acne scars

Acne Scars – Causes and Treatment

Acne is a skin condition that results when your hair follicles become plugged with dead skin cells and oil. This results in blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. While acne results in people of all ages, it is most common among teenagers. This is because teenagers are going through hormonal changes, which cause and worsen acne.

Types of Acne

Acne presents in many different forms. Whiteheads and blackheads are the most common and tend to heal smoothly without scarring. Other types of acne include:

  • Papules: These are pink or red bumps that hurt when you touch them.
  • Pustules: These are pus-filled lesions, which are red at the base and white or yellow on top.
  • Nodules: These are solid lesions. They are larger than pustules and papules and hurt more because they extend deeper into the skin.
  • Cysts: These lie deep within the skin. They are full of pus, painful, and more likely to scar.

How does acne cause scars?

Your skin is the largest organ and has three main layers. These are, starting with the outermost, the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. These layers protect you from UV rays and bacteria and they also produce Vitamin D due to exposure to sunlight. Your skin also has several sebaceous glands and any area with sebaceous glands is prone to acne, especially the face, the back, and the chest.

Acne scars result due to inflammation of your acne blemishes. The acne pore swells and the wall of the pore breaks down. Some acne blemishes are not very deep and the scars are shallow and heal quickly. Sometimes the content of the blemishes spill into the surrounding tissue and cause deeper scars. The skin repairs these scars by forming new collagen fibres.

Acne scars are of two main types. One results due to a loss of tissue, resulting in an indentation in the skin, whereas the other type of scar is raised on the surface of the skin. The latter type of scar results because your skin is making too much collagen.

Also, you could have acne but no scars. Approximately one in five persons who have acne will have acne scars. However, acne scars are by no means permanent. There are several treatments available for acne scars. Some of these remove the scars, whereas others help the skin heal itself with its own collagen.

Types of Acne Scars

If you have acne scarring, chances are, you may have either Atrophic or Depressed Scarring and Hypertrophic or Keloid Scarring.

Atrophic scars include:

  • Ice Pick scars: This type of acne scar resembles an ice pick tool. It is a hole that is wide at the top and then narrows to a point when it goes deep into the skin. Such an indentation is common and very difficult to heal. This type of acne scar is most common on your upper cheeks and forehead, where your skin is thinner.
  • Rolling scars: This type of acne scar is most commonly found on the jaw and lower cheeks, where your skin is thicker. These scars have sloping edges that make the skin look uneven and wavy.
  • Boxcar scars: This type of acne scar has indents with sharper edges. These edges go deep down into the skin. These scars are also common on the jaw and lower cheeks.

Hypertrophic or keloid scars:

These scars rise off the skin. They are caused because fibrous tissue and collagen in the region of the skin overgrow. These scars are usually found on the back, chest, jaw line, and shoulders and are itchy, tender, and painful.

You can prevent acne scars by not popping a pimple; wearing sunscreen; staying moisturized, and treating your acne breakouts promptly. Also, if you are prone to chronic acne, do consult with your doctor for effective treatments.

Treatment of Acne Scars

The good news is that acne scars need not be permanent. There are several treatments available for acne scars. Some of these are home remedies that you can try yourself without the supervision of your cosmetic surgeon, whereas others are those that need to be done under the supervision of your cosmetic surgeon. These are some of the best treatments for acne scars.

Home Treatments

Over-the-counter creams work best for removing acne scars. You can check with your doctor as to which cream will work best for you and your skin type. There are a variety of effective creams out there and most of these acne scar treatment products contain alpha hydroxyl acids, lactic acid, retinoids, and salicylic acid. You can also cover up your acne scars with facial hair or makeup. There are many over-the-counter makeup products available that will cover up acne scars.

Cosmetic Treatments

There are several different cosmetic treatments available that can help treat your acne scars. You should consult with your cosmetic surgeon as to which of these are right for you. Some of these treatments are:

  1. Chemical peels: In this treatment your cosmetic surgeon will use special chemicals to remove the top layer of old skin. When the top layer is removed, the new skin that grows in its place is smoother with fewer scars.
  2. Dermabrasion: During this treatment the top layer of the skin is removed using a special tool that produces friction. Again, this produces smoother skin with less visible scars.
  3. Microdermabrasion: This is similar to dermabrasion, wherein a special machine is used to remove the top layer of the skin.
  4. Laser resurfacing: During this procedure, a laser delivers heat to the scarred collagen under the skin. This triggers the body’s wound-healing response to create new, healthy collagen. This also results in new skin replacing old skin. There are two different types of laser resurfacing. These are ablative and non-ablative. Your cosmetic surgeon will decide which is best for you.
  5. Steroid injections: During this procedure, your cosmetic surgeon will inject steroids into the raised scar tissue. This softens the fibrous tissue, causing the scar to flatten.
  6. Dermal fillers: With this treatment, the skin is lifted upwards when a substance is injected under a depressed scar.
  7. Microneedling: This uses small needles to injure your skin so that it produces collagen that can smooth scars. Microneedling can be done alone or with heat, the latter being called microneedling radiofrequency. Microneedling radiofrequency helps improve acne scarring and also prevents further acne from forming.
  8. Excision: During this procedure, your cosmetic surgeon cuts into the skin, removes the acne scar, and then closes the wound with stitches.
  9. Subcision: This procedure uses a needle to break apart fibrous bands that pull down scar tissue into the deeper layers of your skin. The skin is then released so that it returns to the surface and becomes smooth.
  10. Punch grafting: With this procedure, the scar is excised from the skin. After this, a skin graft is taken, typically from behind the ear, to fill the area from where the scar was removed.
  11. Cryosurgery: This treatment procedure uses liquid nitrogen to freeze raised scar tissue. Once this is done, the scar tissue dies and then falls off.

While there are several treatments available for treating acne scars, it is imperative that you consult the right cosmetic surgeon for your treatment process. Dr. S. Suma, of, in Hyderabad, India, is one such cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgeon.

She is particularly adept at treating acne scarring and will work with you to determine the treatment or combination of treatments that are best for you. She is not only highly skilled, but is also highly empathetic, caring, and communicative.

She will treat you holistically to help determine the cause of your acne and will work individually to treat it. So, if you are considering treatment for your acne scars, look no further than Dr. S. Suma…she is certainly the best choice!

To know more about the treatment for acne scars, as well as the other cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures that Dr. S. Suma performs, you can get in touch with her at +91 86 86 042 042 or email her at or visit her website at

Get to the Prettiest Version of YOU. By the prettiest hands in Hyderabad.

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