Thursday, 26 December 2013

Treatment for Various Types of Acne Scars

Some Factual Information on Scars

In a prior blog titled “Types of Acne Scars”, information on the types of Acne and what type of Acne scars can form and why, may be referred to. In continuation with that blog, in this blog information on how acne scars can be treated, will be presented. 

Before we get down to the actual treatments, let us first get familiar with certain facts about scars and what the implication of such scars are.

Ø  Skin tissue when seriously injured has the ability to produce more collagen to repair the damaged skin. The new skin forms the scar
Ø  An inevitable outcome when the layer or layers of skin are injured and there are changes to the physical construction of the normal skin
Ø  Either physical injury or a disease process can cause the occurrence of scars
Ø  If the injury has not been properly treated then the symptoms cause thick, unpleasant scars to form
Ø  Keloid type of scars, that are very thick, itchy and enlarged, are prone to occur in certain populations with a genetic predisposition
Ø  Scarring also happens on parts of the skin where there is plenty of skin tension or movement. These type of scars are also unsightly
Ø  Where there have been surgical incisions, surgeons utilize techniques in order to contain the scarring to a bare minimum

All is Not Lost


With the quantum leaps of progress in Medical Science and Technology, truly all is not lost and neither have you to resign yourself to living with the scars occurring due to an affliction of acne. There are several treatments and options available and they are:
Ø  Soft Tissue fillers
Ø  Chemical peels
Ø  Dermabrasion
Ø  Microdermabrasion
Ø  Laser, Light source and Radiofrequency Treatments
Ø  Skin surgery

Soft Tissue Fillers


This procedure helps make the scars less noticeable. The fillers comprise of either fat or collagen which are injected into the damaged skin to fill it out and to stretch it. A temporary respite that requires frequent visits, periodically.

Chemical Peels


This procedure employs the use of high strengths of acid which peels away the top layer of the damaged skin and curtails the deeper lying scars. Sometimes some peels can even penetrate deeper into the skin.

Dermabrasion


Dermabrasion is commonly used to remove severe acne scars. As the word suggests the damaged skin is scraped to remove the top layer of the scarred skin using a rapidly rotating wire brush to resurface the skin. A side effect of Dermabrasion particularly in dark skinned people is a possible change in pigmentation.

Microdermabrasion


A gentler technique than Dermabrasion, wherein crystals are sprayed on to the damaged or scarred surface of the skin, through a handheld device whereby these crystals help gently abrade or polish the skin and resurfaces it. In this procedure only the surface skin cells are removed when a vacuum tube removes the crystal and skin cells. However, it is not very effective on removing scars. 

Laser, Light Source and Radiofrequency Treatments


Acne scars appear to be very subtle when laser, light source and radiofrequency treatments are used. In this procedure, the pulsed sources emanating from these devices razes the epidermis and heats up the underlying skin layer to help formation of new skin.

Skin Surgery


Is of two types – Subcision and Punch Excision
In the first procedure, the skin area where the acne scars are present will be cut out and as it heals better looking skin will form on par with the rest of your skin. In Punch Excision, the scars are sewn together using stitches or sutures.  

Friday, 13 December 2013

Types of Acne - Acne Scars

Types of Acne

An affliction of acne could be mild, moderate or severe. There are 7 types of acne:

1. Whiteheads - Small, whitish bumps caused by clogging of the pores on the skin. They appear to be white as the afflicted areas have not been exposed to the sun.
2. Blackheads – are similar to whiteheads but are black in color as the area where the blackheads are have been exposed to the sun and therefore have been oxidized. These dark bumps can turn yellow because of the presence of excessive melanin in the skin.
3. Papules - Small, firm, cone-shaped lumps, pink in color, and do not contain any pus. They should never be poked or popped as this will lead to creation of scars.
4. Pustules – are a moderate form of acne and are small, round lesions, with either red, yellow or even whitish color at their centers.
5. Nodules and Cysts - Nodules are deep-rooted, painful, severely inflamed and hard. Cysts are also deep-rooted, but soft pus-filled acne. Both are caused because the blackheads or whiteheads have not been attended to. Nodules and Cysts can occur separately and will last for weeks. Cysts are the more severe form of acne.
6. Back Acne – Occurs when sweat and heat are snagged against the body and underneath layers of clothing, consequently irritating the skin.
7. Acne Conglobata (AC) – is a very rare and severe type of acne. This type of acne can occur widely across your body. Areas that can get infected are your back, chest, shoulders, upper arms, thighs, face and even your posterior. This type of acne has abscesses which leave scars. This condition is a combination of pustules, and nodules with the added possibility of bacterial infection. No known causes for occurrence of this type of acne has been found, however this condition can erupt if your existing acne is left untreated.

How does Scarring Develop?

Acne in its most severe forms can cause scarring. Scars are formed once the lesions has healed; a fibrous tissue forms a layer over the wound, replacing / repairing the skin.

Types of Acne Scars

Ø  Atrophic Acne Scars – these blemishes are small, soft sunken scars. They can be purple or reddish in color and are commonly found to occur in the Caucasian population. The purple or reddish color is due to the presence of blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin.
Ø  Depressed (Atrophic) Fibrotic Acne Scars - found underneath the outer layer of the skin and is characterized by being deep, fibrotic, sharper, well defined steeper edges in comparison to an Atrophic scar. It is also larger than an atrophic scar.
Ø  Pigmented Acne Scars – appears to be red in color on light complexioned skin and black or brown on dark complexioned individuals. These scars occur when the inflammation caused by the acne begins it healing process.
Ø  Boxcar Acne Scars – forms when the inflamed lesion damages the tissue creating a sunken area under the skin. Appears to be small depressed craters either oval or round in shape with steeply angled sides. They look akin to chicken pox.
Ø  Ice Pick Acne Scars – lie deep under the skin sometimes extending into the lower layers of the dermis or secondary skin. They are small, narrow, pinpoint in shape.
Ø  Superficial and Deep Soft Acne Scars – generally circular in shape with rolling edges. They are not fibrotic.
Ø  Keloid (Hypertrophic) Acne Scars – this type of scarring occurs mostly in populations that are Asian or African. These acne scars project above the skin and are caused because the body produces excess collagen and fibrous tissue.