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Types of Acne Scarring

(article ©copyright, Acne is a name that is famous in its own right, but for all of the wrong reasons.

Most teenagers know, and dread, the very word acne, as it so prevalently wrecks havoc on their faces throughout their adolescent years. Few are spared from this onslaught, and, at some point or other in their lives, most of us have faced acne of some form or other.

For some of us, fortunately enough, it subsides after adolescence.

For others, it is a battle that they fight through their lives, to keep their acne under control.

Still, even the luckiest of people who have the mildest case of acne rarely escape completely unscathed. And even after the acne is gone, it leaves behind signs that it was once there, most commonly in the form of scars.

In many ways, it would be right to describe these scars as the final part of the battle against acne.

Although some people choose to simply leave the scars be, completely happy that they’re actually over and done with the acne itself; many others simply leave the scars be because they don’t know what to do.

Truth is, acne scars can be reduced, and even removed completely, which is generally the most preferred course of action.

Needless to say, it is what this book is about: Reducing, removing, and just plain getting rid of all those acne scars that are left on your skin.

As far as how easy it will or will not be, well, that would depend on the extent of scarring that you’re facing, and also on the type of scars. Soon enough, you’ll see that not all scars are the same, and different types of scars often require different treatments.

Before we get into the meat of things though (figuratively speaking, of course) you should know that if you do have severe scarring, this is going to be a process that could take quite some time.

But then again, if you do have severe scarring, you also no doubt have dreamed of being rid of it. With that kind of motivation, and the will to see things through till the end, you can and will be rid of your acne scarring.

First though, let’s take a look at what acne scarring actually entails.

“What is Acne Scarring?”
It might seem like a bit of a crazy question to ask, but as you’re about to see, it isn’t really that crazy at all.

Although the common answer might be, “Well, it is scars that are left behind by acne,” that doesn’t really sufficiently answer the question at all.

Why? For the most part, it is because acne can leave more than just scars behind on your skin.

Very often, this is the cause of a lot of confusion. Indeed, a lot of people term any and all things left behind by acne as ‘acne scarring’, which isn’t really correct at all. No, acne scarring is just the actual scars, which contain scar tissue.

With all that said and done though, we’re going to also be taking a look at some of the other traces over the course of this book. After all, it does seem like a good idea to help you get rid of all the traces of acne, rather than just limiting ourselves because of a definition.

Types of Acne Scarring
Right now though, let’s take a quick look at the type of acne scars that you might encounter.

Hypertrophic Scarring
If you have hypertrophic scars, then you will be able to recognize them instantly. In a nutshell, they’re the type of scars that grow outwards.

As far as appearance is concerned they look like thickened skin in mild cases, but in more severe cases can even take the form of very large (and thus very obvious) growths that are a firm mass of tissue.

Such scars are caused by an excess of collagen, and appear most often in acne has affected the torso. That said, this does not mean that it may not necessarily appear on facial acne as well.

Men seem to be more susceptible to this type of scarring compared to women.

Without a doubt, these type of scars, especially in the severe cases, should be dealt with as they can cause a number of problems, not the least of which due to their appearance that often ties in with confidence and self-esteem issues.

Let’s now take a look at the other type of acne scars, which tend to be a bit more involved.

Atrophic Scarring
Unlike hypertrophic scarring, which causes tissue to actually grow, atrophic scarring is the complete opposite: It causes tissue to be lost.

On the whole, it is much more common than hypertrophic scarring, and generally, most of the acne scars that you would see in facial acne are various types of atrophic scarring. Matter of fact, there are 5 main types of such scars:

  1. Depressed Fibrotic Scars
    Generally speaking, this type of scars is large, though different cases of it can vary pretty considerably. Because of their size though, they affect whole ‘patches’ of skin, and appear to be depressed valleys in the skin.

    By far, these scars tend to be the most severe-looking, and often have steep and jagged edges.

  2. Ice-Pick Scars
    Similar enough to depressed fibrotic scars, ice-pick scars are sort of like a distant cousin to them.

    And a much smaller cousin to boot, generally appearing as a small hole rather than an entire depressed patch. No surprise then that this is where the name comes from, since their appearance strongly resembles skin that has been poked by an ice pick.

    At other times though, ice-pick scars may even be slightly larger, and look more like an open hole or pore.

    Admittedly most cases tend to be deep and narrow, as if an entire column of skin tissue has been destroyed – which is pretty much exactly what happens to form these scars.

  3. Soft Scars
    As one of the more common types of acne scarring, soft scars are those small circular or boxy type depressions in the skin. Basically it looks like a small pit in the surface of the skin.

    Though they are common, soft scars also tend to be the least worrisome, as they have gentle slopes, and merge with the surrounding skin.

    Incidentally, the name ‘soft scars’ is used mostly due to the fact that they feel ‘soft’ when touched.

  4. Atrophic Macules
    Depending on how mild or severe these types of scars are, they are often mistaken for simple discolorations, when mild, that is.

    Technically, they are scars though, and when they first appear are normally purplish or bluish. At their base, there are normally small wrinkles in the skin that leads up to the scar itself.

    The cases of mistaken identity involving atrophic macules mostly stem from the fact that they aren’t very obvious at times, and are mostly very small, especially in facial acne.

  5. Follicular Macular Atrophy
    Know what whiteheads look right? Well, follicular macular atrophy are a type of scars that pretty much look just like them.

    Normally, they crop up on the chest or back, instead of the face, and emerge as white lesions that are soft and do not protrude much from the surface of the skin itself. So yes, they essentially look like small whiteheads that didn’t fully develop.

    Although they are scars, they are also a lot less permanent in nature than most other scars, and have been known to fade away after a few months, or years.

That brings us to the end of our brief look at the types of acne scarring, And you know what? We haven’t even touched on the things that aren’t acne scars, but are often considered to be. That's in our next article titled:

Acne Spots and Traces



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