Acne Scars Reduction

One of the most common problems that affect the face is acne scars. Though acne may be transient, scars remain and remind of the problem, making the scars more than just skin deep. In a generation where communication and social interaction is through visual media, it becomes frustrating for the patient. An approach to the treatment of acne scars should always address the acne first so that there is no recurrence of scars once the treatment is complete.

What are the different types of acne scars?

There are three main types of acne scars:
Pigmented acne scars – These scars are at the same level as the skin and are darker than the surrounding skin. Pigmented scars can be dark or red in color.

Depressed acne scars – These acne scars are lower than the level of the skin. These can be of three different types, ice pick scars, rolling scars, and boxcar scars depending on their shape. The shape of the scars affects the results as well, with rolling scars being responsive to any treatment.

Elevated acne scars – These acne scars are elevated above the level of the skin. They can be small and soft (seen on the nose or chin) or large and hard (seen on the chest and back).

Any patient has more than one type of acne scar. The dermatologist usually picks the treatment after assessing the type of scars and picks the treatment combinations which help with most of the scars.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We like to assist our clients with a knowledgeable and in-depth collective approach to answer for all your queries and fears with our FAQ mega-base.

The acne scar is a condition involving the full thickness of the skin – epidermis, and dermis. The acne develops as a blackhead or blockage of the oil gland duct. The secretions of the gland back up in the duct. This forms a medium for irritation and the bacterial overgrowth which triggers inflammation. The inflammatory cells destroy the gland and the supporting structures which are the collagen, and hyaluronic acid in the dermis, leading to depressed scars. The treatment for the scars, therefore, have to target the dermis, as the primary pathology lies there. If the patient is prone to the formation of pigmentation, then the epidermis starts to look red or dark. If the patient is prone to the formation of keloids or elevated scars, the acne scars result in elevated scars.

The best method to prevent acne scars is to treat acne early and well. To learn more about acne treatment, go to – Acne treatment. Other factors that increase chances of scarring include squeezing or picking at acne which may push the inflammation deeper making it more likely to pigment or scar. People who pick repeatedly at the acne also develop severe pigmentation called Acne Excoriee. Some people also have a genetic history of scarring, so mild acne leaves scarring as well. Whatever the level of acne, once scars appear, it needs to be treated aggressively, as acne scars can become permanent.

Pigmented acne scars are usually seen in patients who pick at their acne, or in darker skin types. The first line of treatment is to start oral medicines after the diagnosis of the cause of acne. The patient needs to use a gentle exfoliating wash, and a hydrating moisturizer as the pigmentation will increase with the dryness of the skin. A broad spectrum acne sunscreen which is noncomedogenic and gel-based is advised for regular use. Topical skin lightening creams are advised at night with oral vitamin C and zinc supplement.

The treatments for pigmented acne scars include Chemical peels such as Glycolic peel, Retinol Peel and TCA peel as well as Microdermabrasion. As these pigmented scars may occur on the face, trunk as well as shoulders, these peels can be used in these areas as well. Multiple sessions of treatment are needed for good improvement. A fast track treatment of acne scars includes the use of Q YAG laser carbon treatments, which can show improvement in the appearance of the scars even after the first session. Read more about these treatments here: Link to chemical peels, Microdermabrasion, and Q YAG laser toning.


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Disclaimer- Dr. Dixit Cosmetic Dermatology reserves all the rights of this website. The information published on this website is correct to the best of our knowledge. However, this is generic in nature and does not apply to an individual case.