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Understanding Acne Scars To Find A Sensible Treatment Approach

Updated on June 19, 2013

Acne Scars Are Made of Collagen Fibers

It is important to understand that you can't really peel away acne scars, the way you might with a scab. This is because they are made of collagen fibers. So essentially, they become a part of your skin's own fabric.

When you have acne pimples, the skin pores are blocked. This means that oil cannot flow freely to the surface. Instead. it remains trapped. This creates an ideal habitat for bacteria growth.

The purpose of your immune system is to defend and protect the body from foreign invaders. So it be activated by the bacteria. This will cause an inflammation reaction to occur. Pimples will be swollen, red, filled with pus and sometimes painful.

Due to this enlargement, there may be tears in the follicular walls. The skin typically creates collagen to repair itself from injuries. This is how acne scar tissue develops.

How Acne Scar Collagen Is Different From Normal Collagen

You have collagen protein fibers throughout your skin. These fibers are the same as the ones in acne scars. The reason they look different has to due with the way they are arranged. In scar tissue, the collagen is arranged in a disorderly and irregular pattern. This is what makes them look thicker than the rest of your skin

Acne Scar Types and Treatment Options

There are four types of acne scars. They differ in they way they appear.

1) Ice pick scars

2) Boxcar scars

3) Rolling scars

4) Hypertrophic scars

Your dermatologist will be able to tell you what type(s) you have. He or she may recommend treatments like:

1) Punch graft surgery

2) Dermabrasion

3) Laser treatment

Measuring Your Skin's Improvement With Digial Imaging

If you watched the video above, you may have noticed the section which talks about the VISIA skin analysis that the young woman had done.

This type of analysis is available at some dermatology offices at no cost if you are a patient. Having your progress measured is completely up to you.

But many people with acne scars have had the disappointing experience of trying out treatment after treatment, only to get no results in the end.

So getting a digital analysis of your skin helps you see your improvements objectively and realistically.

A dermatologist who offers this most likely has the confidence to know that his or her treatment plan for you will work. And this is why they will happily let you measure your changes.

In the video, the patient's changes were measured in percentiles. If you are not familiar with this concept and would like to learn more, here it is explained on Wikipedia:

The VISIA system has data of other patients who fit under the same age bracket and skin type as you. When your skin is assessed, it is compared to these other scores.

So if you score in the 95th percentile for texture (a measure of acne scarring), it means that your skin was rated higher than 94 percent of the people who who are similar to you.

A Big Reason Why Your Acne Scar Treatments In the Past Did Not Work

If you are going to clear up your acne scars, it is extremely important to clear up your existing acne first.

This is probably the step that many treatment plans miss. And it may be the reason why the end results were not as successful as you would have liked.


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