Acne scars are not all created equal. There are several types of scars and marks that can be left behind from active acne. It is important to recognize the different types of acne scars in order to properly treat the skin and improve the appearance of the acne scars.
Types of Acne Scars:
Icepick Scars – Icepick scars are narrow, but very deep scars on the skin. They look as though they were made with a sharp object, like an icepick.
Boxcar Scars – Boxcar scars are pitted scars, with a steep border. Though both types of scars have a steep border, boxcar scars are much wider than icepick scars.
Rolling Scars – Rolling scars are also pitted scars, though they have a soft border.
Raised Scars – Raised scars are actually raised above the skin. They are thick, firm plaques on the skin, commonly seen after trunk acne resolves.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation – This is not a true “scar,” but a mark left behind on the scar after acne resolves. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation appears as a dark spot, with no change in the texture of the skin.
Post-Inflammatory Erythema – This is also not a true “scar,” but a reddish mark that appears on the skin, without any textural changes.
The most effective treatments for acne scars are the Fractional CO2 Laser and the Fraxel Laser. These lasers poke tiny holes in the skin’s surface, which stimulates the production of new collagen to fill in the pitted areas.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is most effectively treated with the Fraxel Laser. It can also be treated with chemical peels and topical prescription strength medications.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation can be treated with the KTP laser, which diminishes the appearance of redness on the skin.