Acne scars form as a result of inflammatory or cystic acne. This is when the follicle/pore becomes enlarged due to the accumulation of excess oil, bacteria or other impurities in the pore, causing the follicle wall to break. The impurities spread to the dermis, where it damages healthy skin tissue and, combined with the over-production of collagen to heal the wound, leads to the formation of a scar.
Different types of Acne Scars include Ice Pick Scars (deep pits), Boxcar Scars (angular scars – which normally occur on the temple and cheeks), Rolling Scars (have a wave-like appearance) and Hypertrophic (thickened) scars. The type of scarring that develops depends largely on the nature of the damage to the skin and the accompanying repair process.
This type of scar develops as the result of second or third-degree burns. A contracture develops when the surrounding skin pulls together and may lead to restricted movement in the surrounding area.
PIH Scars (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation)
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) refers to the discolouration of the skin that develops after a wound, such as inflamed acne, has healed. These marks range in colour from pink to red, purple or brown, are flat and may fade away naturally over a period of time. The discolouration is the result of an over-production of melanin in the affected area during the healing process.
PIH can occur in all skin tones but is more common in darker skin, and especially prevalent in acne sufferers.
Keloid Scars develop after a skin injury, during the healing process. They are mainly composed of collagen and have a shiny, raised, rubbery, but firm, appearance. They can vary in colour, from pink to flesh-coloured or red to dark brown. Although they’re benign, they may be accompanied by severe itchiness, pain and texture changes. In some cases, they may become infected and ulcerated.
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