About 80% of people in the US have acne-related skin conditions. Demographics show that those between 11 - 30 years of age are most likely to develop acne. Acne often deals a blow to your self-confidence.
On one hand, you have to get rid of the pimple, then you are left with a scar a constant reminder (even after the acne has long cleared out).
In this article, we will discuss the causes of acne scars and how to effectively treat them.
What Causes Acne Scars?
The most common causes of acne are:
- Hormonal changes
- Certain medications
- Emotional stress
- Oily cosmetics
In short, acne occurs whenever your skin's hair follicles, or pores, get clogged with oil and dead skin cells, creating comedones.
Then bacteria increases, resulting in irritation and red lumps. The faint red or brown scars left by healed acne usually go away on their own over time.
But, severe acne is likely to heal leaving you with scars.
The good news is that you can treat acne scars. But treatment only works if you know what type of acne you have.
3 Types of Acne Scars
1. Atrophic Scars
The face is the most prevalent site for atrophic scars. A depressed scar is usually visible beneath the surface of the skin. Atrophic scars appear as recessed areas of the skin that develop as a result of acne.
As a breakout heals, your body produces collagen to aid in the restoration of the skin's barrier. But, if the body does not generate enough collagen, the flat depressions develop into atrophic scars.
Dr. Sam Elmais, a board-certified dermatologist, says that there are three types of atrophic scars: boxcar, ice pick, and rolling scars.
Boxcar Atrophic Scars
Dr. Elmais defines boxcar scars as broad depressions with sharp edges. They are usually large and typical in places with thicker skin, such as the lower cheekbones and jaw.
Sometimes these scars are broad, U-shaped, but still have tell-tale sharp edges.
Boxcar scars range in depth from shallow to profound variants. The deeper the scar is from the skin's surface, the harder it is to treat.
Pick Atrophic Scars
They are small, V-shaped scars that penetrate the skin deeply. They have the appearance of tiny round or oval holes, similar to a chickenpox scar.
Because they can extend well beyond the skin's surface, they are the most difficult to heal. The ice pick scars generally appear on the cheeks.
Rolling Atrophic Scars
As the name suggests, they have a rolling (continuous) appearance. These scars have sloping edges, and as a result, the skin appears wavy and uneven.
Rolling scars also have varying depths.
2. Hypertrophic Scars
Hypertrophic scars arise as a result of acne on the back and chest. Unlike atrophic scars, which develop because due to insufficient collagen production; hypertrophic scars develop because of too much collagen production.
The production of too much collagen causes hypertrophic scars during healing. These scars rise beyond the surface of the surrounding skin. "Hypertrophic scars are elevated, hard scars that develop above the skin's surface," says Dr. Elmais.
Acne isn't the only cause of Hypertrophic scars, which are also caused by injury or trauma to the skin, burns, or piercings. Keloids are a prevalent type of hypertrophic scarring.
Keloids are a type of raised scar that is more protuberant than hypertrophic scars. They occur when scar tissue forms as a result of prior successive acne breakouts.
Keloids create a more prominent scar than the acne that caused it and spread beyond the initial area's boundaries.
Keloid scars form a scar that is bigger than the acne that produced them. Are prevalent on the jawline, chest, back, and shoulders, among other places. This form of scarring is more common in those with darker skin tones.
3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Even though post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) fails to present the typical appearance of scarring, we will still discuss it as an after-effect of acne.
When acne heals, it leaves a dark or discolored area of skin behind. This is not a scar, and with proper sun protection, dark spots will go away on their own, and your skin should revert to its original hue with time. When skin is injured by severe acne, hyperpigmentation can result if you pick at your pimples.
Why do we mention the sun and sunscreen?
Because after injury to the skin, your hormones stimulate the production of melanocytes—cells that generate melanin, the pigment responsible for our skin, eye, and hair color.
Melanin acts as an antioxidant, fighting off oxidative stress and maintaining the skin's barrier strength; it helps protect the skin from future harm. The sun aids by encouraging the formation of melanin.
Best Treatment for Acne Scars
You should consult a dermatologist before beginning any therapy for acne scars. A dermatologist will diagnose the scar and marks on your skin and suggest a treatment plan. For severe scars, the dermatologist may recommend surgery.
But for mild cases, you should try the Hydro Glow + Smooth & Even Serum from Kiss Selfcare. Our serum has been shown to drastically reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and dark spots.
How to Treat Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
PIH is the easiest to treat compared to atrophic and hypertrophic scars. All that is required is a good skincare regimen and patience.
Discoloration usually fades away with time, but certain products help fasten the process.
We recommend consulting a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment. But many people choose to treat less severe acne scars at home.
Get products that have Vitamin-C, Retinol, Vitamin-E, and AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids).
If at-home treatment is ineffective, you can try an in-office alternative.
Depending on the severity of your acne (and your preference to some extent), the dermatologist may suggest chemical peels, microdermabrasion, micro-needling, and laser treatment.
How to Treat Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars
Deep atrophic and hypertrophic scars will usually require surgery. At-home remedies are too mild.
The three most frequent scar removal surgeries are:
- Punch excision - taking the scar out and patching it up.
- Punch elevation - removing the scar and elevating the remaining tissue.
- Punch grafting - cutting the scar out and replacing it with skin from another part of the body.
- Dermal fillers - a less permanent method where fillers are injected into the scar.
Simple Routine To Clear Acne Scars Fast
If you're susceptible to breakouts, having a proper skincare routine is crucial.
A proper skincare routine will remove excess oil, maintain clean pores, and heal existing spots.
Starting an acne skincare regimen may be difficult since so many products are available and contradictory advice.
Your acne morning routine doesn't have to be complicated to be successful.
Below is a simple routine that will reduce the appearance of your scars, prevent acne, reduce wrinkles, provide antioxidant activity, hydrate, deep clean, and more:
The Kiss Morning Routine
Step 1: Cleanse With the MAGIC FOAM Cleanser
Cleansing skin in the morning is imperative for an acne regimen.
Cleanse your face using your fingertips or a soft washcloth. Pay attention to the front of and behind the ears, your neck, and your jawline.
It's unnecessary to use abrasive pads or scrub vigorously; doing so will worsen your acne. Avoid harsh bar soaps, antibacterial hand washes, and similar products. They will only aggravate your skin rather than relieve your acne.
Opt for a gentle cleanser. If you have oily skin and struggling to get rid of pimples or acne on your face, the MAGIC FOAM Hydrating Cleanser & Makeup Remover. is the product for your morning cleanse.
Step 2: Serum Time: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA
It's a blemish treatment with a high concentration of essential nutrients: minerals and vitamins. This potent serum contains zinc and niacinamide, improves the skin's barrier, and promotes immunity while fighting blemishes and restoring radiance.
It enhances skin texture and smoothness while calming any breakouts and reducing excess oils.
Step 3: Hydro Glow + Smooth & Even Serum
This powerful, all-natural plant-based formula helps nourish and heal acne scars while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It works well with the
MAGIC FOAM Hydrating Cleanser & Makeup Remover and is suitable for any skin type.
The Hydro Glow + Smooth & Even Serum contains about 10 all-natural ingredients to boost your fight against acne scars.
For instance, Rosehip oil moisturizes and heals acne, hyaluronic acid hydrates, while organic Bilberry extract acts as an antioxidant and prevents redness. This facial serum will not disappoint. It’s proven to heal acne when appropriately used, plus it smells great.
Step 4: Accentuate With Kiss Me Lip Gloss
Finish off your routine with finesse. The Kiss Me Lip Gloss is one of the best products on the shelves currently. It is manufactured using consciously sourced ingredients that are free of toxic chemicals, parabens, and PFAS. It is also alcohol-free, and only natural colorants are used.
And you will also be pleased to know that the Kiss Me Lip Gloss is cruelty-free: it has not been tested on animals in any way.
Kiss Evening Routine
An evening routine is just as important as a morning one. As you finish your day, try this routine:
- Cleanse - Use a gentle, non-medicated cleanser such as the MAGIC FOAM Hydrating Cleanser & Makeup Remover.
- Toning (optional) - Go for alcohol-free toners and astringents.
- Medicate - Use OTC or prescribed acne creams.
Where To Find Help For Acne Scars
Are you concerned about your acne? Book a consultation with a dermatologist. They provide a variety of therapies to help prevent acne and potentially avoid acne scarring. A dermatologist can assist you in determining the best treatment option and provide you with several valuable suggestions for dealing with acne and caring for your skin type.
You may visit local spas and salons as well. Most have in-house estheticians who are educated skin specialists who advise you about skincare treatments.
Tips For Thought
Prevention is better than cure - this statement couldn't be more accurate. If you can prevent acne in the first place, you wouldn't have any residual scars to deal with.
Go through your skincare products and your makeup. Is there any product that might be triggering your acne? If there is, it's best to discontinue use (at least until your acne clears permanently). Discard any old cosmetics that don't smell or look the same as when you originally bought them.
Don't touch, pinch, or pick at a pimple if you notice one. It might be challenging to resist the temptation to get rid of a zit immediately you see one. But remember, when you fiddle with pimples, you risk inflaming them further. If they burst or open up, you're more exposed to trigger factors like greasy makeup. Furthermore, the oil from your palms will only add to the misery.
Before you go to bed, take off your makeup.
When shopping for cosmetics, look for labels that state "noncomedogenic" or "non-acnegenic." If you have fewer breakouts, you are less prone to acquire acne scars.
All in all, avoid harming the underlying tissue, which can lead to scarring. Follow the treatment plan to the letter. The regimen your dermatologist prescribes aims to do two things: relieve symptoms of acne to curb further scarring or treat already existing acne scars.
The Bottom Line
Acne scars are the result of acne lesions becoming inflamed. The acne pore expands, and the pore wall begins to break down. After healing, a residual scar replaces the acne. And as you age, acne scars grow more visible because your skin loses collagen.
The incredible thing is, effective therapy can help you choose the proper treatment for each scar type. If you are struggling with acne scars, reach out to a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment. Start using the Kiss Morning routine, and you can get rid of acne scars!