Coping with Acne Scars

Acne scars can be a real pain. They are a physical reminder of your acne and can also be difficult to eliminate. If you’re like most people, you may associate acne with adolescence. Unfortunately, for many people, the scars that acne leaves behind can last long after the breakouts have cleared up. 

We will discuss how to erase the damage caused by acne scars. Several different acne scar removal treatments are available, and we will help you find the one that is right for you!

What Causes Acne and Acne Scars?

Acne is inflamed skin caused by a combination of bacterial overgrowth, hormones, and oils in the skin. It leads to redness and swelling around clogged pores, known as pimples or zits.

Acne scars form when the body cannot completely repair itself after a pimple forms. The area around the affected pore becomes infected with bacteria, which causes an inflammatory response. As the inflammation subsides, it leaves the body with damaged or destroyed tissue measurements. This damage can manifest in various ways ranging from small indents to larger indentations or raised bumps. 

Can They Be Removed?

Yes! The right skincare routine and treatment plan can remove or significantly reduce acne scars. However, it’s important to remember that no treatment will work for everyone. Finding the best acne scar removal method for you depends on various factors, including your skin type and the severity of your scars. Different treatments may be more or less effective depending on your individual needs.

The Kind of Acne Scars or Marks You Have

Different types of acne scars can form after acne. These can range from shallow, flat scars to deep, raised scars or pockmarks. The most common type of acne scars is ice pick, boxcar, rolling and hypertrophic scars.

  1. Ice pick scars: These are the deepest type of acne scars and look like small, deep holes in the skin. They can appear very noticeable, especially in people with darker skin tones.
  2. Boxcar scars: This type of scar resembles a box or crater shape in the skin due to its sharp edges and angles. It is often wider than an ice-pick scar and can be harder to treat.
  3. Rolling scars: These types of scars produce a wave-like appearance on the skin due to their long, rippling edges. They are often wider than boxcar scars and require more advanced treatments for improvement.
  4. Hypertrophic scars: These occur when too much collagen forms during the wound healing process and can appear raised, reddish or darker than the surrounding skin. They are usually on the chest, shoulders or cheeks. These scars tend to be very stubborn and difficult to treat.

Your Skin Response

Acne scarring can range from mild to severe, depending on the severity type of acne that caused it.

  1. Mild scarring: For most people, acne scarring is mild. This type of scarring consists of red or pink marks on the skin that may fade slowly over time.
  2. Moderate scarring: Moderate acne scarring may include discolouration, indented scars, or a combination of both. Treatments such as laser resurfacing or dermal fillers can improve these scars.
  3. Severe scarring: Severe acne scars are deeper and more noticeable than milder forms. These types of scars can occur due to severe cases of cystic acne, inflammatory nodules, or long-term inflammation from moderate acne lesions. Treatments like laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, or subcision may be necessary to reduce the appearance of severe scarring.

The Production of Collagen in the Skin

Collagen is vital in the healing of skin wounds. It is a protein that helps form scar tissue and provides strength and elasticity to the surrounding skin. 

  1. Depressed scars: If the skin produces too much collagen during the healing process, a depressed scar can occur. These are often in people with acne or those who have had surgery. Treatments like laser resurfacing can flatten the scar and correct the collagen imbalance in the skin.
  2. Raised scars: A raised scar can form if the skin does not produce enough collagen during wound healing. Treatment for raised scars usually involves silicone gels, pressure garments and other topical treatments to help encourage collagen production.

Common Treatment Options for Acne Scarring

Once you have identified the type of acne scarring you are dealing with, it is important to consider your treatment options. Treatment for acne scarring may include a combination of medical and cosmetic procedures and lifestyle changes.

The following procedures may help improve the appearance of acne scarring:

  1. Topical Creams: Topical creams containing retinoids, hydroquinone, and other acne-fighting ingredients can help reduce the appearance of acne scarring. These products can be purchased over the counter or prescribed by a dermatologist.
  2. Chemical Peel: Chemical peels are a medical procedure in which a solution is applied to the skin to remove damaged surface layers. This procedure can help reduce the appearance of mild acne scarring and other types of discolouration.
  3. Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion removes the skin’s surface layers using a rotating brush. It can help reduce the appearance of deeper acne scars.
  4. Microneedling: Microneedling is a medical procedure that uses very tiny needles to create microscopic wounds in the skin. This process helps stimulate collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of deeper acne scars.
  5. Laser Resurfacing: Laser resurfacing is a medical procedure that uses intense light to remove surface layers of skin. It can help reduce the appearance of mild acne scarring.
  6. Dermal Fillers: Dermal fillers are a medical procedure that injects collagen or other substances into the skin to plump up areas affected by acne scarring.
  7. Subcision: Subcision is a medical procedure that uses a needle to break up scar tissue. It can help reduce the appearance of rolling acne scars.
  8. Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove or reduce scarring. The type of surgery will depend on the severity and type of acne scarring you have.

How Long Does It Take To See Results from Acne Scar Treatments?

Acne scar treatment results vary depending on the severity of the scars, the type of acne scarring, and the type of treatment used. Mild to moderate cases may generally improve within one to three months after beginning treatment. It can take several months or even up to a year for more severe cases to see visible improvements. Most treatments require multiple sessions, and results may only be fully visible after the completion of treatment.

Maintaining consistency with any acne scar treatment is important to achieve optimal results. While some people may notice considerable improvement after just one session, it can take several months or even years to remove all signs of acne scarring completely. Additionally, while some treatments are more effective than others, they all require consistent use and follow-up sessions to produce the most successful results.


Acne scarring can be an emotionally difficult topic to deal with. However, it is important to remember that numerous treatments are available to help improve acne scars’ appearance. Discussing your case in detail with a dermatologist or other healthcare provider before beginning any treatment is essential.

With consistent and proper use of these treatments, you can reduce the appearance of acne scarring. With the right approach and patience, achieving healthier, smoother-looking skin is possible.

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