: ice pick scarring, atrophic scarring, and hypertrophic scarring. Ice pick scars are deep pitted scars with steep edges. If you have serious scarring from previous bouts with acne, there are some things you can do. Scars caused by increased tissue formation are caused by a build up of collagen in the skin. These are called hypertrophic and keloid scars. For the lucky majority, acne scarring is a minor annoyance, difficult for others to visualize. Teens may deal with depression, become withdrawn and a loss of self confidence. In fact, acne scarring has been cited as a risk factor for male suicide.

Acne scarring is permanent but can be treated. The best way to deal with acne is to get treatment soon after the acne appears to prevent further severe acne and more scarring. Atrophic scars are pitted but have smooth borders and are not as deep. Color changes in acne in more common than scarring and can resolve but may take years to completely disappear. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is very common in those with darker skin tones or in those who tan easily and can significantly worsen the appearance of acne. Treatment of scarring may require many different kinds of treatments, depending on the kind of scarring present. The newest form of treatment for acne scarring is called fractional laser therapy. This type of treatment works at a deeper level than laser resurfacing or dermabrasion, Because fractional laser therapy doesn't wound the top layer of tissue, healing time is shorter.

Causes of Acne scars

Acne scars occur when spots become inflamed or don't heal properly. hile some women are more prone to scarring because of hereditary factors or skin colour, there are precautions they can take to prevent scars and treatments available to significantly reduce their appearance. There is a genetic predisposition for acne; that is, people whose family members have acne are also likely to have it. Stress may also affect acne; the condition often worsens during times of stress and improves during more stable periods. Studies show no connection between junk food and acne. Some people find that certain foods, such as dairy products, worsen acne.

Common causes and risk factors of Acne scars:

  • Hormonal changes during puberty. 
  • Menstrual periods.
  • Blockage of the external pores in the skin.
  • Hereditary.
  • Contraceptive pills.
  • Stress. 

Signs and Symptoms of Acne scars

Comedones is the first sign of acne. Comedones appear most often on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Redness, swelling, and pus-filled lesions accompany infection. When a cyst heals, it can leave a pitted, discolored scar, known as a pockmark. In non-inflammatory acne, there are usually just a few whiteheads and blackheads on the face. In its most severe form, inflammatory acne can cause disfiguring cysts and deep, pitting scars of the face, neck, back, chest and groin. Prescription drugs and sometimes surgery are needed to treat inflammatory acne.

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • Whiteheads.
  • Clogged glands or pores.
  • Blackheads.
  • Cysts.

Treatment for Acne scars

Acne scars are very hard to treat and it is unusual for the scars to be successfully removed completely. The newest form of treatment for acne scarring is called fractional laser therapy. This type of treatment works at a deeper level than laser resurfacing or dermabrasion, Because fractional laser therapy doesn't wound the top layer of tissue, healing time is shorter. Chemical peels can improve small, depressed scars and some larger scars. Peeling may also be effective in treating any remaining acne by removing comedones. Over-the-counter and prescription benzoyl peroxide products may be recommended by dermatologists, depending on the severity of the acne scars.

Treatment may include:

  • The most popular ingredient in over-the-counter antibacterial cleansers is benzoyl peroxide.
  • Use a gentle astringent to wipe away oil.
  • Resorcinol can help break down blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Injections of corticosteroids may be used for treating large red bumps. This may help them go away quickly.
  • Oral antibiotics may be needed to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation.