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March 15, 2021

What Causes Acne Scarring?


Acne is a part of everyone’s life when growing up and even in our adult years, we can still face acne for a variety of reasons. If you’re reading this article and you’re wondering if you’re the only person facing these troubles, know that you’re not alone! Acne and acne scarring affect a lot more people than you think. Each year in the developed world 100 million patients acquire scars, some of which cause serious problems. [1]

It can be frustrating to see that one pimple you popped become a scar. The good news is that acne scarring is something you can treat with the right professional treatment. As we share the various types of home treatments below, do note that they do not get rid of acne scarring but rather only reduces the appearance of them.

Types of Acne Scarring

When a pimple has been popped, it is a wound your body will attempt to heal and scarring will occur as not enough collagen is being produced during that process. Acne scars most often occur due to cysts, pustules, and/or papules – all of which are inflamed lesions as our follicles get clogged up with an excess of oil, dead skin cells and bacteria.

If the rupture is near the skin’s surface, the lesion will be able to heal quickly and is usually minor. However, serious lesions happen when deep breaks in the follicle wall arise. When such a deep break happens, the infected materials spills onto the dermis and destroys healthy skin tissue.

To then repair this, our skin forms new collagen fibres. However, the formation of new collagen never looks as smooth as before the injury on account of how deep the wound was.

So let’s get into the different types of scaring that we may already have or have seen before.

Atrophic or Depressed Scars

Atrophic scars are the scars that you have most likely already seen before or already have. These scars are the most common on the face and they can be identified as a depressed scar that sits below the surrounding skin. [2]

The atrophic scars are: boxcar, ice pick and rolling.

Boxcar scars are wide, U-shaped scars that have sharp edges. They can be either shallow or deep and the shallower they are, the more they respond to treatment.

Ice pick scars are narrow, V-shaped scars that go deep into the skin like its name. On the surface, they look like small round or oval holes much like a chickenpox scar. These types of scars are often the most difficult to treat on account of how deep they can go.

Rolling scars are wide depressions that will usually have round edges and have an irregular, rolling-like appearance.

Hypertrophic or Raised Scars

More commonly found on the chest and back, these types of scars are raised above the skin’s surface because there was too much collagen found during the healing process.

Home Remedies to Reduce the Appearance of Acne Scars

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in most acne skincare products. The acid can help to clear dirt, skin cells and other debris from the pores of the skin that can lead to acne. Besides being a good cleanser, it also helps to reduce the appearance of swelling and redness, minimising the appearance of existing scars.

Beneficial for all scar types, it is an easy addition to your daily skincare routine. However, those with sensitive skin types are recommended to test a small amount of this product on your skin before using it on your face as it may cause dryness or irritation.


Topical retinoids help to block inflammation, reduce acne and speed up cell regeneration. Retinoids can also help to brighten pigmented acne scars including darker skin tones. However, retinoids are commonly known to make the skin sensitive when exposed to the sun. After using them, don’t forget your sunscreen when heading out.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) may be recommended by doctors when treating acne to help get rid of dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. AHAs can also be used in reducing the appearance of acne scars. They are a mild form of acid that helps to remove the outer layer of skin, revealing new skin that can also help discolouration in scarring.

Lactic Acid

A gentle peel to rid the skin of dead skin cells, lactic acid can also help to reduce the appearance of scars and smooth the overall texture of your skin. However, it is best to test lactic acid on a small patch of skin as it can also cause hyperpigmentation. Many skin care products contain lactic acid and are even present in natural remedies such as diluted apple cider vinegar.

However, treating acne scars at home may not fully achieve the reduction of acne scars despite following your skincare routine religiously. At Cambridge Therapeutics, we have a variety of services that can treat acne scars professionally such as LDM-Tech, JetPRO Facial, Neogen Plasma and Venus Viva.

LDM - Tech Skin Rejuvenation

LDM-Tech is a treatment that utilises ultrasonic energy at a significantly higher frequency. By creating a strong micro massaging effect, it allows protein structures within the skin to tighten. It also allows for the enhancement of collagen cross-linking which increases the elasticity of the skin for a firmer, more even tone.

This method of treatment is non-invasive and there is no pain to the skin. It allows for quick and visible results that are suitable for all skin types and even with other forms of treatment that you might be considering.

We would recommend consulting with the therapist if you are suitable for this treatment. For our latest promotions, visit our LDM-Tech Skin Rejuvenation treatment here.

JetPRO Facial

JetPRO is the ultimate blend of skin wellbeing and gorgeous confidence utilising advanced skincare jet propulsion technology adapted for aesthetic treatments to warrant the most comfortable, healthy treatments with fast, visible results. It works deep in the dermis, despite being 100% non-intrusive, employing an extraordinary methodology that is clinically proven.

JetPRO even works past the skin, by helping people look and feel healthy, new, and stunning as well as building morale in themselves and their skincare - more than ever.

By JetPRO utilising a transdermal delivery system, individuals experience:

  • No needles
  • No pain
  • No skin breakage nor scar tissue
  • No healing or downtime required
  • Best of all, instant visible results.

The acne serum administered by JetPRO acts against bacterial and fungal pathogens and has a healing effect by renewing the physiological balance in acne-prone skin. It allows for the removal of blackheads, reduces enlarged pores, controls acne and sebum as well as the clearance of oily and congested skin. This treatment is gentle and causes little to no pain to the skin.

We would recommend consulting with the therapist if you are suitable for this treatment. For our latest promotions, visit our JetPRO Facial treatment here.

Neogen Plasma

Neogen Plasma uses plasma to deliver heat to a targeted treatment area without affecting the surrounding tissues. This treatment helps to achieve skin tightening and skin contouring at high energy levels while at lower levels helps to treat early signs of ageing including pigmentation, acne, fine lines and wrinkles. Regenerating new skin can help to replace old damaged collagen in the skin.

The benefits of this treatment are the reduction of inflammation and redness, acne scar removal, regeneration of the skin and the promotion of healing as well as the suppression of sebum production. It is a completely painless treatment.

We would recommend consulting with the therapist if you are suitable for this treatment. For our latest promotions, visit our Neogen Plasma treatment here.

Venus Viva Skin Resurfacing Acne Scar Treatment

Venus Viva Treatment uses NanoFractional Radio Frequency and SmartSCAN technology to deliver energy through the skin, generating heat and rebuilding collagen. It is extremely effective as a means for acne scar removal. The treatment is safe and consistent, with no downtime needed, rapid recovery and full skin rejuvenation.

The benefits of Venus Viva:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Loose skin
  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Acne scars and scarring
  • Stretch marks
  • Pigmentation and Rosacea

We would recommend consulting with the therapist if you are suitable for this treatment. For our latest promotions, visit our Venus Viva Acne Skin Resurfacing Treatment page.

These various treatments are proven to be effective in reducing and treating acne scars that are painful when it is extremely severe. If you have severe acne and over the counter treatment no longer works for you, the treatments offered by Cambridge Therapeutics may hold the solution for you.

We hope that this article has been able to give you the essential information you need to decide how to treat and prevent acne scars either professionally or at home.

  1. Bayat, A., McGrouther, D. A., & Ferguson, M. W. (2003). Skin scarring. BMJ (Clinical research ed.)326(7380), 88–92. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7380.88
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/atrophic-scar


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