Acne scars are the result of tissue damage cause by acne that was left untreated or treated improperly. When the tissue is damaged, the body reacts by initiating the repair process and causes collagen to build up in the damaged area. This excess collagen causes a fibrous mass that ends up becoming a smooth, but firm scar. The scars may also result when the tissue has been lost and is the most common type of scar.
There are several different categories of scars including:
- “Ice-pick” scar
- Depressed scars
- Soft scars
- Atrophic macules
Scars are treated through a variety of different options. One effective method is to inject collagen into the site of the scar. This is a process that has to be repeated about every three to six months. The collagen will cause the skin to puff and makes the scar less noticeable.
Another process that is similar involves using a person’s own body fat. This is called an autologus fat transfer. The fat is taken from another part of the body and then injected into the acne scar. It causes the scar to fill out. This process will also need to be repeated because the fat is reabsorbed.
Dermabrasion is another common method for treating scarring. This is done under local anesthesia. During this process, a thin layer of skin is removed using a fraise or brush at high speed. This removes the surface layer and can actually remove some shallow scarring. This can lessen the depth of the scarring. Microdemabrasion removes the skin surface using crystals of aluminum oxide that is passed through a vacuum.