Pimple scars are one of the most common aesthetic complaints presented by young patients. Many of them have very bad pimples outbreak when they are much younger, and as a result of it, the skin heals with many scars.
The most common scars are flat pigmented scars. They resemble red and brown patches on the face and are a result of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). The same occurs when young children develops brown scars on their lower limbs when they get lots of mosquito bites. Most of these PIH scars can be treated with a combination of lightening creams, chemical peels and pigment laser. If you leave them alone, some of them will eventually fade with time. This depends on your skin healing capacity.
The second most common pimple scars are the dented scars which can present in different shapes and sizes. Some look like punched out (box) scars, some are deep (ice pick) scars and some are uneven (rolled) scars. A combination of scars are usually present on the same patient and they respond to different treatments. The most common treatments are subcision and fractional laser resurfacing. Subcision requires the use of a sterile needle to raise the scars and laser resurfacing uses laser energy to burn away the old skin so that the new skin will regenerate and grow. Again, both treatments are dependent on your skin healing capacity and multiple sessions are needed.
The last type of scars are the least common; these are the hypertrophic (raised) scars which look like overgrowth of flesh on the skin. They are a result of exaggerated healing of the skin after an injury to the skin. The cause may be a severe pimple breakout, a BCG injection or after wound closure from a surgery. Some patients are more genetically prone to hypertrophic scars.
When these scars grow beyond the margins of the wound, they are called keloid scars – akin to a volcano that has erupted beyond its original boundaries. Keloid scars are very distressing to those affected, especially if they are present in the exposed parts of the body such as jawlines, chest and shoulder regions. If you notice such scars during the healing phase, they can be treated with careful administration of intralesional steroid injections and laser resurfacing.
Different patients respond to the same treatment differently. If you are affected by any of the scars discussed above, you should consult a doctor for an assessment and discuss a treatment plan that is most suitable for you.
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