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Acne scars treatment options

What causes acne scars?

Don't squeeze that pimple.

Acne lesions (pimples) happen when the hair follicles (or "pores") on the skin become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. A plugged follicle is the perfect place for bacteria to grow and create the red bumps and pus-filled red bumps known as pimples.

Acne comes in different forms:

  • mild acne: this causes the whiteheads or blackheads that most of us get at some point

  • moderate acne: this can cause red, inflamed pimples (called papules) and red pimples with white centers (called pustules)

  • severe acne: this causes painful, pus-filled cysts or lumps (called nodules) under the skin

Most serious scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne.

Scars from acne can seem like double punishment — first, you had to deal with the pimples, now you scars as a reminder.

These scars are part of the skin's normal healing process after it has been damaged by a wound or injury.

More serious lesions arise when there is a deep break in the follicle wall. The infected material spills out into the dermis and destroys healthy skin tissue.


To repair the damage done to the dermis, the skin forms new collagen fibers. Collagen is the fibrous protein that gives the skin its strength and flexibility. Unfortunately, the finished "repair job" never looks as smooth and flawless as before the injury.


Types of acne scars

There are two categories of acne scars: atrophic (tissue loss) and hypertrophic (excess tissue), holding four types of scarring:

Ice pick scars: these are deep, very narrow scars that extend into the dermis, making the skin look as if it has been picked by a sharp instrument. 

Boxcar scars are round or oval depressions with steep vertical sides and happen when inflammation destroys collagen. Wider than ice pick scars, boxcar scars give the skin an uneven, pitted appearance.

Rolling scars: they differ from boxcar scars in that they aren't sharply defined, rather, the skin itself looks uneven and wavy. 

Keloid scars are hypertrophic (raised) areas created by an overproduction of collagen during the wound-healing process. They look like raised bumps and can extend beyond the area of the original wound.


Hypertrophic scars are raised, firm scars that grow above the surface of the skin because of an overproduction of collagen during the wound-healing process. These can be mostly found on the torso and are more common after a deep wound (i.e. surgery) or trauma.

What are the treatment options for acne scars?

The treatment options are various and the one for you will depend on the type of scars.


First, you need to check with a certified specialist in the field. After a diagnosis, a treatment plan is designed and tailored to your specific type of scar.

Dermal Fillers


Chemical Peel

Find a Doctor in the DR

Aesthetic and Anti-Aging MD


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