An acne mark is a common kind of PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation). Those marks or spots are left behind after acne heals. It develops when a wound or irritation, such as acne causes the skin to be inflamed. Infection, extrusion, or destruction of epidermis or dermis may invigorate immunocyte and melanocyte to promote the composition and transferal (to nearby keratinocytes) of melanin, causing a specific portion of skin to be darkened.
In fact, acne PIH can appear red or black. During the formation of acne, the deep epidermis is damaged, stimulating the uncontrolled production of melanin by melanocytes. This pigment then stays in the dermis, leaving dark marks on the skin.
As for red ones, it is mostly due to vasodilation and usually fades within a skin renewal cycle at around 28 days. Consistent inflammation and poor blood circulation can both slow down the fading process. In case of intense UV exposure, the pigment may be further reinforced.
Acne scars may be another skin concern that comes with acne. Acne scars are structural skin problems and are harder to be dealt with as compared to acne marks. There are different types of acne scars, and each of them can be classified as follows:
- Box Scar: Looks like shallow boxes with sharp edges, normally no deeper than 1-1.5mm;
- Rolling Scar: No obvious edge, looks like skin being rolled;
- Ice-pick Scar: Usually deep and narrow like being ice-picked;
- Hypertrophic Scar: The only raised scars among these 4 types, tend to be found on the chest and shoulders.
Since acne vulgaris is a skin disease, sufferers are suggested to consult a doctor for better handling. Topical or oral treatment, as well as light source and radiofrequency treatment may also be utilized if necessary.