What are the different types of acne scars?

 

types of acne scars illustration

Acne scars are textural changes that occur on the skin as a result of severe acne. If you ever suffered from severe acne in adolescence, it is likely that you currently may be suffering from the scars left behind well into adulthood.

But did you know that not all acne scars are made alike? Not only do they differ in appearance, but they actually differ in how you may treat them as well. The five most common types of acne scars are:

  • Ice-pick scars
  • Rolling scars
  • Boxcar scars
  • Atrophic scars
  • Hypertrophic scars

Ice-Pick Scars

This type of acne scar is best identified by its deep, narrow, and pitting nature.  Due to their depth and narrow impressions, ice pick scars are more severe than boxcar, atrophic, or other types of acne scars. Their severity also makes them difficult to treat at home.

Rolling Scars

This type of acne scars usually appears as broad depressions with a sloping edge. Rolling scars are a common type of scarring that can occur as a result of the acne healing process. They appear as indents in the skin and tend to measure a few millimetres wide.

Boxcar Scars

Boxcar scars are broad, usually box-like depressions with sharply defined edges. Boxcar scars are caused by widespread acne, chickenpox, or varicella, a virus causing a red, itchy rash with blisters. Boxcar scars most often form on areas like the lower cheeks and jaw, where skin is relatively thick.

Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars may appear like flat, thin scars or depressed scars. An atrophic scar develops when the skin cannot regenerate tissue correctly. Unlike keloids and hypertrophic scars, atrophic scars are indented in appearance due to healing that occurs below the expected layer of skin.

Hypertrophic (Keloid) Scars

Lastly, we have Hypertrophic Keloid Scars, which may appear thick and lumpy. A keloid is caused by an excess protein (collagen) in the skin during healing. Keloids often are lumpy or ridged. The scar rises after an injury or condition has healed, such as a surgical incision or acne.

What to do if you have acne scars?

No matter the type of acne scar you may currently be dealing with, rest assured that there are a variety of treatment options available, such as a series of chemical peels or microneedling, that can help reduce the appearance of unsightly scars significantly, giving you back that smooth textured skin you have been dreaming of.

If you’d like for us to take a look and see which treatment may work best for your skin, we offer complimentary consultations! You can schedule your complimentary consultation online today, and we look forward to joining you on your skin care journey!

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