The Hidden Science to Acne Scars

Acne scars have often been the thorn to many, hindering them in their pursuit of flawless skin. But few ever take the time to truly understand its causes and learn of available preventive measures. 

We often receive questions on how to manage acne scars, the difference between scars and marks as well as techniques to minimise its appearances. Thus, we want to take this opportunity to delve into the nitty-gritty of acne scars and leave you with some insights on the topic. 

But first – Are acne marks the same as acne scars? 

Often mistaken as acne scars, acne marks are dark spots that appear on the skin once the acne has been expressed. They are flat and subside over time

Acne scars on the other hand are divots in the skin that develop when there is a loss of tissue as a result of inflamed pores. This inflammation causes a deep break of the follicle wall.

What Causes Acne Scars? 

1. Inflammation 
Pores are inflamed when you pick at or pop a pimple. Improper techniques of expressing the pimple will expose it to more bacteria and irritants in the environment, causing greater damage to the pore.

2. Picking a Scab 
It may be tempting to pick at scabs, but a scab is the skin’s natural way of protecting a healing wound. Picking it prematurely will increase delay the healing process or result in scarring. 

3. Unbalanced skin pH 
Much like a scab, the skin’s pH acts as a natural barrier against bacteria, irritants and pollutants that can cause inflammation. Unbalanced skin pH can lead to a weakened natural barrier and thus, increase likelihood of inflammation from external aggressors. 

Types of Scars 

1. Ice Pick Scars 

These scars look like enlarged pores and often start off as whiteheads or blackheads that experience inflammation when they are picked at or popped. 

Credit: Acne.org 

2. Box Car Scars 

Credit: Healthline 

Box Car scars are round or crater-like depressions in the skin. They often have sharp, vertical edges and are wider than the Ice Pick scars. They are typically formed due to fibrous tissues attempting to repair the damage at the dermis level of the skin. 

3. Rolling Scars

Credit: The Healthy 

Rolling scars are round depressions in the skin. They have gentler, sloping edges. These are the widest type of scar in comparison to Ice Pick and Box Car scars. Similar to Box Car scars, they are typically formed due to fibrous tissues attempting to repair the damage at the dermis level of the skin. 

4. Hypertrophic Scars

Credit: The Healthy 

Hypertrophic scars are very different from previously discussed scar in that they are raised. These scars typically occur due to an over-production of fibrous tissues during the skin reparative stage. Though they seem like Keloids scars, they are quite dissimilar. Hypertrophic scars are often raised less than 4 millimetres above the surrounding skin, are firm to the touch and are often pink or red in colour.  

What are Acne Marks? 

Often mistaken as acne scars, acne marks are dark spots that appear on the skin once the acne has been expressed. They are flat and subside over time.  

Credit: Healthline 

How do I deal with my Acne Scars? 

Seeking the right treatments and using quality products can make a huge difference in battling against acne scarring. Acne scars reside in the deep layers of your skin – specifically the dermis. Thus, to reduce the appearance of the scar, we need to reduce its depth.

The most effective way would be through treatments as they involve the perfect harmony of medical-grade technology and craftsmanship that are able to penetrate the skin deeply and shallow out the scar. Treatments like CryoZapProionic & IllumiZap make use of top-grade equipment to deeply stimulate the skin’s fibroblast to produce collagen & elastin. With sufficient stimulation over time, the collagen and elastin generated can strengthen and further repair the damaged walls of the scar – effectively shallowing out the scar from within. 

Of course, with anything internal, it does take time for a scar to minimise. However, for a more impactful result, treatments such as our Fractional Skin Resurfacing can shallow out the scar from within and above. Making use of fractional ablation and radio frequency, the treatment seeks to stimulate the fibroblasts deep while simultaneously removing the top layer of skin. Thus, effectively shallowing out the scar from above and within.  

Preventing Acne Scars 

Start by combating acne from the beginning to prevent any scars from forming. Here are some quick tips to incorporate in your daily routine. 

1. Stop picking at your pores & pimples 
Scars occur when your pore is inflamed and inflammation is worsened when you pick at it, so skip the picking! 

2. Exfoliate
Minimising deads skin build up is a sure-fire way to minimise the potential for inflammation. Use Porcelain’s Natural Skin Refiner, an ultra gentle exfoliator rich in antioxidants and enzymes and strong in anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used once a week or as a 10 minutes mask for an immediate reduction in inflammation.   

3. Balance your skin’s pH 
A balanced pH strengthens your skin’s natural barrier against bacteria and reduces the likelihood of breakouts and inflamation. We recommend Porcelain’s Sebum Control Essence
With a high percentage of Sodium Hyaluronate, Horse Chestnut Extract and Tea Tree Extract, excess sebum production is well controlled whilst skin remains deeply hydrated. This treatment essence also has effective anti-inflammation, rejuvenation and repairing properties to help reduce redness and itching for acne-prone skin. 

That’s all folks! 

We hope this article helped you understand the hidden science behind Acne Scars. If you have any questions about Acne Scars or skincare in general, feel free to drop us a DM on Instagram