Why Do Acne Scars Happen?

Acne scars are very common. It is found that 82% of people between ages 12 and 30 will get acne, and one out of five of those people will develop acne scars.

How are acne scars caused?

 Acne scars are a result of inflammation of acne blemishes. The acne pore tends to swell up and a breakdown develops in the wall of the pore. Some acne blemishes could be small and hence the scars created are not deep and heal quickly. At times, the contents of the acne may spill into the tissues around it and cause deeper scars. The skin now responds to this by forming new collagen fibers to repair the scar.

Any breach to the skin- a cut in the skin, extreme dry skin , acne or a boil can lead to abrasion in the top layer of your skin that leads to scaring. Scaring could be driven by your skin type, genetics or how well you take care of your initial wound. Thereafter it depends on your lifestyle habits such as exposure to pollutants and other skin irritants.

Acne scars are usually of two forms.

  1. The scar develops when there is a loss of tissue. It leads to an indentation on the surface of the skin.
  2. The scar develops that is slightly raised on the surface of the skin. This type of acne scar is a sign that your skin is doing its job, but again too well. Your skin creates collagen to help heal the wound but, if it makes too much collagen, raised scars form.

It is important to know that just because you have acne, does not mean you will get scars. Even if you do get scars (one in five people with acne will also have scarring), the good news is that not all acne scars are permanent!

There are some treatments that can virtually remove all the scars while other treatment options can help the skin heal itself with its own collagen.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “ Even when people try to take all the necessary precautions, to prevent acne scars, some people get scars. There are many treatment options, which can remarkably reduce depressed and raised acne scars.”

How common is acne scarring?

Acne scars are very common. About 80-85% of people between the ages of 12 and 30 will have acne, and one out of five of that population will have scarring. Nearly 90% of teenagers tend to get acne.

The fact is some people are more prone to scarring while others are fortunate to go through a case of severe acne without a scar in sight. If you are highly prone to scarring, consult your dermatologist right away to discuss acne treatment options.

(This is the first part of the acne scars series. If you want to know more or have any questions, do let us know.)

For more information on acne scars, watch Dr Rashmi Shetty explain all about acne scars here

Credit: Audio notes provided by Dr Rashmi Shetty

Dr Rashmi Shetty, a specialist dermatologist, is an international speaker, teacher, and author with over 18 years of aesthetic and clinical dermatology experience.

 For more such tips and information from Dr Rashmi Shetty, follow her on

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You can also call on 09833055236 to book an appointment

If you have any questions or clarifications after reading this article, please comment.

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