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What are the three types of acne scars?
Acne scar treatment Birmingham


Aug 8, 2022

Published By:

Este Medical Group

Types of acne scars

There are three types of acne scars: atrophic scars, hypertrophic, Keloid, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Acne, also known as acne Vulgaris, is a common skin condition seen in 11- to 30-year-olds.

A scar refers to a mark left on the skin by forming fibrous tissue in the healing process.

There are three types of skin scars:

  • Atrophic scars
  • Hypertrophic scars and Keloid scars
  • Hyper-pigmentation after an inflammatory

What are atrophic Scars?

Atrophic scars are depressed area on a person's skin that is often pitted. Atrophic scars are formed when the skin cannot properly repair damaged tissue. Collagen degradation caused by inflammatory conditions such as chickenpox and acne can often lead to atrophic scarring. Scarring can be caused by accidents, surgery, or genetic diseases.

The following types of atrophic scars can be subdivided:

   Scarecrows for Ice Picking

  • Icepick scars often appear on the cheeks. They account for 60% to 70% of all atrophic scars.
  • These V-shaped epithelial tubes are less than 2 mm wide and have a sharp border running vertically to the deep skin or subcutaneous tissues. These may look like a scar made with an ice pick.
  • These scars are the most difficult to treat, but they can be treated.
  • Scarcity of Boxcars
  • Boxcar scars are more extensive than icepick scars and account for 20-30 per cent of all atrophic injuries.
  • These scars can be round or oval in shape and have strong defined lines that measure 1.5 to 4.0mm wide.
  • These indentions are usually larger and may look like a chickenpox Scar.
  • It is more challenging to treat larger scars than smaller ones.

   Rolling scar

  • Rolling scars are often the most severe atrophic scars and can lack clear boundaries.
  • They are often irregular, with curved edges and depths that can vary.
  • Atrophic scars are caused by rolling scars, which account for 15% to 25%.
  • These scars measure up to 5mm in diameter.

What are hypertrophic scars and Keloid scars, exactly?

Hypertrophic scars

  • The excess collagen produced during healing causes the skin to lift.
  • They are less common than the other types and are often associated with body pimples.

Keloid scars:

  • They are similar to hypertrophic scars but are larger than the original spot. Hypertrophic scars, however, are the same as those created by pimples.
  • They may look like small bumps, or they could be more severe and cause bubble-like skin swellings.
  • A Keloid can grow for several weeks or even years before it stops growing by itself. Although you can remove a Keloid surgically, there is a high chance of it reappearing.

What is post-inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation?

While acne can be treated, inflammation may still leave a scar. This is caused by excess pigment produced during healing from skin melanin.

Hyper-pigmentation is something that can affect anyone. Hyper-pigmentation is more common in people with darker skin tones and more melanin.

These darker areas of skin can fade with the use of sun protection.

There are many ways to treat acne scars.

The type and severity of scarring will determine the treatment. There are many treatment options available. Some can be used for types of acne scars, while others can only be used to treat specific types of scars. Here are some ways to treat acne scarring:

   FAST treatment:

       Focal acne scar treatment (FAST) uses a CO2 laser to create tiny holes in the skin and then fill them with new collagen (the skin's connective tissue).

       This effectively treats atrophic scars such as boxcar and icepick scars.

  Derma fillers:

       A material such as Hyaluronic Acid or Calcium Hydroxyl apatite is used to enhance the appearance.

   Laser resurfacing:

       High-energy laser light exfoliates the skin's outer layers and stimulates collagen formation in its inner layers. This is known as ablative Laser Treatment.

       No ablative treatments that stimulate collagen formation in the skin's inner layer are made with heat.


       The platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a minimally invasive treatment that uses natural growth factors from the blood to treat the skin, is called minimally invasive therapy.

       A therapist will take the blood and turn it into a platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM), which is then injected into the scar.

       PRFM promotes healing and new collagen production, which smoothens and fills scars.


       Microneedling involves puncturing the skin's top layer with fine needles. This creates a skin-damaging environment and stimulates the body’s natural healing process and new collagen production.

       Although micro-needling can only be used to treat atrophic scarring, it can also be used to relieve pigmentation disorders.

   Chemical peels:

Chemical peels are a way to treat hyperpigmentation. They exfoliate the skin using a chemical solution. This is a great way to rejuvenate the skin and get rid of any dark spots

Book your acne scar treatment in Birmingham today, and reclaim smoother, even-toned skin.

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