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Acne Scars: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 19, 2022

What is Acne Scars?

Acne occurs when your hair follicles get clogged by dead skin cells and excess oil from the skin. It may result in blackheads, whiteheads, oily skin, pimples or scars. Acne may often break out on the face, upper part of chest or back at the onset of puberty and continue for the period of adolescence. Your genes are responsible for the severity of your acne condition in most cases. Acne scars should not be neglected. You should start finding solution to your troubles through home remedies as soon as acne breaks out. However, there are ways by which you can get your acne treated if the situation gets out of hand. Your skin can be injected with soft tissue fillers to make the scars less noticeable. Laser resurfacing may improve the appearance of your skin. Dermabrasion is a process used to treat severe conditions. You can minimise deeper scars by chemical peeling. You can also get surgery or Botox injections to get rid of your acne scars.

What are the symptoms of Acne Scars?

The majority of acne scars result in depression or pits in the skin. Symptoms of acne scars include:

  • Depressed:

    Scars that are depressed frequently appear on the face. These scars may be referred to as ""atrophic"" (a-tro-fic) scars, or by the name of the specific depressed scar:

    • Boxcar
    • Icepick
    • Rolling
  • Raised:

    Acne scars that have been raised are more common on the back and chest. ""Hypertrophic"" is the medical term for a raised scar.

Summary: There are mainly two symptoms of acne scars,i.e., depressed scars and raised scars.

What causes acne scars?

Your skin is made up of three layers. The hypodermis, dermis, and epidermis are the three layers of the skin. These layers shield our delicate internal organs from the weather, UV radiation, and bacteria, and they also aid in vitamin D production by absorbing sunshine.

Any part of your body with sebaceous glands can be affected by acne, such as the face, neck, and chest. Acne scarring occurs when acne lesions become inflammatory.

Summary: The main cause of acne scar is inflammation caused by acne blemishes.

How are acne scars diagnosed?

A dermatologist can perform an ocular examination to diagnose acne scars. Your dermatologist can also assess the severity of your acne scarring by this. Acne scarring can be classified into four categories: macular, mild, moderate, and severe, according to the assessment technique.

Macular, or grade one, is a red but flat scar. A scar of grade two, mild, can be readily concealed with makeup or facial hair. Grade three scar is a bit moderate. Makeup and facial hair are not as effective in concealing it. Scarring that is visible at a distance of more than 50 centimeters is classified as grade four, severe (1.64 feet).

Face hair and makeup are unlikely to completely conceal these scars. Consult a dermatologist for more information on treatment choices and management tactics.

They will figure out what kind of acne scar you have and suggest the best therapies for you based on your preferences and the scarring's location.

Summary: The dermatologist can perform an ocular examination to detect acne scars.

How to prevent acne scars?

If over-the-counter acne treatments do not help your acne, see your doctor immediately. Treatment helps to prevent acne from advancing to a more serious state and keeps outbreaks to a minimum. Ways to prevent acne scars include:

  • Inflammation should be reduced:

    Inflammation can lead to scars so it is important to reduce inflammation. You must avoid the things that increase inflammation. Excessive scrubbing or the use of harsh skin care products should be avoided.

  • Squeezing or popping pimples should be avoided:

    Refrain from picking or pinching a pimple. This can drive debris further into the dermis, spreading the infection to adjacent tissues and worsening inflammation.

  • Scabs should not be picked:

    Picking at scabs is not a good idea. Scabs act as a natural ""bandage"" for the wound, protecting it while it heals. Picking a scab off a wound before it has entirely healed causes scarring and inhibits healing.

Summary: There are several ways to prevent acne scars, the most important among them are: to prevent inflammation, and avoid touching your pimples and scabs.

Can acne scars go away on their own?

Scars from acne do not fade on their own. Depressed acne scars become more visible when the skin loses collagen.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or redness may diminish on its own after a few months. Going without therapy could take years.

Summary: You need to take medicines and consult your doctor to treat acne scars.

How is the treatment done?

Your scars can be made less noticeable by injecting collagen or fat under the skin and into indented scars. These soft tissue fillers stretch out the skin and improve your condition. Pulsed light resources and radiofrequency devices can also be used to make your scars less noticeable. This laser treatment is temporary and may have to be repeated frequently. In the process of dermabrasion, the top layer of your skin is removed with a rapidly rotating wire brush. This process, used for severe scarring conditions, removes the surface scars completely and makes the deeper acne scars look less noticeable.

Chemical peeling involves applying high potency acids on skin in order to remove the top layer and lessen the deeper scars. Punch excision is a minor surgery wherein the individual scars are cut out. The wounds are repaired with stitches or skin graft. Subcision is another surgery in which needles are inserted under the skin in order to loosen the fibres below the scars. It improves the appearance of skin. Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections help in minimizing acne scars but you will need to repeat the injections periodically without fail.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If you have had acne condition like blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, scars or painful pus filled lumps for a long time, you should consult a doctor and get yourself treated.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If your acne condition has just started, you may not need to get medical help. It can be solved by some home remedies.

Are there any side effects?

Acne scars treatments are not known to have many side effects.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

You must ensure that your skin is clean all the time. Wash your face with a mild cleanser or face wash at least twice a day. Protect your skin from the ultra violet rays of the sun. Remember to use a good amount of sunscreen lotion before stepping out in the sun. Avoid constantly touching your problem areas. Do not let your skin remain sweaty for a long time. Have a bath after any strenuous physical activity.

How long does it take to recover?

Acne scars can reduce within 2-3 months if proper attention and care is given.

What to eat for acne scars?

Food items that could help to reduce acne scars include:

  • Berries:It has vitamin C and antioxidants, which assist to prevent dark spots and blotchy skin. It is a quick remedy to remove acne scars.
  • Kale:It provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to smoothen the skin tone. It also helps to treat acne scars.
  • Lemon:It helps to prevent free radicals, increases the production of collagen, and lightens acne scars.
  • Legumes:It helps to prevent flare-ups of acne and also maintains the sugar level in the blood.
  • Sweet Potatoes:It helps to prevent wrinkles and acne.
  • Quinoa:It aids in the removal of toxins from our bodies, as well as providing cleaner skin and removing acne scars.
  • Papaya:It provides several benefits to our digestive system and skin. It helps to unclog the pores, hydrates our skin, removes dead skin cells, and removes acne scars.
  • Pumpkin:It prevents oil production and acne formation.
  • Cauliflower:It protects against the harmful effects of UV radiation while also removing acne scars.
  • Salmon:It protects our skin from sun damage and removes acne scars.
  • Water:Drinking at least 8 to 10 liters of water daily can help to treat various skin conditions.
Summary: You should try to eat healthy food and most importantly food rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C to treat various skin ailments.

What not to eat for acne scars?

Food items you should in acne scars are:

  • Cow milk
  • Food containing iodine
  • Food containing high glycemic index
Summary: You should avoid spicy and oily foods along with the above-mentioned items to prevent acne scars.

Is Vitamin C good for acne scars?

Acne vulgaris is a skin condition that causes pimples and greasy skin. Symptoms are experienced by up to 50% of adolescents and 15–30% of adults.

Acne is treated with topical creams, pills, diets, and supplements. Vitamin C is a common ingredient in acne-fighting skin care treatments.

Summary: According to dermatologists, Vitamin C can help in various skin conditions.

Should I go to urgent care for acne scars?

Yes, you should go to a dermatologist as soon as possible because untreated acne scars can even worsen the condition. The longer you wait to treat your acne, the more likely you are to develop scarring.

Summary: You should immediately consult your doctor for acne scars. If you don't treat it, it will get darker.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Cost of one session of dermabrasion may be ₹1000 - ₹2500 depending on the area of skin covered. Punch excision and subsicion may cost between ₹15000 - ₹25000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment are permanent but you might have to keep going for multiple sessions of the treatment you chose and take care of your skin throughout your life to retain the results.

Physical Exercises for the people suffering from acne scars:

Acne and pigmentation can be treated using face yoga, and it can also be used to relieve tension. ""Face yoga practice on a regular basis aids in hormonal balance.""

Face yoga helps to increase the flow of fresh oxygenated blood to the face, resulting in a better complexion and the elimination of bloating, toxins, and dullness.

The poses also serve to activate and regulate hormonal function, which aids in preventing aging. Face yoga is beneficial to both your skin and your muscles. Face yoga includes the following:

  • Puff your cheeks:


    • Inhale deeply until your cheeks inflate up.
    • Bring the air to your right cheek and keep it there for ten seconds.
    • Shift your weight to your left cheek, hold for 10 seconds, then exhale.

    Benefits: This simple workout has numerous skin advantages, including enhanced blood flow and a reduction in stress-related acne.

  • Pose with a balloon:


    • Take a deep breath
    • For ten seconds, keep it in.
    • Place your index and middle fingers on your lips together and hold your breath.
    • Do it five times each day.

    Benefits: It helps to remove pimples and scars from the skin's surface and the blood circulation will be improved. It also tones your skin and slims down your cheekbones.

    Along with this, make sure you drink enough water. ""Water is the ideal skin moisturizer.""It also carries nutrients and oxygen to your face and body's cells.

Summary: You can go for face yoga, this could help to improve your skin texture and treats various skin problems.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Homemade face packs, regular washing of skin and consuming a healthy diet while staying away from alcohol and tobacco may help in reducing your scars. Acne scars can be a result of anxiety or depression. You can work on getting over these emotions by meditating in the peace of your home.

Key Highlights

Safety: Very High

Effectiveness: High

Timeliness: Low

Relative Risk: Very Low

Side Effects: Very Low

Time For Recovery: Very Low

Price Range: Rs 1,000 - Rs 25,000

Which is the best medicine for acne scars?

The medicines recommended by the dermatologists for the treatment of acne scars include:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Lactic acid
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acids
  • Dermabrasion
  • Chemical peels
Summary: Medicines recommended for acne scars must include lactic acid, salicylic acids, vitamin C and retinoids.


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Written ByDr. Shaurya Rohatgi MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy,MBBSDermatology
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