A dermatologist explains the causes and various kinds of zits scars, plus do away with them.

Acne is difficult to take care of, and it usually instigates totally different sorts of discomfort. Even after the irritation clears, you is likely to be left with an unwelcome parting present within the type of scarring.

If you expertise post-acne scarring, don’t despair. According to beauty dermatologist Michele Green, MD, time, persistence, and the best remedies might help deal with your zits scars.


To perceive what causes zits scarring, we have to first perceive zits, which ends up from clogged pores.

Typically, this clogging happens when extra oil (aka sebum) combines with useless pores and skin cells to dam the doorway of the pore. When a pore clogs, micro organism can construct inside it, resulting in irritation and inflicting zits to kind.

The irritation that causes zits to seem within the first place is finally what additionally causes scarring. As Dr. Green explains, “The infection causes the destruction of the skin and prevents it from healing properly.”

The varieties of scars that subsequently develop depend upon the pores and skin’s response to this irritation.

Woman freshly out of shower investigating the types of acne scars on her face

Different Types of Acne Scars

Acne scars are available just a few totally different varieties, however can often be categorized in certainly one of 4 varieties:

  1. atrophic scars
  2. hypertrophic scars
  3. keloids
  4. hyperpigmentation

1. Atrophic Scars

In most instances, atrophic zits scarring seems on the face and presents itself as depressions within the pores and skin. Dr. Green explains that atrophic scars usually kind “due to the skin’s inability to produce enough collagen as the wound heals.”

Then, there are three varieties of atrophic zits scarring:

  1. ice choose scars
  2. boxcar scars
  3. rolling scars

Ice Pick Scars

First, ice choose scars appear to be deep holes within the pores and skin. Dr. Green says that ice choose scars generally kind when there’s a lack of pores and skin tissue that “results in a perforation of the skin that looks like a narrow, deep hole.”

Boxcar Scars

Second, boxcar scars are wider than ice choose scars and often look extra like an indentation than a gap. According to Dr. Green, one of these zits scar kinds when inflammatory zits destroys collagen within the pores and skin. She explains that collagen performs a vital function to structurally assist pores and skin tissue, and a scarcity of it may possibly trigger the pores and skin to sink inwards.

Rolling Scars

Lastly, rolling scars have much less outlined edges and aren’t as deep as the opposite two varieties of atrophic scars. Dr. Green says that these scars kind when fibrous bands of tissue construct up between the uppermost layer of pores and skin and a deeper layer of tissue. These fibrous bands pull the highest layer of pores and skin inwards creating an uneven, rolling look.

2 & 3. Hypertrophic and Keloidal Scars

Whereas atrophic scars create pores and skin indentations, hypertrophic and keloidal scars trigger a raised pores and skin development. Both kind when the physique overproduces collagen to the purpose that the scar raises out of the pores and skin.

Even for dermatologists, it may be troublesome to find out whether or not a raised scar is a hypertrophic scar or a keloid. However, a 2020 research printed within the British Journal of Dermatology distinguished the variations between the 2 varieties of zits scars as such:

Hypertrophic Scars

  • develop inside the borders of the unique wound
  • can finally develop smaller

Keloid Scars

  • develop bigger than the borders of the unique wound
  • don’t develop smaller on their very own
  • have very thick bands of connective tissue of their interior layer

Though all kinds of pores and skin varieties can develop hypertrophic and keloidal scars, Dr. Green factors out that folks with darker pores and skin are extra inclined to creating keloids.

Close-up of tan man with clogged pores looking for the best ways how to treat acne scars

4. Hyperpigmentation

While hyperpigmentation isn’t technically thought-about a scar, it’s nonetheless a typical results of zits.

Characterized by a darkish spot the place the breakout beforehand existed, hyperpigmentation is brought on by an overproduction of melanin. Again, folks with darker pores and skin tones are extra susceptible to creating hyperpigmentation.

Can you stop zits scars from forming?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic treatment to forestall zits scars from forming.

That mentioned, Dr. Green explains that the easiest way to cut back the chance of zits scars from forming is to remain on prime of your skincare routine to attenuate the possibilities of zits forming to start with.

How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

When searching for zits scar remedies, it’s necessary to handle your expectations. Scarring signifies that the pores and skin has been broken—and if the injury is extreme sufficient, it might not be attainable for the scar to thoroughly disappear.

However, listed here are some efficient, derm-approved methods to assist heal your zits scars.

Use the Right Products

For starters, the best skincare merchandise might help do away with zits scars.

Luckily, there fairly just a few topical components that may assist fade darkish spots, resembling:

  • exfoliating AHAs + BHAs (like salicylic acid)
  • retinol
  • nutritional vitamins C + E
  • kojic acid

Be sort to Your Skin

In addition to following a skincare routine with merchandise tailor-made to your pores and skin sort and considerations, take care to be mild and deal with your pores and skin nicely.

First, bear in mind to exfoliate to advertise pores and skin cell turnover. Also, as tempting as it may be, don’t pop your pimples. Picking at your pores and skin will solely improve the chance of scars.

Woman using exfoliating topical products to treat and heal her acne scars

Consult a Derm for Professional Treatments

If your zits scars nonetheless received’t heal and also you suppose you want medical-grade remedies, Dr. Green recommends being intentional concerning the physician you choose that can assist you handle your pores and skin considerations.

For occasion, she suggests that folks with hypertrophic and keloidal scars ought to discover a board-certified dermatologist or beauty surgeon with expertise in treating these varieties of scars.

Once you’ve discovered a physician you’re feeling comfy with, you’ll be able to then focus on a spread choices to advertise therapeutic.

The most typical medical remedies for zits scars embody:

  • laser remedy: stimulates collagen manufacturing in a focused space
  • subcision: a needle loosens up the pores and skin below the scar
  • dermal fillers: injected below the scar to briefly raise the pores and skin again into place; sometimes the very best resolution with collagen loss

Medical zits scar remedies contain a course of that occurs slowly over time. You could must work together with your physician to attempt just a few totally different remedies, which might generally take months.

Final Thoughts

Again, it might not be attainable to completely stop zits scars from forming. Still, you’ll be able to at all times take care to forestall breakouts within the first place. From there, look to the very best methods to deal with zits scars as mentioned above.

No matter what sort of zits scar you’ve gotten, Dr. Green encourages sustaining a constructive mindset. “It’s very rare to be unable to get rid of acne scars,” she reassures us.

So even should you can’t erase the scar completely, most often, you’ll discover seen enhancements.