Although annoying, acne is a natural phenomenon. It affects everyone at some point in life on various body parts like chest, back, shoulders, face, etc. Acne appears when hair follicles or pores on the skin get clogged by oil and dead skin cells that form comedones. It lets bacteria breed and causes inflammation and red bumps on the skin. 

Acne can be severe, moderate, or mild. In many cases, it causes pain and pus-filled bumps called cysts. Accordingly, and based on their appearance, size, etc., there are various types of acne scars. Identifying the type of acne scar can help you undertake appropriate treatment. So, here’s more to the different types of acne scars.

Types of Acne Scars

Acne is broadly divided into two categories – atrophic and hypertrophic or keloid scars. Boxcar, ice pick, and rolling acne scars are types of atrophic scars. 

Let’s overview both these categories for a better idea of what each scar type is, how it looks, causes, etc.

Boxcar Scars

These scars are broad, oval, or round-shaped with steep vertical sides. Boxcar scars give the skin a pitted and uneven appearance. They are often seen on the lower cheeks and jaw and result from widespread acne, chickenpox, or varicella, a virus causing red and itchy rashes with blisters. Some potential treatments include dermabrasion, laser therapy, punch excision, or laser therapy.

Ice Pick Scars

Ice pick scars are smaller scars and tinier indentations that point down to the skin’s surface. These are commonly seen on cheeks and form after an infection or inflammation from a cyst or blemish that works its way to the surface. Ice-pick scars are challenging to treat. Hence, they demand persistent and aggressive treatment. A few treatments include punch grafting, chemical peeling, or punch excision.

Rolling Acne Scars

Rolling acne scars feature rolling or depressions similar to waves. These scars aren’t well-defined and make the skin look craggy and uneven. They appear due to the development of fibrous bands of tissue between the skin and the subcutaneous tissue below. These bands pull the epidermis. It is the epidermis pull from within that gives the skin a rolling appearance. Treatment options may include laser therapy or subcision.

Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars

Hypertrophic and keloid scars develop as raised lumps of scar tissue on the acne’s past spot. They result from the building up of scar tissue, which in some cases could be due to previous acne. While hypertrophic scars are the same size as the acne that causes them, keloid scars create a larger scar, and their growth transcends the original spot’s sides.

These scars are commonly seen on the chest, back, jawline, and shoulders. Some potential treatment options can include cryotherapy, corticosteroid injections, silicone sheets, laser therapy, and surgical scars removal.

What is the best treatment for acne scars?

Terming a particular acne treatment as the best one isn’t possible. You need to identify the type of scar and conduct a comprehensive diagnosis of the case to understand the skin type, the person’s health condition, allergies, the cause of acne scars, etc. to determine the appropriate treatment type. 

Consulting a dermatologist, instead of trying over-the-counter medicines, always helps as dermatologists diagnose the case and prescribe the treatment.

How to prevent acne scars?

Some straightforward ways to prevent acne scars include the following.

  • Keeping the skin moisturized
  • Avoiding popping the pimples
  • Wearing sunscreen while stepping out
  • Trying various natural remedies based on the doctor’s prescription
  • Undertaking the right and timely treatment

Do acne scar marks fade naturally?

Acne occurrence is natural. So, the way nature causes it, usually nature heals it as well. Thus, the reddish or brownish acne mark left behind after pimples disappear fades without requiring the person to undergo special treatment for it. In cases, where it doesn’t, consulting a dermatologist can help. 


Are you suffering from scars and looking for an appropriate treatment based on your skin type, condition, and types of scars? Visit Eva Skin Clinic

We are a group of qualified and experienced dermatologists with a reputation for personalized treatment and exceptional results. 

Call us at +91 788 799 1919 for appointments.

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