Home Beauty How to get rid of acne scars, according to skin experts

How to get rid of acne scars, according to skin experts

How to get rid of acne scars, according to skin experts


Atrophic scars, which leave a flat depression on the skin, are the most common on the face, while hypertrophic or raised scars are more prevalent on the chest and back.

There are three types of atrophic scars:

Ice-pick scars: “These appear small, deep, narrow and pitted [they look almost like chickenpox scars] and are most commonly treated by laser skin resurfacing,” Dr Saleki says.

Rolling scars: “Typically, rolling scars are broad depressions with sloping edges and can be treated with chemical peels,” she adds.

Boxcar scars: Those with cystic acne are more likely to suffer from boxcar scars, “which are like rolling scars but with sharp borders and can be treated best with micro-needling,” notes Dr Saleki.

Acne scars vs acne marks

“Not only can acne cause scarring, but inflammation can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, too,” says Dr Saleki. Known as acne marks, these are smooth in texture rather than lesions on the skin, so call for a different approach to acne scars.

On pale skin, acne marks tend to be purply red in colour; on brown and black skin the marks are darker as more melanin is produced to defend against the trauma.

How do you stop acne from scarring?

The best way to treat an acne scar is to prevent it in the first place. Avoid picking, popping, or squeezing any breakout, no matter how tempting, to prevent irritating the skin and damaging the underlying tissue, which can lead to scars.

“When a pimple heals, it leaves behind either a red or brown mark on the surface of the skin,” says Julie Morris, an aesthetics nurse at Effortless Skin. “If this pimple has been squeezed or picked at, the damage can go much deeper.”

That’s not to say that unpicked pimples won’t cause scarring, but you’ll certainly reduce the risk by not aggravating your skin further. If you absolutely have to squeeze it, then follow our guide to spot squeezing by Dr Pimple Popper.

You may also be able to reduce the appearance of acne scars with over-the-counter skincare, lifestyle changes and dermatologist-performed procedures:

1.Use a salicylic acid cleanser

Maintaining a good cleansing routine – morning and night – is key to keeping acne in check, says Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder and surgical director at 111 Harley St. “The amount of cleanser you use is important,” he adds. “Make sure it’s an amount equal to the size of a water bottle lid – any less can result in breakouts as dirt and makeup debris may still be clogging pores.”

As for what ingredients to look out for in a cleanser, consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto, is a fan of salicylic acid – and it’s not hard to see why.

What is salicylic acid and how does it clear up spots?


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