Different Types of Acne Scars
Acne is no fun - and acne scars can be even worse! Millions of people around the world are affected by this skin affliction, so thankfully there are many options for treatment. Last month, we wrote a blog on treating acne scars with laser treatment, and went over some of the pros and cons. We also discussed alternatives to laser treatment. One of the key takeaways was that different treatments were more appropriate for different types of scars. But what ARE the different types of acne scars? Let’s take a look!
So, the two overarching categories are depressed (concave, not sad!) and raised scars. Which category you have depends on all sorts of factors - genetics, length of affliction, previous treatments, picking or scratching, and more. Depressed scars are the opposite of raised ones - whether you feel like you have dents in your skin or bumps. Acne can also leave marks that are discolored or change the pigmenting of your skin. Now let’s examine type of scar you have within these two categories...
Depressed Acne Scars
Icepick scars look exactly like the name implies - as though someone had taken a (very, very miniature) icepick to your cheeks and left a series of deep, narrow holes.
Rolling scars are patches of skin (often on cheeks) that have the appearance of moguls from far away - think the rolling hills of Austria in “The Sound of Music”...as seen from an airplane.
Box scars are similar to rolling scars, but rather than having smooth, rounded edges, box scars have sharply defined edges and might cast a deeper shadow.
Raised Acne Scars
There are two types of raised scars: hypertrophic and keloid, but they are very similar. They both happen when excess scar tissue forms in response to an injury (in this case, acne). In the second case, however, a LOT of scar tissue has been created - so much that it creates nodules, knots, or lumps.
Pigmentation and Discolored Acne Scars
As mentioned above, the two main categories of scars are those that are raised or depressed. But in addition to messing with the texture of your skin, acne can also change the coloring (or pigmentation) in your face, shoulders, chest, etc. For instance, you may get permanent redness (called erythema) because the capillaries near your skin’s surface have been damaged. Or you may have hyper- or hypo-pigmentation. Just like any other condition, “hyper” means “more” and “hypo” means “less” (think hypothyroidism, hypertension, etc). Hyper-pigmentation is when your cells are creating more melanin, which can leave brown spots or freckle-like marks. Hypo-pigmentation, on the other hand, means less melanin is being created. This can result in whitish or pinkish-looking skin, which may or may not look natural depending on your usual coloring.
Ok, what to do about acne scarring?
Because acne is such a universal affliction, many treatments have sprung up from lasers to DIY remedies to beauty products. Thankfully, there is something for almost every budget and almost every type of scarring. Check out these reviews of how Porcelana helped two women with acne scarring and made it less noticeable. Our day and night creams are also formulated with hydroquinone, which is proven to lighten dark spots - this can help with any pigmentation or discoloration issues you might have. The bottom line is this: regardless of what kind of marks acne leaves you with, there are ways to address it so that you feel comfortable in your own skin again!