How To Get Rid Of Acne Scar?


Top dermatologists break down why acne scars and dark spots appear and how to treat them effectively.

Wondering how to get rid of acne scars? An unexpected pimple (or five) is annoying enough, but the acne scars and dark marks it leaves behind are often worse. While there isn’t a magic wand that can get rid of them overnight, top dermatologists from across the country share how to handle marks and bumps, from prevention to treatment (including home remedies).

In order to treat acne marks and scars, it’s helpful to learn how to distinguish between the two. “What many people don’t realize is that a dark or pink mark on the skin is not actually an acne scar. Inflammation in the skin often leaves behind a stain as part of the natural healing process. The inflammation revs up pigment production, creating the mark that fades on its own over several weeks to months,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Unlike scars, these are smooth to the touch (AKA, not raised or indented), and signify that there is no permanent collagen damage to the skin.

Acne scars, on the other hand, are formed when there is damage to the skin which leads to abnormal collagen production, and usually appear raised or bumpy. “There are two types of acne scars: depressed and raised. Depressed scars may look like pits or craters, and raised scars may be firm and tender,” explains Dr. Zeichner, who notes that unfortunately, these are permanent.

According to dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, some scars are thick, raised hypertrophic scars that stick out above the skin; others are keloid, which are scars that have over-healed, and manifest as dense rubbery skin tissue. Then, there are atrophic scars that appear as depressions in the skin — they’re the most challenging to treat. The three main categories of atrophic scars are:

  • Ice pick scars: Deeper than they are wide, with jagged edges. Sometimes they resemble a large, scooped out pore.
  • Boxcar scars: Broad, rectangular depressions with steep, defined edges.
  • Rolling scars: Broad depressions that have rounded, sloping edges, hence the name.

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