It has been found that almost 90% of the world’s population faces acne, the most common skin disorder. Many of us never notice how those mild acne zits get cured over time without leaving any trace. But in some cases especially the severe lesions leave loathsome acne marks after the restoration of skin by our natural bodily repairing system. These unsightly marks are not life threatening, but sufficient to devastate your self esteem and overall appearance.
Causes behind the Acne Marks Formation
There are mainly two causes playing behind the creation of these ugly marks:
1) If the tissue gets damaged due to acne lesion then the natural healing system produces collagen to fill out the area. Sometimes disproportionate production of collagen builds up fibrous mass at the damaged area causing acne marks with uneven shape.
2) In many cases natural healing of severe acne lesion results in loss of tissues from the affected area which causes denting and shallow acne scars.
Types of Marks
Acne scars are categorized based on their appearances. There are mainly six types of marks caused by acne:
1) Ice pick scar: These scars look like pockmarks from ice pick. These are deep narrow scars oftentimes extending up to subcutaneous layer.
2) Depressed fibrotic scar: These acne marks often appear as tiny mounds or craters on the cheeks of the patients.
3) Superficial and deep soft scar: These scars usually have variable sizes which have a slope with the normal skin.
4) Atrophic macules: Atrophic macules might emerge on the facial part as well as on the other body parts. These shallow scars are much softer than other types and often appear bigger than their facial counterparts.
5) Follicular macular atrophy: These small, soft, and white acne marks often appear at the chest and back region.
Acne Scar Treatments
A range of treatments are available to lessen the visibility or completely erase marks caused by acne. A few of the most popular treatments are briefly described below:
1) Collagen injection: This method is mainly applied to heal depressed acne scars. In this method a number of collagen fillers are used to inject under the skin to augment the remodeling process of skin so that it becomes smooth, firm, and mark free. Different fillers are used with respect to their own advantages and applicability. The most commonly used fillers are: Zyderm, Zyplast, Fibrel, Artecoll, Hylan B gel, Resoplast, Autologen, etc.
2) Autologous fat transfer: It is one of the most effective and safe treatment method for removing acne marks. This treatment procedure is mainly applicable for shallow dented scars. In this method fat is collected from one part of the body and injected under the skin of the scarred area, thereby raising the depressed mark to give a normal look. Since a fat substance would be absorbed by our body over time, it is necessary to repeat this treatment process after every 2 to 3 months. This method is immensely popular among cosmetic surgeons to plump up the lips and lines on the face bestowing a younger appearance. This method is safe and nonallergenic, and more natural than other methods.
3) Dermabrasion: This is another unique method to lessen or erase acne marks from the affected area. In this method a wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough edges is used to remove the top damaged layer of the scarred skin. As soon as the damaged cells are removed from the area our natural healing process promotes the formation of new collagen and tissues to cover up the area with a fresh smooth and healthy skin texture.
4) Microdermabrasion: This treatment procedure uses a hand held device which is meant for lessening the visibility of existing mild acne marks by abrading the damaged skin layer. A flow of aluminum oxide microcrystals are sprayed over the scarred skin area to peel off the tissues through mild friction. This device effectively enhances the smoothness and look of the facial skin.
5) Laser treatment: Two types of laser treatments are in use to remove acne scars successfully: ablative or resurfacing and nonablative. The former one is mainly used to lighten the stains over the skin by peeling it off. In this method under local anesthetic condition a beam of laser is impinged on the acne scar which is absorbed by the water molecules present inside skin cells and the aqueous content gets vaporized instantly destroying the bad cells. On the other hand nonablative laser is not invasive. Instead of damaging the top most layer of skin it enhances the collagen production in the dermal level so that the acne scars get healed up from within.