The Real Story Behind Your Acne Scars

Acne Scars

Acne Scars

Are acne scars something that you think about daily? When we think about our acne scars, it can trigger emotions ranging from embarrassment and frustration to sadness and insecurity. These feelings are understandable and normal reactions to having deep, visible marks as permanent reminders of our past breakouts. But what is the real story of why we get acne scars? This post will discuss what causes acne scarring – not just aesthetically speaking but also health-wise – so you can understand what acne scar treatments are for you.

Severity of Skin Inflammation

Severe acne with a significant skin inflammatory response increases the risk of tissue damage, leading to scarring. Acne scars are often caused by deep cystic lesions that penetrate the surface layer of the skin. The intense inflammation associated with such lesions can stimulate deep layers of the skin’s collagen production, which forms scars.

Collagen Imbalance

The synthesis and degradation of collagen is a delicate balance within the skin. Too much collagen in an area can cause the thickening of the affected layers of skin, which will further contribute to scarring. Conversely, when insufficient collagen is produced, the scars are less likely to heal properly and remain visible. It is why ensuring that the skin has an adequate supply of collagen to heal properly is vital.

Deep Acne Lesions

Nodules and cysts are deep acne lesions that occur when bacteria enter the follicle and cause an infection that extends deep into the dermis layer of the skin. The resulting long-term tissue damage that cannot be reversed is caused by the intense inflammation that damages the follicles.

Inadequate Treatment

Inadequate or improper treatment of acne can also increase the risk of scarring. Individuals not seeking early and adequate treatment for their acne may be more likely to suffer tissue damage and scarring.

Popping and Picking Blemishes

Popping and picking at blemishes irritate the skin, spread bacteria deeper into the tissue, and increase the risk of infection that worsen inflammation and contributes to scarring. Additionally, when a person squeezes or picks their acne, they can cause trauma to the healthy skin around them, which may lead to additional damage.

Improper Healing Process

Improper healing can also contribute to the formation of acne scars. An individual’s skin that has not been given enough time or resources to heal properly may suffer from prolonged inflammation. Additionally, if people do not get adequate sun protection for their scarred skin, they will likely experience further skin damage. Individuals with acne-prone skin that is not cleaned and hydrated may suffer from prolonged inflammation, leading to scarring.

Genetic Predisposition

Genetics are believed to play a role in developing acne scars. Darker skin tones tend to have thicker epidermis and dermis layers which can increase their risk of developing atrophic or ice-pick scars. Lighter skin tones tend to be more prone to hypertrophic or keloidal scarring. Any individual with a family history of acne or scarring may have a greater likelihood of developing scars.

Type of Skin

The skin type of a person can also affect the likelihood of scarring. People with oily or naturally acne-prone skin are more prone to scarring. Additionally, people with sensitive or dry skin may have impaired barrier functions that make them more vulnerable to infection and tissue damage, further contributing to scarring.

Hormonal Changes

Fluctuations in hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and puberty can increase oil production, leading to increased blemishes. This increased inflammation may cause thickening of the affected layers of skin, leading to a greater risk of scarring if not addressed appropriately and promptly.

Person’s Age

Age loses skin’s elasticity and makes it thinner, which is more prone to scarring. Additionally, older individuals may have weakened immune systems, making them more vulnerable to infections and tissue damage from acne inflammation.

How do you stop acne scars from forming?

One way to prevent acne scars is by having a consistent and effective skincare routine. Keep the skin clean and clear of dirt and oil buildup by regularly cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing the skin.

Additionally, lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water can help reduce the chances of acne scars forming. Another option is to seek professional treatments such as chemical peels or laser therapy, which can help to reduce the appearance of existing acne scars.


In conclusion, acne scars can be emotionally stressful to deal with. But understanding their real story is the first step in learning how to manage them. While there are various treatments to reduce or even remove most acne scars, prevention is still the key. Consistently implementing good skincare practices can go a long way in preventing future outbreaks and subsequent scarring. Your scars aren’t something that defines you—they are simply part of your story, and you can rewrite it any way you choose!