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Acne Scars

Pimple Zone


Acne is a skin disorder characterized by a small or big red lump on the skin. It is caused the overproduction of sebum or oil in the skin which when mixed with dead skin and bacteria, will clog the pores of the skin. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous gland and acne develops anywhere in the body where there are hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Acne occurs due to a lot of factors, hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, menopausal for older women, pre-menstrual syndrome, heredity, prolong use of oily cosmetics and skin ointments, or as a side effect of medications for epilepsy, stress and certain types of depression.

The majority of people suffering from acne may tend to develop low self-esteem. Their self-confidence might also be affected especially if the acne develops in the face and becomes severe. Other people, in trying to get rid of the acne, may tend to prick the lump or squeeze it, resulting to inflammation or more serious condition. Some forms of acne like blackheads and whiteheads only affect the surface of the skin while others such as papules, pustules and cysts are rooted deep within the skin. The latter is a more severe type and may result to scarring if care is not given or if not treated.

Scars are part of the skin's normal healing process. But it becomes troublesome when the scars are big and noticeable. Acne scars usually develop as a result of an inflamed lesion, particularly papule, pustule or cyst.

There are four types of acne scars --

  • ice pick,
  • boxcar,
  • rolling
  • hypertrophic or keloid.

    Ice pick scars
    Ice Pick Scars-look like a large and open pore. These are scars that are deep and developed after a cyst infection. It is named as such because the skin looks like it has been pierced by an ice pick or sharp instrument.

    Boxcar Scars
    Boxcar scars are wider than ice pick and are shaped either round or oval.

    Rolling Scars
    Rolling scars look like waves.

    Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars
    On the other hand, hypertrophic or keloid scars look like a raised, firm mass of tissue which grow larger than the original wound. This type of scar often develop in men.
    Acne Scars Prevention
    Acne may be hard to prevent since majority of people will experience it sometime in their life. But there are practical ways to prevent acne scars from becoming severe.
    • If you have acne, consult a dermatologist and seek treatment immediately, especially if it is the severe form. Discuss with your doctor if you are prone to develop scarring so he can prescribe the best treatment for you.
    • Avoid squeezing or pricking your acne as this may cause inflammation and scarring. Refrain also from scrubbing your skin too hard and avoid using harsh skin care products.

    Acne Scars Treatment

    The treatment for acne scars depends on the type and the severity of scarring.

    [*]For ice pick scars, this can be treated with punch excision or punch grafting while boxcar scars can also be treated with punch excision paired with laser resurfacing. Punch excision is performed using a tiny, circular cookie cutter to cut the scar. The skin is then sutured after the scar is removed. In punch grafting, a skin graft that is usually taken from the skin behind the ear is placed in the void left after the scar is removed.

    [*]Rolling scars, on the other hand, can be treated with subcutaneous incision (subcision) while keloid scars are usually treated with steroid creams or injections which are directly injected into the scar tissue to shrink and flatten the scar. In some cases, keloid scars are treated with non-ablative laser Subcision, performed under local anesthesia, is carried out using a needle or small scalpel that is inserted parallel to the surface of the skin.

    [*]Other treatment for acne scars include ablative and non-ablative laser to burn the skin tissue, which are usually performed as out-patient. The skin that undergone laser treatments will heal within two weeks but redness in the skin will remain for several weeks or even months. The only side effect of laser treatment is the loss of skin color called hypopigmentation so it is better to discuss with your dermatologist if you are eligible for this kind of treatment.

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