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Acne Scars – 2 Forms of Acne Scars Are Discussed
What lasts longer than acne is acne scars. The mark that it leaves is more dreadful than the presence of acne itself. Acne scars are physical evidence of the presence of acne. Acne scars represent the areas of damage and repair. When an area is damaged, white blood cells and platelets work together to heal the spot. However, after healing, the original form of the damaged tissue is always altered.
Genetics plays its part in the susceptibility of individuals to the degree of scarring and to the type of scar left. Some scars disappear through time, while others remain the same. Deep scars are common to people who have deeply damaged follicles.
Scars are best prevented by controlling acne pop-outs. The prevention of inflammation makes scars less likely to appear thus it is best not to squeeze them. People with healthy lifestyle need not bother since their body can eventually heal them in time. Too much sun exposure will also make scars stay longer and smoking will make the skin more vulnerable to scarring since this habit decreases the amount of collagen reserves which increases free radical formation and toxin formation.
2 Forms of Acne Scars
Acne scars come in 2 forms. There are “pseudo-scars” and “true scars”.
1. Pseudo-scars include macules and hyperpigmentation. Macules are the result of the acne’s healing process which is identified with a flat skin and reddish spot. This usually lasts for 6 months and does not result to permanent scarring. Hyperpigmentation is skin darkening after the healing process of the acne. This usually lasts for 18 months and is common among Asians, Latinos and African-Americans.
2. True scars are the result of either tissue formation or tissue loss beyond normal. Keloids or hypertropic scars represent true scars as a result of tissue formation. They are believed to be passed on genetically. They usually occur when the skin produces too much collagen, resulting to lumps in the skin, more frequently near the jaw. This kind of scar is permanent and is usually removed only through laser treatment.
True scars or the tissue loss type come in a variety forms they are:
a) Ice-pick acne scars: are usually tiny but occur deep and are associated with jagged sides.
b) Soft acne scars have sloping edges and are usually small, round and soft.
c) Fibrotic acne scars are depressed and are usually the larger versions of ice-pick scars.
d) Atrophic macules, which are seen in Caucasians, appear as purplish wrinkled skin at first then changes to an ivory color through time.
e) Follicular macular atrophy is similar to whiteheads but they are not developed. They commonly occur on the back or chest.
Acne scars poses a permanent threat to the beauty of the skin, but they are treatable. Macules and hyperpigmentation are treated with bleaching agents to lighten the color of the scar and resemble the natural color of the skin. Retinol, Retin-A and Renova are resurfacing drugs that can improve the appearance of acne. A choice of microdermabrasion and dermatologic surgery is also acceptable. It is very difficult to restore acne-injured skin to its original state but treatments aim to minimize its appearance. Consulting dermatologists should be done to receive the best advice for treating acne scars.
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