Macules and Scars:
Before I jump into the topic of scars, I need to clarify the difference between Macules and Scars. Macules may look like scars, but they are not scars in the sense that a permanent change has occurred. Macules are essentially the final stage of most inflamed acne lesions. They are normally flat, reddish spots that can remain for up to 8 months. But the difference between a Macule and a scar is that a Macule will end up disappearing completely whereas a scar will remain for years or indefinitely.
As for scars, this can also vary from person to person. With some individuals, scars may remain for a lifetime without change but with others, their skin will undergo a form of remodeling that will eventually diminish the scar.
Another factor that needs to be evaluated is the human element of scarring. People simply have different feelings about acne scars. Those who are distressed about their acne scars are much more likely to actively seek out treatment to moderate or remove the scar than those who are more indifferent about the scars.
Cause of Scars:
Let us first gain a better understanding of acne scars by first determining the cause of scars. A scar is a mark left in the skin by the healing of a wound or surgical incision in which the normal functional tissue (skin) is replaced by connective tissue (scar). In the case of acne, the lesion is caused by the body%u2019s inflammatory response to sebum, bacteria and dead cells that are trapped in the plugged sebaceous follicle.
When your skin tissue has suffered a lesion of some sorts, your body will attempt to heal the injured site. It does so by increasing the white blood cells in the area along with an array of inflammatory molecules whose function is to repair the damaged tissue and fight infection. In the end, the repair job can be messy, and the site of the lesion is now filled with fibrous scar tissue or eroded tissue. As for the inflammatory molecules and white blood cells, they can remain at the acne lesion for days and even weeks.
Take note of the fact that not everyone functions in the same way, and this holds true with our skin as well. Some people are simply more prone to scarring than others.
Treatment for scars:
Bear in mind that treating acne and treating acne scars are two completely different things. Treating your acne has nothing to do with treating an acne scar. Acne scars can indeed be treated, but it is important that an acne sufferer bring their acne condition under control first if they still suffer from moderate to severe acne.
Once your acne subsides, make an appointment with a dermatologist and discuss the methods (if applicable) of scar treatment(s) he/she recommend you undergo to treat your scars. Keep in mind that there are many methods with which you may treat your scars. These methods vary according to your scar type, size and location, type of skin, and of course, money $$$. All this should be discussed in great detail with your dermatologist.
Before undergoing scar treatment, ask yourself the following questions before having your dermatologist undergo the decided procedure(s).: Are you willing to wait and see if the scars will subside on their own with time? Do your acne scars affect you emotionally and socially? Is your scarring substantial enough to warrant scar treatment? Can you afford the treatment or what treatment options can you afford?
Keep in mind, the objective of scar treatment is not to necessarily rid you of all indications of scars by completely restoring your skin. It very much depends on the severity of your scars, your skin type, your skins ability to regenerate, etc. Significant improvements can definitely be achieved, but complete restoration is often impossible.
Whenever body suffers any injury, the body rushes its soldiers to protect itself. Acne infection is also an injury that needs repair and body sends white blood cells and other molecules that fight the infection and repair the infected site. After the repairing job is completed, a scar forms that is the sign of repair. Skin never becomes as smooth as it was before the acne. Some scar is always left. Let us find out more about acne scars and how doctors can repair them so that you get something similar to your earlier look again.
Types Of acne scars- before we discuss about the type of scars, let us also note that everyone has different tendency of scar formation. Some people develop very less scars, while others may have major scars for the same type of acne. Acne scars are of two types- scars that are caused by loss of tissue and scars caused by increased tissue formation.
Depressed Scars- these scars may be of different types such as Ice-pick scars, depressed fibrotic scars, soft scars and macular types. As the cyst expands with pus, bacteria, oil and dead skin cells it ruptures and attacks the dermis. to protect the dermis the white blood cells rush in. This rupture may cause loss of collagen giving rise to deep recess or depression. The skin above is left unsupported because of loss of tissue below it and a saucer shaped or jagged ice pick scar is formed. Ice pick scars are more common on face.
Keloids- In some people the scar forms in a reverse fashion. With the loss of collagen, body triggers fibroblasts that produce excessive collagen producing scar tissues called keloids. Keloids are more commonly found on male torsos. Other type of increased tissue formation scar is called hypertrophic scar. Hypertrophy means overgrowth.
Scar Treatment- scars can be treated by your dermatologist using different treatments. Before proceeding for scar treatment, you have to discuss your feelings about the scars with your doctor. The cost involved may also play a role in choosing the treatment. What results you desire is the third factor. The severity of the scar, the location and type of treatments that can be done are other factors that have to be used to treat acne scars. The common treatments for acne scars are- collagen treatment, laser treatment, dremabrasion, microdermabrasion, skin surgery, skin grafting etc. Keloids may be left untreated if it is felt that treatment will form further keloids. Injecting with steroid injections may also treat keloids.
This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.