If acne scars bother you, safe and effective treatment is available. Treatment can diminish acne scars that cause depressions in the skin. Treatment can also safely reduce raised acne scars.Many treatments are available. Treatments include laser treatments, minor skin surgeries, chemical peels, and fillers. A dermatologist or a dermatologic surgeon can perform these treatments in a medical office.
What you see on your skin varies with the types of acne scars you have. Your dermatologist will talk about two types of acne scars:
Depressed: Most acne scars cause depressions or pits in the skin.
Depressed scars usually form on the face. A dermatologist may refer to these scars as “atrophic” (a-tro-fic) scars or use the name of the specific depressed scar:
Although we know what increases a person’s risk of developing acne scars, it is not possible to predict who will develop acne scars. Even people who have all the risk factors may not scar.
It is, however, possible to prevent acne scars with effective acne treatment.
Waiting to treat acne until it becomes severe can lead to extensive scarring.
When acne breakouts penetrate the skin deeply, they damage the skin and the tissue beneath it. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair this damage.
During the healing process, the body produces collagen — a substance that gives the skin support.If the body produces too little or too much collagen, you will see a scar.
The type of scar depends on how much collagen your body makes.
Depressed acne scars: If the body produces too little collagen, depressions or pits form as the skin heals.
Raised acne scars: Sometimes the body produces too much collagen as it tries to heal the skin and underlying tissue. When this happens, a person develops a raised acne scar. This type of acne scar is more common in people who have skin of color like African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
Even when we do our best to prevent acne scars, some people scar. There are many treatment options, which can significantly diminish depressed and raised acne scars.
You can find out about the many treatments by going to Acne scars: Treatment and outcome.