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Acne scars occur after an acne lesion (rash) has healed, however it will leave red pigmented marks on the face that will not heal until 6-12 months later. This is known as early acne scars. The healing process usually takes 6-12 months unless more acne lesions develop in that area. If any red pigmented marks are still present after a year, it would be considered a permanent defect or scar.
Treating early acne scars
The red inflammation is part of the skin’s healing process however try to avoid the following:
- Going outside without sunscreen: Unprotected skin that is exposed to the skin will slow down the healing and damage the skin.
- Picking at scabs: Picking at a scab will interfere with the healing process and only prolong it.
Preventing acne scars
To understand how to prevent acne scars, one must first prevent acne lesions from occurring. For more information on acne, please click here.
Different types of acne scars
- Ice pick: These acne scars are narrow and make the skin appear as if they have been punctured by an ice pick. Ice pick acne scars are usually narrower than 2mm and reaches down into the deep dermis or subcutaneous layer of skin. They are usually too deep to be corrected by dermabrasion or laser resurfacing. It is best to go see a dermatologist for other available options on ice pick acne scars.
- Boxcar: These acne scars are ring shaped depressions that have sharp vertical edges which can usually be treated with resurfacing techniques; deep boxcar scars cannot be treated the same way.
- Rolling scars: They create a rolling impression on the skin due to the pulling of the epidermis.
- Tretinoin such as Retin- A, Renova, and Avita will help speed up the healing process of early acne scars
- Finacea is medication used to treat mild to moderate acne.