Understanding the Types of Acne Scars


Who didn’t have bad skin as a teenager? Looking back at old-school photos, many individuals have had similar blemishes to acne.

But acne can affect people much further than the terrible twos. Acne vulgar is the most common skin disease.

With the proper treatment, and even without, people can come out the other side cleared of full-blown acne. But one lasting reminder may be acne scars.

For many people, that’s not a bad thing! Please keep reading for our in-depth guide to types of acne scars.


Atrophic Scars

Atrophic acne scars often have a white/purple coloring to them. They vary in size and shape, though they are usually very delicate. As the spot forms, the healing process causes collagen contraction within the surrounding tissue.

It leads to an actual decrease in the size of the affected area. A combination of medical and aesthetic treatments may be required, such as:

  • topical creams
  • chemical peels
  • dermabrasion
  • fillers,
  • lasers,
  • or small punch excision

Treatment should be tailored to the individual. There are a variety of options that may help reduce the appearance of atrophic acne scars.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

It is caused by increased melanin production at the location of an inflamed acne lesion. PIH is characterized by brown spots that often remain after the acne has healed. While PIH is typically not permanent, some brown spots may stay for up to 6 months.

Some treatments can help reduce their appearance if the residual dark spots persist. Depending on the severity, topical medications, peels, and lasers may be prescribed to reduce the appearance of PIH.

Understanding the different types of acne scars can help ensure the appropriate treatment is chosen.

Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars

Hypertrophic scars are an overgrowth of tissue in the area of the acne lesions. They are usually limited to the extent of the initial acne outbreak and dermis, though they can be more extensive.

They are red, raised, itchy, and can be painful. Keloid scars are more severe and occur with excessive collagen production during wound healing. They are thicker and lumpy and can extend beyond the borders of the original wound.

These scars are usually red or purple, are itchy, and can be sensitive to the touch. Treatment of these scar types includes topical and intralesional corticosteroids, laser therapy, dermabrasion, and various other treatment options. Discussing these treatments with your doctor or dermatologist is essential, as each case varies and requires specific treatment.

Boxcar Scars

Boxcar scars are the most common acne scars, characterized by sharply defined, angular edges. These scars often have an angular or slightly rounded shape with steep sides. While nodular and cystic breakouts mainly cause boxcar scars, they can also result from popping an acne lesion.

They usually appear as an enlarged pore. Understanding the different types of acne scars can help you determine the best skin treatments. You must undergo acne scar treatment to get rid of this scar; check out microneedling at Alinea Medical Spa.

Understanding the Types of Acne Scars

Understanding the types of acne scars allows us to address our skincare needs adequately. Knowing the right treatments for mild and severe acne scars will enable us to improve our skin’s conditions. Learn more about acne scars and treatments that are available to you today by visiting our website.