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How acne scars form and the different types of acne scars.

Acne scars are permanent changes to the texture of the skin with indentations that occur as a result of acne. The temporary red and brown marks left after a blemish has gone is not considered acne scarring, as these marks will almost always improve without treatment. Acne scarring has varying degrees of sizes and depth on the skin.


When blemishes are inflamed in the skin, as a result of clogged pores, they swell and can break the pores walls. These blemishes destroy skin tissue which is not replaced during the healing process. When the cyst eventually empties and the area heals, it usually leaves behind an indentation (or scar) due to not enough collagen being made while the wound is healing.

While it is estimated that 80 percent of people between ages 11 and 30 will have acne outbreaks at some point, not all of these will result in scarring. Scarring can also come in many different shapes and sizes even in the same area on the face or body.

Acne scars fall into two main categories: those caused by a loss of tissue (atrophic scars), and those caused by an excess of tissue (hypertrophic scars). Within these categories, there are four main types of acne scars: ice pick, boxcar, rolling, and keloid scars.


Ice pick scars are a type of atrophic scar. This is characterised by indentations in the skin rather than raised above the skin. These look like small, narrow pinholes in the skin. Ice pick scars get their name because it looks like an ice pick has pierced the skin. They're very deep and often go all the way down into the lower levels of the dermis.

Boxcar scars are another form of atrophic scarring. They look like small oval, circular, rectangular, or square indentations. These often appear as a U-shaped scar. They are shallower than ice pick scars and don’t form deep in the skin.


Rolling scars are the last variety of atrophic scarring. These are wide depressions that typically have rounded edges and an irregular, rolling appearance. This type of scarring is the result of long-term, chronic acne due to the repeated inflammation and trauma to the skin. This creates uneven scar tissue. As the skin ages it naturally sags making the appearance of rolling scars more evident.

Hypertrophic/ Keloid scars are a more severe raised, scar that grow above the surface of the skin and grow larger than the original wound and can continue to grow long after the original wound has healed. Some people are more prone to developing keloids as it can be hereditary. Hypertrophic scars are more common after a deep wound or trauma. Keloid scars develop due to an overproduction of collagen.

The best acne scar prevention is to prevent them from forming in the beginning. The golden rule is don't pick at acne. Picking blemishes only causes further damages to the surrounding tissue, which will prolong the healing process, and can exacerbate further breakouts, starting the cycle all over again.


Treatments such as Microdermabrasion and Skin Needling combined can combat atrophic scaring. Microdermabrasion mechanically re surfaces the outer most layer of the epidermis. Removing unwanted dead skin cells, preventing future breakouts and reducing he appearance of atrophic scaring by cutting back the epidermis. New collagen production is stimulated as part of the body's natural wound healing response. Skin Needling is a pen like device with hundreds of micro needles which gently penetrate the skin to promote a natural healing response and stimulate essential growth factors and natural production of collagen to improve and strengthen the underlying structure of the skin reducing and even removing the appearance of atrophic scaring.


For other treatments that can help atrophic scaring;

Mesoestetic skin peels due to the resurfacing effect boosting cellular rejuvenation and renewal.

Clear + Brilliant triggering the body’s healing process, replacing damaged skin with new, fresh tissue diminishing pitted scaring or uneven textures to the skin. These are all great effective and non invasive treatments. You Can find more information HERE or call True Dermal Clinic on 03 9882 8228.


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