How to treat Acne scars?

I have extensively talked about acne and how to go about it. Living with acne itself is painful but after acne heals, it leaves behind scars which is even more painful. It really affects our confidence and self-esteem. So in this post lets see what are acne scars and how to treat them.


Its a skin tissue injury caused during the healing stage of acne.Depending on the type of acne that is, if the deeper the acne is embedded in the skin layers then acne scars will also be deeper.It can sometimes lead to permanent scarring.

Types of Acne Scars:


Types of Acne Scars Description
These are acne blemishes which are red/black/dark marks left behind on the skin when acne heals.
2)Atrophic Scars
a)Ice-pick scars:
These are narrow and deep pits left behind by acne.
b)Box-car scars:
These are angular and shallow/deep scars which mostly occurs on cheeks or temples.
c)Rolling scars:
These scars make a wave-like appearance which tend to be wide and shallow.
3)Hyper-trophic scars:
These severe acne scars which are lumpy,nodular/cystic which appear due to excess collagen production during repair time.It is also known as keloids.


Treatment options:

Before treating acne scars, it is very important to treat your acne first and fore hand. Otherwise new pimples pop up and leave more and more scars.You should opt for scar removal treatment only when there is no active acne.For treatment options,you can look into How to treat acne and acne regimens.
Medical Procedure Description
1)Topical Applications:
Topical applications like Retinoinds(Vitamin A), Glycolic acid(Alpha hydroxy acid-AHA) and Vitamin C(Ascorbic acid) work well for hyper-pigmented scars, atrophic scars.For hyper-trophic/raised scars,silicone gels help.
There are many skin lightening creams/gels available for acne blemishes/dark marks/ hyper-pigmented scars like Kojic acid,Lactic acid,Glycolic acid, Arbutin, Azelaic acid,Niacinamide,Liquorice etc which supress melanin production and lightens marks.
2)Chemical Peeling:
Chemical peeling is the best and fastest procedure to treat hyper-pigmentation scars/acne blemishes.I have written a detailed post on this procedure,which you check out here.
It is a procedure for Atropic scars(Ice pick/box/rolling scars) where the top skin layer is buffed or eroded using aluminium oxide crystals which encourages collagen production and also makes pits look less apparent.I have written a detailed post on this procedure,which you check out here.
Laser works on all kinds of scars: Hyper-pigmentation, Atrophic and Hypertrophic scars.Laser light destroys top skin layer and promotes faster skin renewal.
5)Subcision and Derma-fillers:
These are procedures which are done by injecting fillers into skin externally which help fill up the Atrophic scars/pits and make it less noticeable.
6)Dermaroller/Skin needling:
It is a procedure done by using a derma roller which consists of very tiny needles spaced apart at certain intervals for Atrophic scars.It again promotes faster cell renewal and collagen production to fill up the pits.Read:What is Derma-roller?How to treat acne scars?
7)Steroid Injections:
Cortisone/Steroid injections are given to reduce the size of hyper-trophic scars/keloids.
8)Skin Grafting: Rare case scenarios.

Do’s and Don’t s:

1)Don’t pick or pop pimples because it will cause deeper infection and deeper pits.
2)Focus on preventing acne by following proper skin routine or acne regimen.
3)Treat acne at the earliest.
4)Usage of scrubs irritates acne prone skin and slows down the healing process.
5)Smoking affects oxygen supply and clogs pores,deposit toxins and leads to more acne.
6)Always wear a oil-free and non-comedogenic sunscreen.
7)Contrary to the popular belief Vitamin E does not help acne scars.
8)Include diet rich in antioxidants which promote skin renewal.

Product suggestions:

Type Product Name
Retino-A,Nexret, Avene Trianceal, Strea A,Yugard
Glycolic acid:
Ducray Keracnyl Care Cream, Glyco-6/A,Oliiza Gel, Avene Triacneal,Sefpil
Vitamin C:
Kozimax,Facemed,Kaya Antox Vit C serum,Dr.Reddy’s Strea C10,Rejuglow Gel,Epishine Serum
De-pigmentation creams:
Kaya Pigmentation Reducer Gel, Sefpil,Depiwhite,Kojivit, Aziderm


  • Some applications are prescribed based drugs.
  • Do not use Retinoids and Vitamin C simultaneously.Space it apart like may be alternate nights.

Final Verdict:

Some folks confuse large pores as pitted-acne scars.It may look like pits but they are not. Large pores are purely genetics. We will deal with that issue in the later posts.Unfortunately for acne scars there is no home remedies apart from topical applications. Medical procedures helps acne scars tremendously. So irrespective of the degree of acne you have,get acne treated at the earliest.I have dealt with my fair or rather unfair share of hyper-pigmented scars/acne blemishes. Epiduo treated my acne as well as acne blemishes. I also underwent a couple sessions of chemical peeling at Kaya Skin Clinic, which accelerated the process of skin lightening at a faster rate. Touchwood! I have clear skin now,lesson learnt the hard way so now I follow Epiduo Acne Regimen religiously.Don’t waste time in figuring out what to do, find a good dermatologist and get yourself treated. I say that because Acne really hampers with a person’s confidence.So guys take good care of yourself 🙂

Image Credits:sodaniechea@flickr

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