Acne is a skin condition that affects up to 80% of people in their teens and twenties, and up to 5% of older adults. While many people recover from acne without any permanent effects, some people are left with disfiguring acne scars. There are some topical skin care products and medications that can improve mild scarring, but most acne scars are treated with a combination of surgical procedures and skin resurfacing.
There are many different types of acnes scars, including:
After an acne lesion has healed, it can leave a red or hyper-pigmented mark on the skin. This is actually not a scar, but rather a post-inflammatory change. The redness or hyper-pigmentation is seen as the skin goes through its healing and remodeling process, which takes approximately 6-12 months. If no more acne lesions develop in that area, the skin can heal normally. Any color change or skin defect still present after 1 year is considered to be a permanent defect or acne scar.
Icepick scars are narrow, sharp scars that make the skin appear it has been punctured with an icepick. They are usually narrower than 2 mm and extend into the deep dermis or subcutaneous layer. Icepick scars are usually too deep to correct with skin resurfacing treatments such as diamond peel.
Boxcar scars are round to oval depressions that have sharp vertical edges. Unlike icepick scars, they do not taper to a point at the base. Shallow boxcar scars are 0.1-0.5 mm in depth and can usually be treated with conventional skin resurfacing techniques. Deep boxcar scars are >0.5 mm in depth and require full-thickness treatment techniques.
Rolling scars occur as a result of tethering of otherwise normal-appearing skin to the subcutaneous tissue below. This process gives the skin a rolling or undulating appearance. Conventional skin resurfacing techniques do not work on rolling scars. They must be corrected by breaking up the subcutaneous fibrous bands.
We would recommend making an appointment to consult about the treatment if you experience any of the following:
Acne scars vary from person to person. Chemical peeling is an acne scar removal method wherein the top layer of the skin is removed by applying acid or chemical. The procedure allows for a new smoother skin layer to grow. There is another optional treatment to use laser to remove old skin damaged and allow new skin to grow. Laser resurfacing is becoming very popular, and is promising to surpass dermabrasion as the treatment of choice when it comes to acne scar removal. GLC now offers laser resurfacing, diamond peel, chemical peel, and filler to provide safe and effective treatments. Because acne scars can be unique and often have complex characteristics. We are confident that the most successful results will come from an individualized treatment plan.