Acne Scars at Any Age

UNTREATED ACNE SCARI had managed to get through my adolescent acne without a single  scar.  This  summer my skin decided to act like  an out of control teenager.  By the time it was brought under control, I was left with my very first  acne scar.  Stuck in the lower half of my left cheek, I   hoped that  I could pass it off as a brand new dimple.   But pictures don’t lie  and it was clear that the indentation was it exactly what it looked like — an acne scar. 

Four Types of Acne Scars

Scars develop from acne eruption  when the skin hurriedly tries to repair itself after a pimple  has demolished  existing collagen.  The fast track  repaired collagen  is not up to code and the result is not ideal.   All acne scars are not created equally and there are actually four different kinds:

1. Saucer Shaped Scars— these are depressions in the skin where the collagen repair  has not provided enough tissue to fill in what was destroyed.  This  is what is going on in my sca.r

2. Icepick Scars— Looking like a giant pore,   they are called ice pick scars because they look like they have been made by a thin sharp instrument.   ( Remember Basic Instinct?  That kind of ice pick).   These scars occur because the follicle and oil gland  have  been totally trashed leaving an empty space where the structures had been.

3.  Hypertrophic Scars— Raised, bumpy  often red scars  are  accumulations of badly made collagen from  overlapping cysts.  The body  was so eagar to repair the skin  it worked   too hard and too fast. 

4. Papular Scars—  these white raised  bumps are  especially resistant treatment.

Treating Acne Scars

Each type of acne scar needs its own treatment protocol.  Retin A, sunscreens and lightening creams, can relieve the hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin   that can accompany scarring.   But the visable signs of collagen disruption need to experience the power of  different types of lasers.

For my “dimple” Dr Marmur zapped the area with Clear and Brilliant laser to lighten the scarACNE SCAR AFTER LASER and  encourage growth of new collagen.  Two weeks later my saucer scar is more  like  my natural skin tone   and  the indention is less deep.   We’re going to try another Clear and Brilliant treatment to encourage a bit more more natural collagen.   Saucer shaped scars can also be leveled off with fillers like Juvaderrm  or Radiesse.  These are generally not permanent solutions but over time, these injectables can also stimulate the growth of  healthy organized collagen.

I am  personally delighted that I do not have any more  acne scars to  repair, but I will be showing  before and after  posts from other women  that illustrate  treatments of the three other  types of scars.  Perfection may not be possible, but  new treatments, especially combination of treatments, can  make a huge difference.

8 thoughts on “Acne Scars at Any Age

      • Microdermabrasion definitely helps by increasing collagen production as well as increasing circulation in newly formed scars, but, you’re right. The fraxel laser and CO2 resurfacing laser will give you more dramatic results in new and old scars.

  1. You’ve raised an importance issue — the different needs of old scars and new scars. I will be showing how to deal with both. Turns out that scars tissue tends to age earlier and dealing with acne scars can improve skin texture as well as make the skin look younger.

  2. This is helpful information, Deb. I haven’t experienced any recent new blemishes but my 21 year old daughter is prone to them. We’ll check this out next trip to her dermatologist. Thanks.

  3. Dermabrasion is another procedure for curing the acne scar, by removing the top skin layer with the wire brush which is rotating rapidly.

    • Yes, dermabrasion is another scar removal technique, but is not used as much today. Lasers like Fraxel can do the same job with more accuracy and easier healing.

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