Just like acne, types of acne scarring can appear on the skin in a variety of ways, and differ between individuals. The type of acne scarring to expect depends on the type of acne you suffer with, the treatment you undertake and the levels of collagen within the skin. Find out about the different types of acne scars.
Different Types of Acne Scars
Acne scar types range from atrophic, appearing as deep depressions, or hypertrophic, with a raised appearance.
Ice Pick Scar
Ice pick scars, as their name suggests, appear pitted, as a wide indentation at the surface that narrows down into the skin. They are often found where the skin is thinnest, such as the upper cheeks and forehead. Severe acne causes ice pick scars. E.g. acne cysts. As a result, they are incredibly hard to treat, with their depth and narrow impressions often very noticeable on the skin. Treatment must be persistent and aggressive, and usually requires combining methods.
Rolling Acne Scar
Types of acne scarring such as rolling scars often appear where the skin is thicker, such as the lower cheeks and jaw. Rolling scars are atrophic, and have varying depths with sloping edges. This type of acne scarring usually appears as a larger size than the original acne lesion that caused it, due to the healing process of the skin. When suffering with different types of acne scars, it can affect the skin’s overall appearance. The sloping edges of rolling scars often give the skin a wavy, uneven appearance. Additional work is required on the skin tone after the initial treatment reduces the depth of the scar and texture of the skin.
Boxcar scars are other types of acne scarring and appear as round or oval craters in the skin. They are wider than ice pick scars, but not as wide as rolling scars. Box car scars make up around 20-30% of atrophic scarring. The sharply defined edges go deep within the skin, so minimising their appearance is often a longer process than with other acne scarring types. Although, some treatments can be simple, depending on their depth and location. Boxcar scars can be discoloured on the skin’s surface. They may appear red and dark brown, or be the same colour as the skin surrounding them.
Unlike the types of acne scarring already discussed, keloid scars are a form of hypertrophic scars. Keloid scars show as raised lumps, not depressions. They appear on the surface of the skin. The difference between hypertrophic scars and keloid scars is apparent by the size that they grow to. Unlike other hypertrophic scarring, keloid scars grow bigger than the original lesion. The overgrowth of scar tissue is most likely to affect those with darker skin tones. Particularly appearing across the jawline, back, chest and shoulders. Often, they are itchy, tender and painful, and can last for years.