Acne Scars – What you need to know
The most dreaded complication of pesky acne, acne scars, is a largely permanent affair. As such, acne itself should be treated as early as possible to prevent the formation of these scars.
Should you already be suffering from the consequences of scarring, many solutions do exist to permanently improve the appearance of these scars.
Scars are generally a result of sub-optimal skin healing. This typically occurs after some form of damage to the skin, and can happen from deep scratches, burns, or in this case, acne.
The severity of the pre-existing acne and the inflammation involved usually dictates the severity of the scar, As such, people with more severe forms of acne, such as nodulocystic acne, tend to develop deeper, tougher to treat scars.
There are two broad categories of scars – Atrophic and Hypertrophic scars.
Most acne scars are atrophic and can be categorised into rolling, box, or icepick scars. These scars can also be tethered or untethered to deeper layers. The purpose of this categorisation is to help guide treatment options – each type of scars respond better to certain types of treatment. As such, a single face with multiple types of scars will require a multi-modality approach for ideal outcomes; lasers are not a cure-all for all scars.
Of the 3 types of acne scars, each might be tethered (anchored) to deeper structures of the hypodermis, and require more invasive procedures to release them from their anchoring scars. This is shown below where a needle is used to release the scars in a procedure known as subcision. This is usually the first step in a series of acne scar treatments where subsequent techniques are used to resurface the more superficial skin and improve its appearance and quality.