Thursday, June 11, 2009

Acne Scarring … Do I have to live with it? (Part 1)

First we need to discuss types of acne scarring. There are several types including some that might look like scars but in actuality a permanent change has not occurred.
  • Macules- “Pseudo-scars” are flat, red pots that are at the final stage of most inflamed acne lesions. A macule may remain for up to 6 months. When the macule disappears, no trace will remain-unlike a scar.
  • Post-inflammatory pigmentation- Discoloration of the skin at the site of a healed acne lesion. It occurs more frequently in darker skinned people. It may persist for up to 18 months, especially with excessive sun exposure. Chemical peeling may hasten the disappearance of post-inflammatory pigmentation.
  • Ice pick scars- Usually occur on the cheek. They are small, with jagged edges and steep sides. They may be shallow or deep and hard to soft to touch.
  • Depressed fibrotic scars- Usually large, with sharp edges and steep sides. They are firm to touch. Ice pick scars can develop into depressed fibrotic scars.
  • Soft scars, superficial or deep- They are soft to the touch. Gently sloping rolled edges that merge into normal skin. They are usually small, and either circular or linear in shape.
  • Atrophic macules- They are usually small on the face and larger on the body. They are soft, wrinkled base and may be bluish in appearance due to blood vessels under the scar. Over time they change from bluish to white in light skinned people.
  • Follicular macular atrophy- These are more likely to occur on the chest or back. They are small white lesions, barely raised above the skin surface. It sometimes called “perifollicular elastolysis”. The lesions may persist for months to years.

There is treatment!

There are a number of treatments available for acne scarring, which we will discuss in Part 2. The type of treatment selected should be one that is best for
you in terms of type of skin, cost, your goals and risks.

DeAnna Maher (RN.)

Clinical Manager. Sona MedSpa - Galleria

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