man with acne scars

Acne Scars

Acne scars are a common concern for many who have experienced moderate to severe acne. Understanding the causes and types of acne scars is crucial for effective treatment and management.

What causes acne scars?

Acne scarring is often a consequence of cystic acne or inflamed blemishes. After the blemishes heal, some individuals may be left with pigmentation changes, resulting in darker or lighter patches of skin. Additionally, acne can cause pitted facial scarring, leaving the skin uneven and dimpled. 

Moderate to severe acne can cause significant damage to both the surface and deeper layers of the skin, resulting in flat, discoloured scars or various types of indentations.

Types of pitted acne scarring

Individuals with thin skin may be more prone to pitted acne scarring. This susceptibility can be due to factors such as low collagen levels, which are often seen in ageing or sun-damaged skin, over-exfoliation, or genetic predisposition. Types of pitted acne scarring include:

Ice Pick Scar

Ice pick scars are deep, narrow scars that result from severe acne, resembling small, sharp punctures in the skin. These scars penetrate deep into the dermis, creating a characteristic "ice pick" appearance.

Ice pick scars

Boxcar Scar

Boxcar scars are a type of acne scar characterized by broad, rectangular depressions with steep, well-defined edges. Often caused by severe acne that damages the skin’s deeper layers, leading to a sunken appearance.

Boxcar scars

Rolling Acne Scar

Rolling scars are characterized by their wave-like appearance. These scars form when fibrous bands develop between the skin and underlying structures, pulling the skin down and creating an uneven texture.

Rolling scars

Am I a candidate for your acne scar treatments?

results following microneedling for ice pick acne scarring

Not all scars are suitable for microneedling or chemical peels. Factors to consider include:

- Those with active acne breakouts, skin infections, or open wounds should avoid these treatments until their skin heals.

- People with severe skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea may experience exacerbation of their symptoms.

- Keloid scars and very red or raised hypertrophic scars.

- Dark or hyperpigmented scars.

- Medical conditions affecting skin healing (e.g., haemophilia, certain autoimmune diseases) or those on blood thinners.

- Pregnant, breastfeeding, or under-18 individuals are also unsuitable.

If you're uncertain about the suitability of your scar or skin condition for treatment, schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with our scar specialists.

Treatments for acne scarring

We offer a variety of professional treatments to help reduce the appearance of acne scars and support your healing process

microneedling acne scarring


Microneedling stimulates collagen production, hence it's called “collagen induction therapy.” When performed correctly, your body heals the tiny holes with the right amount of collagen.

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chemical peel acne scars

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels improve the appearance of acne scars by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less scarred in appearance.

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image of scar camouflage creams

Scar Camouflage Creams

Camouflage creams are skin-coloured medical creams which can be mixed to find an exact skin colour match and used to cover all types of scarring. 

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Treatment locations

We have several locations across the UK, each kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment & industry leading practitioners


Knightsbridge, central London

Haywards Heath

West Sussex 


Greater Manchester

Brighton & Hove

East Sussex

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Frequently asked questions