Acne scars: Signs and symptoms

Icepick scars: When this type of acne scar forms, it often looks like an icepick punctured the skin. Treatment usually begins with acne scar surgery. About 6 to 12 weeks after this surgery, some patients have laser resurfacing to help their skin look its best.

Boxcar scars: This acne scar leaves a depression in the skin that often looks like a large pore. The scar can be shallow or deep and is most likely to develop on the cheeks and temples. Treatment depends on how deeply the scar penetrates the skin.

Rolling scars: This acne scar leaves depressions that give the skin a wavy texture. Injecting these scars with a filler can make them less noticeable. Acne scar surgery and laser treatments also help to diminish these scars. For best results, a dermatologist may use more than 1 treatment.

Raised acne scars: As severe acne cleared, raised acne scars formed. Most raised acne scars have a pinkish color and feel firm. They can itch. Raised scars tend to form on the back, chest, shoulders, upper arms, or jawline. Treatment can ease the discomfort and diminish the scars.

Dark spots are not scars: This woman has active acne and dark spots on her face. Dark spots appear as deep acne clears. These dark spots are not scars because they eventually disappear.

Dark spots can linger: These spots can remain for weeks, months, or even years before they disappear. The medical term for these dark spots is “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation” (PIH). Dermatologists offer treatments and tips that can help fade PIH more quickly.

Depression, anxiety, and other symptoms: Acne scars can affect more than a person’s skin. Some people develop anxiety, a medical condition that causes a person to feel so anxious that the feelings interfere with everyday life. Others feel depressed and withdraw from people.

Treatment can diminish signs and symptoms: If acne scars cause you to feel depressed or anxious, you may want to talk with a dermatologist about treatment for acne scars. Many people find that treating their scars boosts their self-confidence, so they feel better.