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Types of Acne Scars

Deepa Kartha
The occurrence of acne is not just limited to teenage skin, it is observed in adults also. With time, the acne may go away, but it leaves behind marks and scars, which refuse to vanish for a long time. This story tells you about a few different types of acne scars there are.
When pimples, blackheads and whiteheads appear on the skin, a person is said to have acne. It is said to be an inflammatory skin disorder caused by the involvement of the sebaceous glands. Having acne is not only painful, but also causes discomfort to the person.
Acne can occur in a person due to hormonal changes, bacteria or hereditary reasons. Most people don't do anything about acne and wait for it to cure on its own. While acne heals on its own, it also gives rise to scars on the skin which are most of the time permanent.
Though some of these scars can be cured by proper treatment, they do not make the skin spotless. However, before knowing about the treatment, it is necessary to know various varieties of acne scars that can be found on the skin.
Mild pigmentation is a common after-effect of acne. Ideally, it reduces and vanishes of its own accord after some time. However, if it doesn't, you might be suffering from permanent acne scarring. Acne scars can be broadly classified into two categories, mainly atrophic and hypertrophic. Continue reading to know more about further classification.
Atrophic Acne Scars
Atrophic acne scars, the more common of the two types, are caused due to loss of tissue. They are further classified into:
Ice Pick Scars: Ice pick scars are most commonly seen on a person's cheek, and appear as if they were made by piercing the skin with an ice pick. These deep and sharp holes on the skin, can either be soft scars or hard ones. If not treated on time, ice pick scars can turn into depressed fibrotic scars, which would deepen with sharp edges.
Boxcar Scars: Just as the name suggests, boxcar scars, look like wide boxes on the skin. When the collagen in the skin is damaged, it loses tissues, giving rise to round or oval-shaped marks. The appearance of boxcar scars is similar to those scars that are left behind after chickenpox.
Rolling Scars: Rolling scars appear to form a wave-like pattern on the skin. These scars occur because fibrous tissues appear between the skin and the subcutaneous tissue underneath.
Hypertrophic Acne Scars
Hypertrophic scars, also known as keloids, arise mainly due to excessive production of collagen and increased growth of tissue in the skin. Contrary to the case of atrophic scars, where holes appear on the skin, when a person has keloids, lumps thicker than the acne form on the skin. These scars normally form on face, back, and chest.
Acne Scarring Treatment
Treatment for acne scars depends hugely on their type. Collagen injection is one effective method. Collagen helps in stretching the soft scars inside the skin and is most effective for ice pick scars. Other treatment measures include skin grafting, plastic surgery, dermabrasion, etc. Laser treatment is also preferred.
Although there are a number of effective treatment methods for acne scars, it may take a long time for the skin to heal completely, and there can be instances where in, some kind of mark is left behind. To avoid this, prevention is better than cure. Proper skin care starts with consulting a dermatologist when you notice acne breakouts on your skin. Appropriate care and treatment during this time will surely aid in effective prevention and healing of scars.