Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars occur as depressed and well-defined lesions. They are usually caused by collagen destruction during the course of an inflammatory condition such as cystic acne or varicella.

These scars often have a sunken and pitted appearance. Scar formation is a necessary process for the healing of skin tissue after an injury. However, abnormal or disturbed collagen production can cause poor restoration of the cutaneous surface and texture irregularities. There are various factors that determine how your skin will scar, including depth and size of the wound, heredity, ethnicity and age.

Although scars are harmless, they are more susceptible to environmental factors such as sun damage.

Atrophic scars can be easily identified by their depressed and pitted appearance in the surface of the skin.

Atrophic scars are typically caused by inflammatory conditions like cystic acne, chicken pox or varicella.

As the skin undergoes the natural healing process and repairs itself, scar tissue is formed

Some scar tissue may become sensitive so it’s important to exercise proper skin care.

Choose gentle cleansers for the skin, preferably in liquid form. These cleansers will gently remove dirt, excess oil, bacteria and cosmetics without irritating the skin. Avoid soaps, especially bar soaps, as they will often cause dry skin.When bathing, avoid scrubbing the skin too hard.

This can also cause irritation to scar tissue. After washing, gently pat the skin dry with a towel.

Moisturizers help restore and maintain the skin’s natural moisture levels. Look for a moisturizer specially designed for sensitive skin that is free of fragrance, dye or other allergens that may irritate the skin.

The best way to prevent atrophic scarring is early treatment of inflammatory skin conditions.

OTC
Skin camouflaging cosmetics can be used to cover up the appearance of scars.

Prescription
A doctor may prescribe a topical cream containing tretinoin, or another retinoid which encourage collagen production and improve the appearance of fine and small scars.

Procedures
Atrophic Scars usually respond well to laser therapy. Facial atrophic scars can be safely and effectively resurfaced through the proper use of a high-energy, pulsed or scanned carbon dioxide (CO2) or Erbium-Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet (Er:YAG) laser. These laser systems emit high energy densities within extremely short pulses that vaporize tissue without affecting non-targeted surrounding skin. Since each laser pass affects a predictable amount of tissue vaporization and residual thermal damage, as much or as little tissue can be removed as required by the type of scar being treated. Procedures such as subcision, chemical peels, or collagen and hyaluronic acid fillers are also used to treat atrophic scars.