Acne is a common skin condition especially among teenagers. However, not everyone develops the scarring that can occur after outbreaks and it can be almost impossible to predict which patients will scar. After an acne lesion has healed it can leave a red or hyperpigmented mark on the skin. This is actually not a scar but rather a post-inflammatory change.
The redness or hyperpigmentation is seen as the skin goes through its healing and remodelling process which takes approximately 6-12 months. If no more acne lesions develop in that area the skin can heal normally. Any colour change or skin defect still present after 1 year is considered to be a permanent defect or scar.
Our Lynton Clinic clients have many different types of acne scars. Deep pits that develop following an acne lesion are called "ice pick scars" and are a classic sign of acne scarring. Angular scars (boxcar scars) usually occur on the temple and cheeks and can be either superficial or deep. Scars that give the skin an undulating appearance are known as "rolling scars". Many patients require a combination of treatments for the best results. If your concern is active acne learn more about treatments available for acne here.
Rolling Acne Scars
Rolling scars are the subtle or sometimes pronounced undulations that occur in acne prone skin. These are often the scars that are most noticeable in varying types of room lighting. Injection with soft tissue fillers such as Restylane may provide temporary relief from rolling scars. Scars may also be significantly improved with non-invasive Fractional Laser Resurfacing . This great advancement in laser technology has dramatically improved our ability to improve scars. It requires little after care and no needles and can often produce dramatic results though complete scar revision is unlikely.
Boxcar Acne Scars
Boxcar scars are usually small, clearly defined indentations in the skin. They occur all over the face most notably on the temples and cheeks. Treatment of shallow boxcar scars can be accomplished with fractional laser skin resurfacing but deeper boxcar scars are best removed surgically.
Ice Pick Acne Scars
Ice Pick Acne Scars are very difficult to treat and often require some kind of surgical intervention. However, most clients benefit from Fractional Laser Resurfacing. The laser treatments result in soft, smooth skin by stimulating new, healthy skin tissue.