The only thing worse than having a major pimple (or acne) is the long-term scarring that follows. Even if you care for your skin like a newborn infant, spots and red marks can linger for weeks or months. But there are expert ways to fade them fast—or prevent the scarring from even forming in the first place. We spoke with Yunyoung Claire Chang, a dermatologist at the Union Square Laser Dermatology; Dennis Gross, dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare and Dr. Dennis Gross Dermatology; and Gilly Munavalli, medical director and founder of Dermatology, Laser, and Vein Specialists of the Carolinas, to give us the lowdown on how to prevent and get rid of acne scars—forever.
What Type of Scarring Do You Have?
Gross says there are four different types of acne scars one can get: ice pick, rolling, boxcar and hypertrophic. Once you figure out what type you’re dealing with, it’s easier to choose the most effective treatment to getting rid of those scars.
Ice pick acne scars are small, narrow, pinpoint acne scars that penetrate deep into the skin, according to Gross. They develop when infected cystic acne makes its way to the surface and destroys the skin tissue, leaving a cylindrical, column-like scar.
Rolling scars have a wave-like appearance and are wide and shallow in depth. These develop when the when tissue develops between the epidermis and hypodermis, the innermost layer of skin, and they band together to create this rolling appearance.
Boxcar scars have angular, well-defined edges. When an inflammatory breakout destroys collagen, it results in a loss of tissue and the skin is left with depressed areas.
Hypertrophic scars are raised scars. He says these are caused when the skin doesn’t realize that the wound has healed and overproduces collagen. If you’re still unsure about your scarring type, pay a visit to your dermatologist.