How to Get Rid of Acne Scars: Types and Treatment Procedures

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Perhaps one of the most difficult problems you’ll have to deal with in acne is how to get rid of acne scars. Acne scars are a result of injury to the tissue, often caused by picking and squeezing at pimples which results in infection and further damage to the skin. It may seem like it will take forever for your acne scars to fade away. In more severe cases the scarring may be permanent. Having acne scarring can cause a lot of anxiety and embarrassment which is why many sufferers want to know how to get rid of their acne scars.

Getting rid of acne scars depends on factors such as the type of acne scar you have, the condition of your skin and the location of the scar. However, the good news is that acne scars can be treated effectively. Let’s take a look at the different types of scars and the best treatment procedures available.

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Ice Pick Scars

Ice pick scars are commonly found on the cheeks and look like your skin has been pierced by a pin, resembling small holes or open pores. They are narrow, no more than 2mm, and extend into the deeper layers of the skin. Common treatments for ice pick scars include punch excision and punch grafting.

Boxcar Scars

Boxcar scars are oval shaped depressions with steep vertical sides and sharp edges. They are wider than ice pick scars and give the skin a pitted appearance. Box car scars can be helped by punch excision, punch elevation or laser resurfacing.

Rolling Scars

Rolling scars look like rolling or wave like undulations on the skin. They are so named because they have the appearance of a rolling hillside. These types of scars are best treated with subcision.

Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars are often found on the torso, especially in men, and look like raised, firm masses of tissue. These types of scars tend to grow larger than the original wound. The most common treatment options for hypertrophic scars are steroid injections or creams or tapes medicated with topical steroids in order to shrink and flatten the scar. Resistant scars may need to be surgically excised.

There are many treatment procedures that can be used to get rid of acne scars, but the ones mentioned above have been found to be effective. We will look at these different procedures together with the benefits and the risks.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are most suited for very mild scarring and involve applying acid to the skin in order to remove the top layer. This results in the skin having a smoother appearance. Side effects include redness, swelling and possibly flakiness and dryness of the skin. Sometimes recovery can take several weeks.


Dermabrasion is used for mild scarring. During the process the skin is firstly numbed and then a machine rotates on the skin to remove the damaged skin. It’s a painful procedure and afterwards the skin is raw and scabs form. After the scabs heal, the skin will be red for several weeks.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a relatively new acne scar treatment that removes thin layers of skin, layer after layer, until the scars improve or disappear. At the same time the skin tightens to help smooth out the skin. The procedure only takes a few minutes and usually requires several treatments. After treatment, the skin may become red and swollen and this can last for several weeks.

Punch Excision, Punch Grafting And Punch Elevation

These procedures are carried out under anesthetic using a small punch tool, which looks like a tiny, circular cookie cutter. In this process the scar is cut from the skin or excised, and the skin is closed using steri-strips or glue and allowed to heal. After the skin is excised, a skin graft, usually taken from the skin behind the ear, is used to fill the void, especially in the case of deeper scars. With these procedures there is a risk of scarring. However, the scars are less noticeable and can be resurfaced more easily.

In punch elevation, the base of the scar is elevated to the surface of the skin where it is attached with steri-strips or skin glue. Unlike grafting, the skin after punch elevation has the same tone and texture as the surrounding tissue.


Subcision is a technique used for rolling scars. The technique involves detaching the scar from the underlying deeper tissue. To accomplish this, a sharp device is used, often an 18-gauge Nokor® needle, to separate the fibrous bands holding the scar to the deep dermis. This allows a pool of blood to form under the scar which clots and helps to form connective tissue under the scar, levelling it with the surface. Bruising and swelling usually occurs and can last for up to two weeks.

These are a few of the most common and effective treatment procedures to get rid of acne scars, but they can often be costly and require an anesthetic. If you want to know how to get rid of acne scars using less invasive treatment then check out the Acne No More system.

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