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How to Treat Acne Scars

You’ve finally gotten your breakout to subside, but now you’re left with an acne scar. While acne scars are an unfortunate effect of a breakout, there are ways to speed up their healing. However, it’s essential to first understand what causes them.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne scars result from breakouts that penetrate the skin deeply, damaging the skin and tissue beneath it. The acne scar is how the body heals this deep damage.

 When the skin heals, the body produces collagen, which is a component in the skin that helps to support the skin. However, too much or too little collagen can result in a scar, with the amount of collagen produced resulting in different types of scars.

 Depressed acne scars result from too little collagen production, resulting in depressions or pits in the skin. In comparison, raised acne scars result from the overproduction of collagen.

 Knowing the type of acne scar that you have is important because different types respond best to certain treatments.

How to Treat Acne Scars

To treat acne scars, you will want to look for products with the following ingredients.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

This treatment is best for all scar types.

In addition to helping treat acne, AHAs can also fade the appearance of acne scars. This is because they are a mild exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin, existing discoloration, and rough skin.

Salicylic Acid

This treatment is best for all scar types.

Salicylic acid helps to reduce swelling and redness, clears pores, and exfoliates the skin. In fact, salicylic acid is considered one of the best acne scar treatments and comes in many different forms.

Lactic Acid

This treatment is best for all scar types.

Lactic acid helps to improve the texture, pigmentation, and appearance of the skin while also lightening acne scars and making them less noticeable. There are many forms of lactic acid, including serums, peels, and ointments.


This treatment is best for depressed acne scars.

Retinoids help to speed up cell regeneration and improve the skin’s texture, which can reduce the appearance of scars. In addition, retinoids can also help to reduce discoloration. Over-the-counter retinoid options are available in serums and creams, but you can also get a prescription-strength option from your dermatologist.

It’s important to remember that retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, though, so apply them at night and always wear sunscreen during the day.

See a Dermatologist

The best thing you can do to help treat your acne scars is to see a dermatologist. They can identify the type of acne scarring you have and recommend the treatment that will work best for the scar type and the general nature of your skin. Not only that, but dermatologists can perform in-office procedures that are more effective against acne scars, such as:

  • Dermabrasion
  • Chemical peels
  • Fillers
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Microneedling


If at-home treatments are not producing the results you want, visit Team Dermatology and let us help you tackle your acne scars.

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TEAM Dermatology advises you of the departure of Dr. Kuda Maloney from our Memorial and Sugar Land locations in November of  2023.  Dr. Maloney will be pursuing interests outside of private practice and we wish her the best in achievement of her future endeavors. Please contact our office to arrange for your care with another provider in our offices.