common causes of acne scarring

According to Yale Medicine, acne is not a skin condition affecting only teenagers but over 25% of women and 12% of men deal with this skin condition. Acne is more than just a common skin concern; it is an experience shared by individuals of all ages around the world. While dealing with acne can be challenging on its own, the aftermath of acne scarring can often be just as, if not more, distressing. Acne scars not only affect one’s skin but can also take a toll on self-confidence. Therefore, it’s important to understand the common causes of acne scarring.

Acne scarring can be a frustrating and confidence-damaging issue for many individuals. While acne itself can be challenging to deal with, the scars left behind can serve as a constant reminder of past breakouts. Understanding the common causes of acne scarring is crucial for effective prevention and treatment. Recognizing the causes of acne scarring is the first step towards effective prevention and care. By identifying the root causes, you can take proactive steps to minimize scarring and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

How acne scarring happens

Acne occurs when pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. It manifests in various forms, from mild blackheads and whiteheads to more severe forms like papules, pustules, and painful cysts. When these blemishes penetrate deep into the skin, they can damage the skin and underlying tissue, leaving scars as they heal.

This post unravels the common causes of acne scarring and factors that can worsen scarring. The post also provides tips on preventive measures for acne scarring and treatment for acne scarring.

Six Common Causes of Acne Scarring

1. Severe or Untreated Acne

One of the primary causes of acne scarring is severe or untreated acne. When acne breakouts are severe, particularly in the case of cystic acne, inflammation can damage the skin’s underlying tissues, leading to the formation of scars. Seeking proper treatment for acne is essential to prevent scarring and manage breakouts effectively.

2. Picking or Popping Pimples

While it may be tempting to pick or pop pimples, this habit can actually worsen acne and increase the risk of scarring. Picking or popping pimples can introduce bacteria into the skin, leading to further inflammation and tissue damage. It’s crucial to resist the urge to pick and instead seek professional treatment if necessary.


3. Genetics and Skin Type

Genetics and skin type can also play a role in an individual’s susceptibility to acne scarring. Some people may be more prone to scarring due to their genetic makeup, while those with oily or acne-prone skin may be at a higher risk of developing scars from breakouts.


4. Delayed Treatment

Delaying treatment for acne can also contribute to scarring. When acne is left untreated, it can worsen over time, leading to more severe inflammation and tissue damage. Seeking prompt treatment is essential to prevent acne from progressing and increasing the risk of scarring.

5. Inflammation

Deep, inflamed acne, such as nodules and cysts, are more likely to scar. The inflammation damages the skin tissue which, upon healing, leads to scarring.

6. Types of Acne

Cystic acne, known for its severity, is particularly notorious for leaving behind scars due to its depth and inflammation level.

Factors That Can Worsen Acne Scars

Sun Exposure

Exposure to sunlight can cause scars to darken and slow down their healing process, which can make them more noticeable. Sun exposure can worsen acne scarring and lead to hyperpigmentation. To prevent this, it’s crucial to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and protective clothing when spending time outdoors.

Poor Skincare Regimen

Neglecting proper skincare can exacerbate acne and increase the risk of scarring.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones significantly impact acne. Fluctuations can aggravate the skin, leading to breakouts and potential scarring.


Stress doesn’t just affect your mental health; it’s also linked to skin health, potentially leading to increased acne and scars.

Treatment Options for Existing Acne Scars

Topical Treatments

Products containing retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids can help reduce the appearance of scars, promote cell turnover and fade scars over time. If you already have acne scars, several over-the-counter treatments can help improve your appearance. However, it’s important to use these products as directed and introduce them gradually to avoid irritation.

Professional Treatments

Dermatological procedures such as laser therapy, chemical peels, and microneedling have been proven effective in reducing scarring. For severe or persistent acne, seeking professional treatment is essential. Dermatologists can provide various treatment options, such as topical medications, oral medications, and professional procedures like chemical peels or laser treatments, to effectively manage acne and prevent scarring. These treatments can help improve the appearance of scars by promoting collagen production, resurfacing the skin, and filling in depressed scars.

Natural Remedies

Home remedies like aloe vera, lemon juice, coconut oil and honey are popular for their healing properties and can mildly improve the appearance of scars over time. However, it’s important to use these remedies with caution and consult with a professional if you have any concerns.

Understanding the root causes of acne scarring is crucial for both treatment and prevention. By taking proactive steps and adopting a comprehensive skincare routine, you can significantly minimize the risk of scarring. Remember, each skin is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. Consulting with a dermatologist is recommended to receive personalized advice and treatment options.

Acne scarring can be a challenging and frustrating issue, but understanding the common causes is the first step towards effective prevention and treatment. By identifying the root causes, such as severe or untreated acne, picking or popping pimples, genetics, and delayed treatment, you can take proactive steps to minimize scarring.

Implementing a proper skincare routine, avoiding picking or popping pimples, using sun protection, and seeking professional treatment when necessary are all crucial prevention strategies. For existing acne scars, a combination of over-the-counter treatments, professional procedures, and natural remedies may be effective in improving their appearance.


Have you dealt with acne scarring? What methods have you found effective? Share your experiences in the comments below. Let’s support each other in achieving healthier, scar-free skin! Enjoyed this post feel free to enjoy more here

Related articles:,important%20not%20to%20do%20this



Leave a Reply