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What Causes Acne Scarring?

Acne scarring also as known as post-inflammatory scarring, develops as a result of suffering from moderate to severe acne over a substantial amount of time. These scars can also occur if skin affected by active acne is traumatised further by squeezing or picking of the lesions. When a minor lesion ruptures near the surface of the skin, it most often will heal quickly. However, more severe lesions can cause a deeper break in the follicle wall, destroying healthy tissue in the dermis. 

In order to repair the damage done to the dermis, the skin begins to repair itself by forming new collagen fibres. However, it is common for this natural repair mechanism to inadequately reform the skin back to its pre-acne state. Hence, why the formation of acne scars often occur. 

Acne Scars Vs Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

It is vital to understand that there are different types of acne scars. Some of the common acne scars include: 

  • Boxcar scars

Boxcar scars are circular or oval depressions with steep vertical edges. More broad than ice pick scars, boxcar scars give the skin a rough, pitted look.

  • Rolling scars 

Rolling scars form depressions on otherwise normal skin. They differ from boxcar scars in that the scar is less defined, given the skin an uneven, pitted appearance. 

  • Ice Pick Scars

    Ice pick scars are deep, very narrow scars that spread to the dermis. The skin appears to have been pierced by an ice pick or a sharp instrument. Ice pick scars tend to create a tiny thin, deep hole in the skin. Some may look like a big, open pore.

    Often, scars may improve over time, depending on its severity. Dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is common; however, it is not classed as a true acne scar. Some acne scars can be permanent if left untreated. 

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