What are Acne Scars?

Acne breakouts can be stressful, as pimples and oil appear on your face and mar your complexion. However, even worse than the acne itself is the scars that can appear up as a result. In addition, you know that a new breakout may appear soon and along with it additional acne scars.

There are several acne scars types. There are U-shaped marks which are often referred to as ‘boxcar’. In addition, there are V-shaped scars or small round pocket marks which penetrate deep into the skin. ‘Rolling’ scars are deep marks in the skin with round edges. Finally, raised scars often occur on the chest or back. (1)

Fortunately, there are methods you can try to both prevent and eliminate acne scars. These include both natural methods and medical procedures. Prior to considering these treatments, it’s important to understand how acne scars develop.

Why Do Acne Scars Form?

When you develop acne, it’s as a result of inflamed pores. This is because they are filled with dead skin cells and oils which can lead to considerable swelling. The inflammation of the pores can cause the follicle wall to break. (2)

If it’s a small break, it will most likely just heal on its own. However, deep breaks can cause the oils and dirt in the pore to spill into nearby skin tissue and worsen the problem. In order to repair the skin, collagen is released, but sometimes the repair is not as perfect as it should be. This leads to acne scars. It’s the amount of inflammation that decides how deep the scarring will be. (2)

acne scars
Acne Scars: Treatment, Removal, Best Products, and More. Image/Shutterstock

How Do I Prevent Acne Scars?

If you tend to breakout, you’re probably wondering what you can do for acne scars.(3) Here are some great tips:

Treat Skin Before Pimples Develop – If you know you tend to get pimples, seek out treatment before a breakout occurs. There are medications you can get from the dermatologist, and there are also natural products like Proactiv, Obagi, Murad Skin Care, and Jeunesse which can help.

Leave the Pimples Alone – Many people like to pop a pimple or squeeze the contents. However, this is something you should avoid. It worsens the infection and inflammation, leading to more profound scarring.

Treat Your Acne – As soon as you have a breakout, go to a dermatologist and treat the condition. The sooner you deal with the acne, the less likely it will lead to scarring.

Use Gentle Skin Care Products – Whatever you do, do not use products that are abrasive as they could further damage your skin. Buy gentle and best anti-wrinkle creams and serums that will nourish and soften such as Noxzema, Rodan and Fields, Perricone MD, Clinique, and Image Skin Care.

Don’t Touch Scabs – When scabs develop on your skin after an acne breakout, do not pick or scratch them. Don’t touch them at all. By picking at scabs, you can create acne scars.

Lessen Inflammation – Since acne scars are largely created due to inflammation, anything you can do to lower the swelling will help. There are some natural products on the market full of anti-inflammatory properties like Advanced Dermatology, Meaningful Beauty, The Ordinary, and Kiehl’s.

Use Sunscreen – The sun’s rays can cause further damage to your sensitive skin and worsen the possibility of having scarring Make sure you wear sunblock every day no matter what the season to protect yourself.

How Acne Scars Can Be Removed

Most of the methods for acne scar best treatment are medical, however, there are some methods you can try at home. Home bleaching products can diminish the appearance of the scars, so they aren’t so prominent. If you do want to try a doctor’s procedure, here are your options:

Chemical Peeling – In this acne scar treatment procedure, the practitioner applies alpha hydroxy acid on your skin. This substance is so powerful that it actually removes the top layer. You can get light, moderate, or deep procedures, depending on the extent of your scarring. This method is quite effective at removing lines and scars on the skin.

Surgery – There’s a surgical procedure called subcison for acne scar removal where the doctor removes the abrasions, leaving much smaller ones behind. The small scars that remain are not permanent and will disappear over time. This procedure works best for very deep scars or alternatively raised scars. Another method is punch excision, and it involves the surgeon cutting out the acne scars and then fixing the wound.

Laser Treatment – In this procedure for acne scar treatment, the surgeon employs a laser to remove the scarred tissue on your skin. This gets rid of the top layer, removing abrasions and scars. This is an effective treatment for every type of acne scarring. It tends to heal very quickly.

Soft Tissue Fillers – This procedure for acne scars treatment is temporary, and you would have to repeat it. It involves injecting collagen under the skin, replacing some of the amounts that has been lost with age. This makes the skin firmer and more elastic, and it helps to smooth out lines, scars, and other marks on the skin.

Dermabrasion – This is an acne scars remedy that you would only get if your acne scarring were very deep. The practitioner uses a rotating wire brush to get rid of the top layer of your skin. It will eliminate the lighter scars completely and make deep scars much less visible.

Needling – In this procedure, the practitioner uses a device filled with needles and rolls it over the surface of the skin for acne scar removal. The results of this procedure are subtle, and you would need to do it more than once.

Botox – This is an injection which relaxes the muscles surrounding the scarred area, making the acne scars appear less visible. This is a method which you would have to repeat every few months.

People Also Ask

Q: Can Acne Scars Fade Away?

A: It depends on the depth of the scarring. The scars should disappear in 3-6 months. However, deeper scars will be taken longer, and some may not fade at all without some kind of medical intervention for acne scars.

Q: Can Acne Scars Turn into Moles?

A: No, they do not. A pimple and a mole are two completely different things. There is no chance your acne scars will become moles.

Q: Can Acne Scars Be Red?

A: Yes, they can. There are scars called keloids which can appear as either red or brown. These are fairly common, but they respond to treatment.

Q: Are Acne Scars Ugly?

A: No, they are not ugly. Many people don’t like them, however, and want to lessen their appearance on their skin. The desire for smooth skin can be a strong one. If you do have acne scars, remember that they do not ruin your appearance.

Q: Which Acne Scars are Permanent?

A:There are few scars that you can’t get rid of without treatment. However, deep scars are more difficult to eliminate and may require more extensive procedures.

Q: Which Foundation Covers Acne Scars the Best?

A: You can use makeup for acne scars, and it could make a big difference in your appearance. In terms of foundation, the best type to wear is the product that matches your skin type and hue. This will ideally cover the scars and make your skin look smoother.


To those who suffer from acne scars and breakouts, there are methods to take care of the issue. You can try preventive measures like using good quality products such as Drmtlgy Gentle Acne Cleanser, Beverly Hills MD, Arbonne Skin Care, SIO Beauty, and Mary Kay Skin Care and not popping pimples or picking scars.

There are also medicinal treatments like chemical peels, laser treatment, and surgery which can eliminate the scars. You have to find the right acne scars remedy for you. In addition, you can use makeup to cover up the marks if you wish. If some of them do show, don’t be too concerned about it. They give your face character.

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Dr. Mary Beth Parisi, MD

By Dr. Mary Beth Parisi, MD

Dr. MaryBeth Parisi is a board-certified Harvard trained Dermatologist. She has over 18 years of experience in the field of skin care.


[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/acne-scars#depressed-scars