What Causes Acne Scars and How To Treat Them

What Causes Acne Scars and How To Treat Them 3.44/5 (68.89%) 9 votes

Acne scars form because of our body’s natural healing process (its response to acne).

When our immune system senses skin damage (because of whatever reason, in this case acne), it reacts by sending blood and T-cells to affected area. This increased number of blood cells causes inflammation and damages the surrounding tissues.

Scars appear due to increased collagen levels, which is formed by a natural process to cure the damaged cells. A fibrous collagen wall develops across the pores of the acne-damaged area and suppresses the surrounding tissue thereby creating a depression.

Some brown spots can also appear after a breakout heals. These brown spots are because of enhanced levels of pigment and melanin ( skin coloring pigment). When the immune system senses a threat it sends melanin to the acne breakout site to defend against the damage. This is similar to why our skin darkens after a skin tan.

Different types of Acne Scars

Ice-pick scars

Ice-pick scars — These scars have a sunken and pitted appearance and occur because of fat loss under the skin.

Rolling-acne scars

Rolling-acne scars — These are scars with sloping and rounded edges and occur due to depression of tissues surrounding the scars. These are prominently visible on the elderly because their skin is short on elasticity and fullness.

Boxcar acne scars

Boxcar acne scars — These scars have steeper edges as compared to rolling scars and are formed because the inflammatory acne breakout destroyed collagen, resulting in the loss of skin tissue.

Hypertrophic scars

Hypertrophic scars — These scars are red and raised, and are formed because of the excess production of collagen at the pimple site.

Acne scars and brown spots fades over time. Ingredients like retinoids, collagen serums, Vitamin C and hydroquinone can speed up the healing process.

How are Acne Scars Treated?


Topical treatments: Collagen serum, vitamin E, cocoa butter cream and a few other skin care products can lighten the appearance of scars.

Surgery: Severe scars can go under the knife. Surgery involves using a patch of skin from an unimpacted surrounding area and attaching it to the scar. However, surgery is not recommended in case of hypertrophic (raised) scars because the patient will have to risk recurring scars.

Steroid injections: Long-term course of steroid injections help lighten scars. This method is useful in case of hypertrophic (raised) scars. The steroids lower collagen production — in case you did not know, hypertrophic scars are caused by excess production of collagen.

Dermabrasion: During dermabrasion, raised scar tissues are removed with special equipment. After the top layer of dead skin cells is removed, the skin appears becomes supple and even-toned. This technique is very useful for hypertrophic scars and least useful for sunken scars.

Filler injections: Sunken skin tissues are leveled up to the normal surrounding skin levels by stimulating collagen production. However the effects of these injections are temporary and the procedure must be regularly repeated.

Laser surfacing: This technique is similar to dermabrasion, only more advanced. It stimulates collagen present in the deeper layers of skin without altering properties of the top layer of skin. Dermabrasion works on the top layer of the skin, while laser surfacing digs deeper.


i) Use vinegar because it kills bacteria, removes oil and other skin impurities. It protects the acid mantle of skin (the layer of skin that blocks bacteria and germs).

Mix vinegar and water in a proportion of 1:3. Apply the mixture on the scars with cotton ball. Let it stay on skin for 10-15 minutes. Later wash the face and then use a moisturizer.

ii) Cinnamon and honey paste work effectively combat acne.

Mix 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and blend well. Apply the mix on your face and let it dry for 15 minutes. Wash face and wipe it gently with a towel. The mix prevents the growth of bacteria.

iii) Honey has antibacterial, antiseptic and cleansing properties that purifies the skin.

Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of milk. Apply the mixture on the face and let it dry for 20-30 minutes. Rinse face and scrub skin with a soft towel gently to exfoliate dead skin.

iv) Egg whites contain proteins that help repair skin and fight acne.

Take 2-3 eggs and extract the egg white from them. Beat the egg whites till they turns into froth. Let the froth settle down. Apply the mixture on the face in 3-4 layers but make sure the first layer dries before applying the second layer.  Leave paste on for 15 minutes.

Wash face with lukewarm water and dry it. Moisturize skin to wrap up the treatment.

v) Papaya contains papain which reduces swelling and redness of the skin.

Mash papaya skin well. Apply it on face for 15-20 minutes and allow it to dry. Clean face with warm water.


Great gut health is important to prevent acne because constipation causes acne. When faeces are not excreted, toxins get reintroduced into the body.

Such toxins are eventually released through the skin causing breakouts. Drink lots of water and eat whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables to get rid of constipation.



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