What causes acne scars and can you prevent them?

Dr Louisa Draper

"Avoid picking or squeezing your scars – picking scars increases the risk of scarring, discolouration and skin damage."

Dr Louisa Draper

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Acne scars are scars left by acne spots. They are caused when spots or blemishes burst or break the skin. Minor scars will heal naturally, and should fade on their own quite quickly. However, deeper or more severe scars might take much longer or require treatment.

There are three types of acne scars:

  • ‘ice pick scars’ (small, deep holes)
  • ‘rolling scars’ (formed under the skin, making the surface of your skin uneven)
  • ‘boxcar scars’ (round craters in the skin)

Serious scarring is usually caused by moderate or severe forms of acne (such as cystic acne). There are things you can do to reduce the chances of developing serious acne scars.