Acne Scars

Causes of Acne Scars

Scars form at the site of tissue injury. These are visible indications of damage and tissue repair. In acne, the injury is caused by bacterial infection. Whenever tissue damage occurs, the body activates its repair mechanism which include white blood cells and molecules that have the task of repairing damaged tissues. Scar tissues form when the repair mechanism is incomplete or not done properly.

There are 2 types of true scars

1. Depressed scars – scars which are formed due to loss of tissue.

Ice pick scars: These are deep pitted scars which is usually associated with acne scarring. They are small and resemble the appearance of wounds from an ice pick.

Boxcar scars: Their appearance is similar to chickenpox scars. They have well defined edges and usually occur on the temple and cheeks

Rolling scars: Scars that would usually give the skin a wave-like appearance on the surface. They are usually wide and have a shallow depth.

2. Raised or Thickened scars – scars which are formed due to increased tissue formation. It is usually associated with overproduction of collagen. The excess collagen causes the formation of fibrous masses which are usually firm, smooth and irregularly shaped.

Hypertrophic/Keloid scars: Scars which are raised or thickened. These are overgrowths of tissue which are rubbery in texture and firm to touch.

Acne References

Cunliffe W. The Acnes. (Chapter reprints from previous AcneNet Advisory Committee). AAD Press Releases.

Roenigk HH, Jr. Treatment of the aging face. In: Roenigk RK, Roenigk HH, Jr. (Eds). Dermatologic
Surgery. Principles and Practice. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.; 1996: 1057-1160.

Jordan RE, Cummins CL, Burls AJ, Seukeran DC. Laser resurfacing of acne scars (Cochrane
review). Cochrane Database System Rev 2001; 1:CD001866.

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