Understanding the Types of Acne Scars

Acne is a common skin concern affecting millions worldwide that impacts skin health and often a person’s emotional well-being. Unfortunately, the journey doesn't always end with the disappearance of pimples, it's the scars they leave behind that pose a greater challenge.

Understanding the types of acne scars is crucial for effective treatment and restoring skin confidence. Read on to demystify the various acne scar types and embark on a journey towards clearer skin.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne scars result from inflamed blemishes caused by skin pores filled with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. When acne goes deep, it can leave a mark. The pore swells, causing a break in the follicle wall. Shallow lesions are usually minor and heal quickly, but deeper breaks in the wall of the follicle can lead to more serious scarring. Factors like the severity of acne, delayed treatment, and genetic predispositions can significantly impact the development and severity of these scars.

Types of Acne Scars

Acne scars come in various forms, including:

1. Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) & Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

PIE (Post-Inflammatory Erythema) and PIH (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) are distinct skin discolouration responses to inflammation or trauma. PIE, characterized by reddish-pink marks, is caused by damage to blood vessels, often due to picking at breakouts. This action aggravates inflammation, spreads bacteria, and intensifies breakouts, worsening PIE. However, PIE can also develop without picking, as inflammation forms beneath the skin's surface.

On the other hand, PIH involves a change in skin colour after an inflammatory wound, primarily due to melanin overproduction. It is more common in darker skin tones and isn't considered a true scar. The main causes of PIH include acne, burns, laser treatment side effects, and unprotected sun exposure - a significant factor. Continue reading our blog article on PIE vs PIH.

2. Atrophic Scars

These are the little dips and dents left behind when the skin doesn't produce enough collagen during the healing process. They are classified into ice pick scars (small, deep holes), boxcar scars (broad depressions with sharp edges), and rolling scars (broad depressions with sloping edges).

3. Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars

Unlike atrophic scars, these are raised scars. Hypertrophic scars are thick and appear at the site of the wound, while keloids are more severe, growing beyond the original injury site.

Our Secret - Treatment Options for Different Types of Acne Scars

Each type of acne scar responds differently to treatment, each requiring a tailored treatment approach.

1. Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) & Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

This can be managed with topical treatments like retinoids and skin-lightening products. Sun protection is crucial to prevent further darkening. Here are our Secret recommendations:

Day Brightening Elixir - Sensitive
Enriched with Azelaic Acid and Niacinamide, and offering anti-inflammatory properties, the Day Brightening Elixir - Sensitive soothes inflamed skin and helps reduce the appearance of reddish-pink marks. It gently removes skin irritants and strengthens the skin's barrier, preventing further irritation. Additionally, its antioxidant content protects against environmental stressors, aiding in the overall improvement of skin health and appearance.

Day Brightening Elixir
The Day Brightening Elixir, featuring Vitamin C and Niacinamide, effectively targets Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE). Vitamin C helps reduce PIE's reddish-pink marks by regulating melanin, while Niacinamide supports skin regeneration and barrier strength. Together, they accelerate healing and protect against environmental irritants, improving skin health and appearance in PIE-affected areas.

Cellular Repair Night Cream
Experience rejuvenated skin with our Cellular Repair Night Cream, a potent blend with prescription-strength retinoids. It promotes rapid cell turnover, reducing hyperpigmentation and signs of aging for a smoother, more even-toned complexion. Wake up to visibly firmer, brighter, and younger-looking skin every day.

Total Reset Night Cream
Enhance your skincare routine with the Total Reset Night Cream, designed for use after the Cellular Repair Night Cream. Its prescription-strength formula rejuvenates skin, reducing hyperpigmentation and signs of aging for a smoother, more radiant complexion. Ideal for maintaining your glow during a 2-3 month break period, ensuring continued skin health and youthfulness.

Post-Treatment Care Cream
Enhance your post-procedure recovery with the Secret Skincare Post-Treatment Care Cream, expertly crafted to minimise the risk of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) after intensive treatments. Its prescription-strength formula regulates melanin production, maintaining clarity and complementing the results of your in-clinic skin treatments.

Solar Serum SPF50
Experience advanced sun protection with the Solar Serum SPF50, offering UVA and UVB defence in a lightweight, hydrating formula. Its universal peach undertone evens skin tone, delivering daily luminosity and radiance while preventing photoaging. Perfect for all skin types, this serum is an essential step in any skincare routine.

2. Atrophic Scars

Treatments like laser therapy, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels can be effective. These methods aim to remove layers of skin, allowing new, more evenly textured skin to emerge.

3. Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars

These may be treated with corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, surgical removal or laser treatment may be recommended.

Acne Scars: Prevention & Care

Prevention is always better than a cure! Preventing acne and minimising the risk of scarring starts with a consistent skincare routine, including cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising. Avoiding picking or squeezing pimples and protecting skin from sun exposure are key strategies, but if it becomes unmanageable, professional treatment of acne outbreaks should happen pronto.

Scars don’t define you and there’s always a way to make them less of a big deal. Understanding the types of acne scars is the first step towards effective treatment and improved skin health. For personalised care, consulting with skincare professionals is always recommended. Remember, while acne scars can be a challenge, they don't have to be a permanent mark on your skin or self-esteem. Stay confident and stay smiling – you got this!

Whether you're considering adopting our Secret recommendations into your routine alongside our other products, treat a specific concern, or want to find out if medical grade and prescription skincare is the right option for you, The Secret is here to guide you on your journey to clear, glowing skin.

If you have any questions or want to contact us, please contact us online.