From Hyperpigmentation to Pitted Scars: Understanding Acne Marks and Scars and its management

From Hyperpigmentation to Pitted Scars: Understanding Acne Marks and Scars and its management


Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While dealing with active acne can be challenging, the aftermath of acne in the form of marks and scars can be equally distressing. Acne marks and scars come in various forms, including hyperpigmentation, atrophic scars, and hypertrophic scars. Understanding the different types of acne marks and scars is essential for choosing appropriate treatment options and achieving smoother, clearer skin. This article aims to shed light on the various types of acne marks and scars, their underlying causes, and available treatment approaches.

  1. Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a common type of acne mark that appears as dark spots or patches on the skin. It occurs when excess melanin is produced in response to inflammation caused by acne. Hyperpigmentation can range from mild to severe, and it can take months or even years to fade naturally. Treatments such as topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapy can help speed up the lightening process.

  1. Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars are characterized by depressions or indentations in the skin. These scars develop when there is a loss of tissue during the healing process of acne. There are two main types of atrophic scars: ice pick scars, which are deep and narrow, and boxcar scars, which have wider and shallower indentations. Treatments for atrophic scars include dermal fillers, microneedling, laser resurfacing, and chemical peels.

  1. Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars are raised and thickened scars that occur when there is an overproduction of collagen during the healing process. Unlike atrophic scars, hypertrophic scars extend beyond the boundaries of the original acne lesion. These scars can be itchy, tender, and more common in individuals with darker skin tones. Treatment options for hypertrophic scars include silicone gel sheets, corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, and surgical excision.

  1. Post-Inflammatory Erythema

Post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) is a type of redness that occurs after acne lesions heal. It is caused by the dilation of blood vessels near the skin’s surface and can persist for several months. PIE is more commonly seen in individuals with fair skin. Treatments such as vascular laser therapy or intense pulsed light (IPL) can help reduce redness and even out skin tone.

  1. Combination Scars

It is important to note that acne marks and scars can often present in combination, making treatment more complex. For example, an individual may have both hyperpigmentation and atrophic scars simultaneously. In such cases, a tailored approach that combines different treatment modalities may be necessary to address each type of scar effectively.


Acne marks and scars can have a significant impact on an individual’s self-esteem and confidence. Understanding the different types of acne marks and scars is crucial for selecting the appropriate treatment approach. From hyperpigmentation to pitted scars, each type requires a tailored treatment plan. Consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional can provide valuable guidance on the best treatment options based on individual skin type, scar severity, and personal goals. With advancements in skincare and medical aesthetics, effective treatments are available to help fade acne marks and minimize the appearance of scars, ultimately restoring smoother, clearer skin and boosting self-confidence.

Author: Dr. Rabia
Dr Rabia Akhtar, MBBS(Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), has perceived her graduation from India. Special Interest: Surgery, Chronic disease, Emergency Medicine, Paediatrics, Women's Health.
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