Best treatments for acne scars

28 November 2023
A woman covering her face because of acne scars. En Source:, Author: Anete Lusina

Even healed acne lesions can leave behind unpleasant mementos – atrophic scars or hyperpigmentation. Acne most often occurs on the facial skin, so possible acne marks can also be a serious aesthetic problem. Why and how do acne scars form? Can they be avoided? How do you get rid of them?

What are atrophic scars? What do they look like?

Acne scars are most often precisely atrophic scars – they are characteristic depressions in the skin that can occur singly or in whole clusters. Their shape is rather irregular. Atrophic scars are a type of tissue defect and are therefore very difficult to mask with make-up.

How and why do atrophic scars form?

This type of scarring is most commonly associated with acne vulgaris – indeed, it is a common and not very pleasant reminder of this dermatological ailment. However, this does not mean that atrophic scars arise exclusively from acne. What are the other causes?

  • Skin damage – resulting from tearing or squeezing skin lesions and trying to release ingrown hairs.
  • All types of acne, but also other types of pimples and skin lesions.
  • Infectious and skin diseases that manifest as a rash – especially chickenpox.

The rash, formation of pimples, blackheads and purulent skin lesions can cause damage to the collagen fibres in the skin, which can result in the formation of small atrophic scars. They are even more likely to occur when skin lesions are squeezed, pierced or scratched. This is why dermatologists and GPs so often warn against squeezing pimples or scratching pustules in the course of chickenpox.

How to get rid of acne scars?

This is a question many people ask themselves. Combating acne marks is not easy – the key issue is to cure active acne lesions, as only then can various cosmetic and aesthetic treatments be implemented. So if you are still bothered by active acne, make an appointment for a dermatological consultation. Once the active acne lesions have calmed down, you can opt for scar-flattening and blemish-removing treatments.

Treatments for acne scars

  • Chemical peels – allow the natural exfoliation processes of the epidermis to be accelerated. As a result, lesions such as post-acne hyperpigmentation can be removed from the skin much more quickly, as well as reducing the appearance of shallower atrophic scars.
  • Carboxytherapy – is a treatment for acne scars, during which carbon dioxide is injected under the skin. This substance promotes increased cellular renewal, as well as a shallowing of atrophic scars.
  • Dermabrasion or microdermabrasion – these are treatments that involve mechanical exfoliation of the epidermis. They can be carried out using a device with a diamond head or with a laser. Microdermabrasion is less invasive and is recommended for shallower atrophic scars. Dermabrasion can reduce deeper scars and wrinkles, but is more invasive – it is performed under anaesthesia, and after the procedure it is necessary to wear a special dressing and strictly follow the doctor’s instructions.
  • Laser treatments – fractional laser is often used to reduce atrophic scars. Up to dozens of micro laser beams are used during fractional laser treatment. The depth of their impact is strictly controlled, which makes the treatment so precise. The result is enhanced skin recovery and regeneration, an improved appearance and a smoother appearance of acne scars.
  • Hyaluronic acid injections – if you’re wondering what helps acne scars the fastest, it might be filling them with hyaluronic acid. This treatment provides an instant result – acne scars may no longer be visible. The effects last for about a year.

These are just a few of the many aesthetic medicine procedures that can be extremely effective in treating atrophic scars. If you don’t know which procedure to opt for, contact a specialist – he or she can help you choose the most beneficial method for you.

Can acne scars be avoided?

If you are in the process of treating acne and do not yet see any atrophic scars on your skin, think about proper prevention now. It is much better to implement some changes at this stage than to wonder later how to remove acne scars and incur the costs involved. What to do and what not to do to minimise the risk of atrophic scar formation when you have acne?

  • Avoid scratching, piercing or squeezing skin lesions. No matter how big they are, whether they are itchy or swollen – let them disappear under dermatological treatment. Squeezing or scratching will cause additional damage to the skin, thus increasing the risk of acne scarring. This can also result in infection.
  • Undertake and consistent acne treatment. This can be a difficult and lengthy process, but it is worth using the specifics prescribed by your dermatologist. If necessary, consult a second specialist about your condition, but don’t give up on treatment on your own if the results are not quick.
  • Take care of your skin hygiene and use cosmetics recommended by your dermatologist. Avoid pore-clogging and excessively drying products. If there are many active lesions on your skin, consider temporarily forgoing make-up. When you are anxious not to give up make-up, however, reach for lightweight mineral products and those dedicated to acne-prone skin. Use disposable applicators, and wash and sanitise reusable applicators thoroughly after each use. In the evening, a very thorough make-up removal is mandatory.

If, despite your best efforts, you do not manage to avoid atrophic scars, do not be discouraged. Modern aesthetic medicine can help you to erase them.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


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