Scarring is the most horrible postimpact of acne. It not only devastates one’s external appearance, but also leaves a traumatic aftermath in the victim’s mind. Knowing acne scar types is an important issue because acne scar treatment, to a large extent, depends on its different categories.
Classification of Acne Scars
Acne scars fall under to broad categories like scars caused by formation of tissues called keloids and scars caused by loss of tissues or pitted scars. The second category could be further classified into several other subtypes.
1. Scars Caused By Formation of Tissues
This acne scar type is also known as hypertrophic scars. Meaning of the term hypertrophic is overgrowth or enlargement. Keloids are formed due to overgrowth of collagen. Formation of collagen is otherwise a normal reaction of the skin to an injury which sometimes exaggerates abruptly and gives rise to bulge-like formation all over the skin surface. Each bulge measures around 1 to 2 mm in diameter and some are even larger in size. It has been observed that the tendency of keloid formation is transmitted through families, or in other words, they are genetically transmissible in nature. Therefore people who bear instances of keloid scar in their family are more susceptible to this type of strange growth of tissue. It is uncertain as to how long the keloids would persist; they might remain unchanged for years or even diminish in size over time.
2. Scars Caused By Loss of Tissues
Acne scar types that are caused by loss of tissues are more common in nature than keloids. Unlike an overgrown tissue, in this case the existing tissue is damaged or lost giving rise to a dented look of the skin surface, and this is they are also called as pitted scars and resemble much like the scars that are caused by chicken pox. This type of common acne scars are further assorted into a few other subcategories.
Ice-pick scars: Ice-pick scars are steep and shallow in appearance. They are identified by jagged edges and steep sides. This type of acne scars is either hard or soft to touch. Soft scars have an advantage over their harder counterpart which is that they could be stretched in an attempt to fix the scar while the skin of hard scars can not be stretched. Ice-pick scars are more common on the cheeks.
Depressed fibrotic scars: This acne scar type looks much like ice-pick scars since they too consist of sharp edges and steep sides. The only difference they bear is that they are much larger in size with a hard base. Often it is found that if ice-pick scars are left untreated for a considerable time, they might transform into depressed fibrotic scars. Due to their U shaped cavity, they are often called as box scars.
Rolling scars: Rolling scars are soft and may be either superficial or deep. The edges are neither steep nor jagged or sharp; instead they form a gentle slope and gradually merge with the normal skin.
Atrophic macules: This is yet another acne scar type that might appear both in face and body. The ones that appear on face are very tiny in size, while on back they take larger shape which might extend up to 1 cm or even larger. They are soft to touch, and usually have a slightly creased base. The blood vessels that lie right under the scar make it more visible by giving it a bluish appearance. However, the color changes in time and it gradually becomes bluish or ivory white and is hardly noticeable on skin surface.
Follicular macular atrophy: Follicular macular atrophy is atypical to chest and back. Therefore people, who are more prone to body acne, are rather susceptible to this type of scarring. These soft scars look much like underdeveloped whiteheads since they too are slightly whitish in color and appear like slightly raised bumps on the skin surface. Perifollicular elastolysis is another term in which they are often known. This acne scar type is rather persistent in nature which might last even for years.
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Once the type of scar is known, treatment becomes a much easier job to accomplish, though not all scars are completely curable nor even their treatment duration are same. Nevertheless, the complete overview of acne scar types would help you to figure out the most effective treatment procedure and its duration.