In order to treat the right kind of acne scar that you may have, it’s important to identify the ones that you have. Certain treatments are only suitable for certain scars.
How Acne Scars Form
Scar tissues contain the same tissue property as undamaged skin. The difference in appearance lies how the fibers are aligned. Normally, skin tissue has skin fibers aligned in every direction, while your scars are usually aligned in one direction.
Acne scars fall into two main categories:
Atrophic - Known as tissues loss within the skin.
This condition happens when your body cannot produce enough skin tissue in one area to replace skin cells that were damaged from inflammation. As a result, missing tissue is seen.
Hypertrophic - Known as an overabundance of tissue.
This condition occurs when your body produced more than enough skin cell in an area. Your skin may have enough collagen to heal an existing scar already. As a result, a lump of skin is formed due too overproduction.
Followed by these two main categories are four sub categories types of acne scars: ice pick, boxcar, rolling, and keloid scars.
The skin tissue has three main layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
The epidermis is the outer skin layer, which you see. The thinnest area on your body is your eyelids (which is around .05mm).
The dermis is below the epidermis. This is the layer that holds all the blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, collagen and sweat glands. This is also the area that you would want to penetrate in order to stimulate collagen reproduction. Temperature
The dermis is around 1.5mm to 4mm thick depending on body location.
The hypodermis is the deep tissue of skin layer below the dermis. Temperature control is the main job of this tissue while padding the body with fat.
It should be notes that you should not penetrate the skin this far down.
Appearance: Boxcar is often rounded shape or an oval depression with raised sides. It can be seen as similar to chickenpox scars and are usually wider than ice picks. They appear to be indented into the skin, usually around the cheek and temple.
Development: Boxcar scars are developed when inflammatory breakout destroys tissue and causes tissue loss. Because of this, depression around the area is created, which then becomes large enough to form into boxcar scars.
Treatments Available: Subcision; Fractionated Laser; Chemical Peels; Microdermabrasion; Punch Technique; Dermarolling/Dermastamping
Note: Some people find that chemical peels and microdermabrasion will not help for deep boxcar scars. Result will vary from person to person.
Appearance: Keloid are scars raised above the skin that holds dense tissue of the skin. They generally grow larger than the original wound and are usually rubbery.
Development: Keloid scars are not loss of tissue, but rather an overabundance of collagen. They usually grow a little bit flat over time.
Treatments Available: Cortisone Injections; Laser; Silicone Sheets; Chemotherapy
Ice Pick Scars
Appearance: Ice pick is usually one of the common occurring acne scars. This type of scar is seen as a deep pit and is very narrow, extending all the way into the dermis. The name ‘ice pick’ is given because it seems to make a small deep hole.
Development: Ice pick is usually caused from an infection of cyst acne (comedone specificially) and other deep blemishes. What happens is that bacteria multiplies inside the block follicle, causing inflammation to go deep down the skin. Skin tissue is generally removed from all of this activity, which causes a pick-like look.
Treatments Available: Dermabrasion; Punch Excision; Laser; Individual Needling
Appearance: Rolling scar is seen as a wave-like appearance on the skin. This is due to their wide structure of tissues developing between the skin’s surfaces and beneath.
Development: Rolling scars develop between the skin and hypodermis below. Because of this, tissues pull the epidermis deeper within the skin that creates the rolling appearance.
Treatments Available: Dermabrasion, Micro-Needling, Subscision; Dermarolling / Dermastamping
Why does acne scars happen?
It is to be said by dermatologists that family hereditary plays an important role in whether an individual will likely develop acne scars after the healing stage. While some may not scar easily, others may due to this. An increase in the likelihood of developing acne scars may depend on the severity of acne.
Acne should always be treated and not be left on its own. This is the number one reason why dermatologists recommend that any person treat their acne as soon as it appears, as this prevents any further acne from happening or scars developing. Waiting for acne to heal its own does not benefit the skin and often cause scarring.
What is the best treatment for acne scars?
There is no such thing as a single treatment for all acne scars. Scarring comes in four different forms that can be read here. Each scar has a specific treatment that can be done in order to effectively remove it.
Keep in mind that it depending on how severe the acne scarring, some may require a few treatments while others may require multiples.
Are over-the-counter treatments effective as prescribed?
Often times, over-the-counter products are not as strong as the prescribed medication. With that said, there are non-prescribed topical such as vitamin C, retinol, and skin peel that will promote the growth of new collagen.
There are also other treatments like chemical peels and home remedies surgery like dermarolling and dermastamping that are known to help boxcar and rolling scars effectively.
Can I do surgical procedure at home?
Yes, there are some surgical treatments that you can do at the comfort of your own home, but there is not many. Some of these surgical treatments have already been mentioned but they are: dermaroller, dermastamper and chemical peels.
It is recommended that you look up these treatments to see if they are suited for your type of scar. Not all of the home treatment mentioned can treat scars like ice picks and keloid scars.References: Rivera AE. “Acne scarring: a review and current treatment modalities.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology October 2008; 59: 659-76. Jacob CI, Dover JS, Kaminer MS. “Acne scarring: a classification system and review of treatment options.” Journal of the American Academy of DermatologyJuly 2001; 45: 109-17.
Collagen is a vital form of protein that exists in humans and mammals. It helps replace and build bodily tissues like bones, tendons, muscles, skin cells, and ligaments. Collagen is responsible for keeping our body from tearing down by giving it strength and firmness.
Older people generally lack collagen production, thus you may often see wrinkles from their skin.
By stimulating collagen production in the skin, it leads to greater healing ability and a more youthful appearance.
Stimulating the collagen production is a must for anyone who has skin and/or tissue damage or those who wishes to treat their acne scars.
How Collagen Works
Whenever tissue tears down, there is a natural response from the body to increase its collagen level to aid the injury. Any tissue damage may include burns, cut, or stretch of the skin.
Whenever these situations occur, collagen responds by plumping up the tissue of the skin, restoring elasticity and making the tissue even more firm and flexible than how it was previously. As a result, smoothness and firmness occurs above the skin.
How Collagen Can Help
There are many benefits when it comes to the role of collagen. One of the reasons to stimulate its production is to help improve the connective tissue, whether it is from skin burns, wrinkles, or acne scars.
Whenever these skin injuries occur, it cannot be healed by itself because the skin cells are unable to support the tissues internally. Skin cells no longer have the ability to connect to each other, which is a result of skin imperfections.
Collagen is the main responsibility for connecting tissues together. Without it, cells will not be able to be linked, or jointed together to form tissues.
These tissues in medical terms are also known as the dermis, which is between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissues. Collagen is the result of how the dermis is structured.
How to Increase Collagen
Collagen can be stimulated through using products that signals the body to increase its collagen production.
Using anti-aging products is one way to rebuild your skin structure as well. Many of them contain ingredients that help stimulate the regeneration of collagen and elasticity.
Other natural product to help with collagen production is vitamin C.
In fact, this essential nutrient (vitamin C) is the main amino acid that is required for the process of collagen to form. Without vitamin C, a serious defect will prevent collagen from being produced correctly. As a result, formation within connective tissue will deteriorate.
For a better and healthier level of collagen, it is highly recommended that individuals apply creams that contain vitamin C. It is the main manufacture for many internal processes, and without it, collagen production would not be possible.
When skin injuries happen (e.g. a cut or burn), the body signals itself to increases collagen production naturally.
Through any skin surgery, the main focus is to do enough micro damage to where the body will recognize it as an injury and increase production of the collagen. As the same time, there must be caution when doing so. Too much damage will have a counter effect of the purpose of skin remodeling.
Breaking tissue below the skin can be done through laser treatments, individual needling, dermarolling, dermastamping, and injections.
By resorting to a combination of products and surgery, collagen will be in abundance. As a result, skin healing itself will be much more effectively.