While there are no solid statistics, it's likely that millions of people across the globe suffer from acne facial scars. It's bad enough that the condition typically strikes during adolescence, but the scarring can leave its mark for the rest of your life if left untreated. This has a negative effect on you self-esteem and appearance, as you will see however, there is hope.
Acne scars, the same as other scars are the result of some injury or wound. Scarring is the result of the skin doing its job of healing. Anything that causes damage to the dermis can result in scarring. It's the inflamed skin lesions that lead to acne scars. There are several kinds of acne facial scars, and their treatment depends on certain factors.
Wide, oval or round depressions with steep sides are commonly called 'boxcar scars'. These happen when an outbreak damages the collagen, resulting in a loss of tissue. The best acne treatments for this type of scarring are dermal fillers, punch excision or elevation, or laser resurfacing.
Deep and narrow scars go by the ominous name of 'ice pick scars'. They get their name from the skin looking as though it were pierced with a sharp instrument. Such acne scars are the result of a deeper infection (such as from a cyst). The punch technique is often used to treat ice pick scars. This procedure involves removing the scar and stitching up the surgical wound.
'Rolling scars' resemble waves, and are often treated wit subcision. This is where a scar is removed from the deeper tissue, allowing for the pooling of blood beneath the scar. This then raises it up to give a more level appearance.
Keloid or hypertrophic scars are bright red and raised. While they can show up on your face, they are more typically found on other parts of your body. The big problem with these scars is that they can get bigger than the initial wound that caused them. This is the result of a triggering of too much collagen as a response to an acne breakout. Some of the more common treatments for these scars are tapes, cortisone creams or injections to flatten and shrink the scar. Laser treatment is also showing some promise for these scars.
The best way to reduce acne scarring is prevention. Do what you can to reduce or eliminate acne outbreaks in the first place. If you do experience an outbreak, don't squeeze, scratch or pick at anything. This only serves to push the infection deeper, and to spread to other areas you touch on your skin afterward. Picking at scabs should also be avoided, as doing so only lengthens the body's natural healing process, and increases the potential effects of scarring.
However, even if you follow all of that advice, you may still develop acne facial scars. In that case, visit a qualified dermatologist to discuss your options. Speaking of which, none of the above information is meant to replace professional medical advice, so always talk to your doctor when in doubt.