The biggest thing is that the treatment for acne and the treatment for scars is different. These are two separate issues. And to compound matters there are different types of acne and different types of scarring. We will look at both acne and scars and the different types and the possible solutions for both.
We will start with the different types of acne first and then move onto scarring and how to treat acne and scars will be covered in each section.
The Different types of Acne.
Acne is caused by blocked follicles. This can happen by a multitude of things but the main ones are everyday wear and tear such as dirt build up, bacteria, dead skin cells and or oil (sebum) which enter your pores and block them.
It is easy to blame Acne on skin surface blockages but they can also be triggered by things beneath the skin such as hormones which can lead to excess sebum production and also follicle blockage, In fact, acne can be caused by issues that aren’t related to those mentioned above.
- Hormonal shifts during – puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause and in some cases;
- Certain Medications.
- Carbohydrate rich diets.
- Genetics, as in, if one or both of your parents had acne, then potentially you are more likely to also develop it.
These are noninflammatory spots which include Blackheads and Whiteheads and they are usually caused by your skin pores being blocked from such things as dirt, oils and dead skin cells. These are the most common form and we are all likely to get them at some stage in our lives.
Whiteheads and Blackheads are very similar, the only difference being that whiteheads have skin covering them, Blackheads don’t and are referred to as “open comedones,” they are created from the blocked oil in your skin becoming oxidized by air and this turns them black.
Both Blackheads and Whiteheads are different from pustules as they don’t contain pus and cannot spread to other parts of the face.
They can be treated with salicylic acids, face scrubs and general upkeep of facial hygiene.
These Papules are small red bumps that often appear as clusters on the skin. They are caused by blocked pores mixing with bacteria and create inflamed lesions in the surrounding skin tissue.
For papules and other inflammatory acne, generally, the most effective treatment is benzoyl peroxide which kills the bacteria.
This is your typical “pimple” or “zit,” this type of acne looks large and red with a white or yellow core. The core contains pus from bacteria and it can spread if you pick at them, this can lead to further breakouts on other parts of the skin. They can be quite tender to the touch but can go away on their own.
The process can be sped up with the application of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which kill the bacteria and draw out the excess oils.
One of the most severe forms of acne is cystic acne. Cysts are large and painful pimples without heads. They are caused by oil and bacteria being trapped under the surface of the skin and often appear on the chin or jaw. Do not pop or pick these pimples because it can lead to further breakout and scarring.
Nodules are painful and hard lumps and lie deep within the body, they have no heads or visible centers. They are caused by clogged pores which can then cause damage to the tissues and cells deep beneath the skins surface.
It is possible to have more than one type of acne at once and you should discuss this with your doctor for help in diagnosing them.
For all types of Acne treatment we highly recommend Exposed Skin Care products, you can buy them singly or as a kit and the kit is probably the kindest on your pocket, we would go for the Expanded Kit and this will cover all the bases required.
The Different types of Acne Scars
Acne scars fall into two main categories: those caused by a loss of tissue (atrophic scars), and those caused by an excess of tissue (hypertrophic scars). Within these categories, there are four main types of acne scars: ice pick, boxcar, rolling, and keloid scars.
There are procedures, though, that can improve the look and texture of your skin. Your options depend on the type of scarring you have. Most people have more than one type of scarring on their skin, so you might need a few different treatments to see the best results.
Ice Pick Scars
Ice pick scars are deep, very narrow scars that extend into the dermis.
The skin looks as if it has been pierced by an ice pick or sharp instrument. Ice pick scars seem to make a small, thin, deep hole into the skin. Some may look like a large, open pore.
Ice pick scars develop after an infection from a cyst or other deep inflamed blemish works its way to the surface. Skin tissue is destroyed, leaving a long, column-like scar.
Boxcar scars are round or oval depressions with steep vertical sides. Wider than ice pick scars, boxcar scars give the skin an uneven, pitted appearance.
When an inflammatory breakout destroys collagen, the tissue is lost. The skin over this area is left without support, creating a depressed area. Boxcar scars can be superficial to severe, depending on the amount of tissue lost.
This type of scarring causes rolling or wave-like depressions across otherwise normal-looking skin. Rolling scars differ from boxcar scars in that they aren’t sharply defined. The skin itself looks uneven and craggy.
Rolling scars arise when fibrous bands of tissue develop between the skin and the subcutaneous tissue below. These bands pull the epidermis, binding it to deeper structures of the skin. It is this pulling of the epidermis from within that creates the rolling appearance of the skin.
Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars
Hypertrophic scars are firm, raised scars that grow above the surface of the skin. Hypertrophic scars caused by acne are most often found on the torso, especially in men, but they can happen anywhere on the body. Hypertrophic scars are more common after a deep wound or trauma.6
Keloids are a more severe type of raised scar. They differ from hypertrophic scars in that keloids grow larger than the original wound. They can send out raised, lateral shoots that expand much farther than the wound itself, and can continue to grow long after the original wound has healed. Some people are more prone to developing keloids.
Unlike ice pick and boxcar scars, hypertrophic scars are not caused by a loss of tissue. Rather, they develop because of an overproduction of collagen. In the case of keloids, it’s as if the skin doesn’t know that the wound has healed, and continues to produce collagen.
The real term here is Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and this is caused by discoloration left on the skin after a pimple has healed and it isn’t a true acne scar. It’s extremely common for people with acne.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a flat area (neither raised nor pitted) that ranges in color from black to red, purple, brown, or pink, depending on your skin type.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation develops when a wound, rash, pimple, or other trauma causes skin inflammation. As the skin heals, it produces too much melanin (the substance that gives skin its color), leaving a darker area.
The best product we have found is Revitol Scar Cream and it not only works on Acne Scars but on all types of other scarring as well. If you are looking for an over the counter treatment that is natural we can certainly recommend Revitol.
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