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Acne can damage your skin and your self-confidence both, in a horrible way. We often see that persistent acne leaves behind different types of scars. These give the appearance of holes in the skin after acne has healed. Many people often tend to call them as acne holes or acne pits, which are commonly used terms for them, but dermatologically they are called as acne scars. They ruin your skin’s smoothness and make it look texturized and uneven in complexion too. It is easy to get rid of acne holes or acne scars at a professional skin clinic. However, a thorough diagnosis highlighting the root cause of this skin condition is important.
Why Holes Are Left Post Acne Outbreak?
A pimple is formed on the face or body when the natural oil produced by the skin clogs the pore and dirt/ debris accumulate in it. This becomes a suitable environment for bacteria to grow in, leading to infection and inflammation. Acne is formed that can or cannot be painful. If present for too long, the acne progresses to pus-filled stages wherein it settles down deep in the skin’s layers.
Once this pimple settles, the skin tries to heal itself but because of the associated inflammation and depth of the acne in the skin, this healing process does not occur optimally. As the skin produces lesser collagen. This results in the formation of acne holes in the face or any other part of the body where the acne was present.
These holes can have smooth or rough edges. They can also look like deep pits or pinpricks. Acne that have associated inflammation such as pustules, nodules, and cysts are often the cause of acne scar holes. Other factors that may increase the chances of acne scarring include –
- A genetic tendency for the skin to develop scars post acne.
- Untreated acne can often leave behind scars or acne holes.
- Picking at acne can hinder the healing process and increase the chances of acne scarring.
Which Areas Of The Body Are Mostly Affected?
Acne can form anywhere on the body, but the face is the most affected area also the most prominent place too. Hence, acne holes on face are very common and they can be in the form of pinpricks, potholes or rolling curves.
Small Vs. Large Acne Holes – Is There Any Difference?
Yes, there is a differentiation in acne scars but these are categorized into different types based on their appearance and not the size. Acne scar holes that are depressed in appearance are divided into the following types –
(a) Ice-pick Scars – These appear like pinpricks that are set deep into the skin and they almost give the appearance of enlarged pores. They are about 2mm deep and are cylindrical in shape.
(b) Rolling Scars – They have gentle, sloping edges and make the skin look it has waves.
(c) Boxcar Scars – Acne holes with sharp edges are called boxcar scars.
A raised acne scar can also form in some cases, which is called a hypertrophic scar.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Holes?
Irrespective of what type of acne scars your have, there are plenty of treatments available at dermatological clinics to minimize their appearance. Here are popular techniques used to get rid of acne holes.
- Pixel laser resurfacing – Denoted as the best treatment for acne holes, Pixel laser resurfacing technique can effectively get rid of holes in the face from acne and smoothen out your skin. Fractionated laser is used to target the affected skin and create small wounds without damaging the surrounding skin. These wounds heal optimally as the light energy in laser treatment for acne holes also enhances the production of collagen in the skin. Once the skin heals completely, the acne holes will fill up and your skin will appear smoother and lighter as well.There is minimum downtime of one week after each session, but the results are definitely worth it as it can treat all types of acne holes or scars. The cost of laser treatment for acne holes starts around Rs.3,000 per session and can go up to Rs.10,000 per session as well. This value depends on the area to be covered and the extent of your acne scarring.
- Secret microneedling radio frequency – This a rather new technology but nonetheless, it has become a popular treatment option for many people who do not wish to experience the downtime after laser treatment. Secret technique is based on microneedling radiofrequency and treats acne holes to smoothen out the skin texture. There is a downtime with this procedure; however, it cannot be used to treat boxcar scars. The cost of this treatment can start around Rs.4,000 per session.
- Chemical peel – To clear acne holes on face especially ice-pick scars, a specific type of chemical peel can be used. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) Cross Peel is applied to the scars using a fine-tipped instrument to enhance the production of collagen. This will eventually fill the acne holes on the face and make the skin appear smoother.
- Subcision – This procedure is recommended by dermatologists to treat acne holes that are very deep. After the application of local anesthesia, a microneedle is used to detach the base of the scarred tissue and raise it as close to the skin’s surface as possible. This procedure is followed up by either Pixel laser resurfacing or dermal fillers to further flatten out the acne holes and restore the skin’s smoothness.
- Dermal fillers – A dermal filler can not only be used for treatment for wrinkles or to enhance facial contours, but also to fill acne holes on the face. Hyaluronic acid is often injected into the acne scars to rise them up to the skin’s surface and to make it appear more even. This treatment is a temporary solution only as the effect of the filler fades away in a few months.
- Dermabrasion – It is an invasive procedure. An abrasive tool is used to create wounds on the skin and the healing process of these wounds helps to clear acne holes on the face. The downtime with this procedure is rather long and the chances of unwarranted side effects are considerable than the other treatments.
- Microdermabrasion – An advanced version of the dermabrasion technique is microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tip tool to exfoliate the top layer of the skin. As new cells begin to heal forming new top layer of the skin, the acne scars also get faded.
- Punch excision – In the circumstances wherein none of the other treatments prove beneficial, a dermatologist may recommend punch excision. It is a surgical procedure that involves slight incisions being made into the affected skin and suturing it henceforth. The primary idea behind this method is that the larger holes in the skin from acne can be made a lot smaller. These may or may not be eventually treated using any of the other methods.
- For hypertrophic acne scars, intralesional injections containing corticosteroids are used.
How To Prevent Acne Holes(Scars)?
- Preventing pits and holes left behind by acne becomes easy when you seek treatment for in the early stages. If appropriate and timely treatment prescribed by an experienced dermatologist is proceeded, the eventual acne holes can altogether be avoided.
- If you suffer from acne, make sure to not pick or touch them unnecessarily.
- Use the right skin care products for your acne prone skin such as a suitable cleanser and a good sunscreen. Speak to a dermatologist to know more about products that are designed for your skin type and will suit you.
- Always apply sunscreen before stepping out in the sun. It is advisable to apply 20 minutes before you head out and to reapply every two to three hours.
- Drink plenty of water as water helps to flush out toxins from the body.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet that has plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Pits and holes from acne as they appear, are the same as acne scars. Seek expert guidance from an experienced dermatologist to understand your skin’s condition and to know more about treatment options that would be the most suitable for the types of acne scars on your face and body. Make sure to be clear about the goals you wish to achieve with the acne holes treatment so that the best course can be charted out for you.