A scar is a permanent mark left after the healing of an injury or disease process.
If you have moderate to severe acne, there can be a lot of damage to the surface and the underlying layers of the skin.
This can leave you with flat, discoloured acne scars or other types of scarring like pitted or indented skin, and thick raised skin (keloid scars).
Some scars improve over time, others stay the same, and some can get worse with time.
If you usually disguise scars with makeup, the scarring can be a permanent reminder of your experience with acne.
How acne scars form
Watch dermatologist Dr Philip Artemi explain how acne scars form and what to do next.
Preventing acne scars
You can prevent scarring from pimples if you have early, effective acne treatment.
Picking or squeezing pimples can also cause scars – so please, avoid the temptation to do this!
If you have a family history of acne scarring, it’s especially important to consider early treatment and review by a dermatologist.
Treating acne scars
Different types of scars call for different treatments, so speak to your dermatologist about the best option for you.
Some of the treatment options for acne scarring include:
Skin resurfacing and other laser and non-laser treatments
Injectable fillers or implants
Fractionated lasers and other similar technologies (not laser) punch holes in the skin – think aerating a lawn – and have largely replaced resurfacing techniques like harsher forms of chemical peels and dermabrasion for acne scarring.
Light chemical peels and microdermabrasion are gentler varieties of these procedures which can be helpful for milder issues.