Whether you are currently suffering from acne or went through it as a teen, you may notice it left something behind: Bumps, indentation, and discoloration of the skin, known as acne scarring. Learn how you can treat and prevent skin damage from acne.\nExpert dermatology care when you need it most. Learn more about UPMC eDerm\nWhat Is an Acne Scar?\nAcne scars are the result of inflamed pimples. These pimples can engorge and swell skin follicles, causing the follicle wall to break and damage your skin tissue. Acne scarring may look like shallow indentations or lesions on your face (though they can occur anywhere on your body). Some acne scarring may be permanent.\nAcne scars are often confused with the discoloration of the skin that often occurs after a pimple has healed, known as post-acne hyperpigmentation. These marks, which often appear red or dark brown, are temporary and fade over time.\nWhat Causes an Acne Scar?\nPimples come in all shapes and sizes. The larger the pimple the more likely it is to cause scarring after its inflammation begins to heal. Acne that takes an especially long time to heal can also result in scarring.\nAcne damages skin tissue, causing your body to produce new collagen fibers to repair itself. Unfortunately, the product of this repair can sometimes look uneven and discolored.\nTypes of acne scars\nThere are two basic categories of acne scarring:\n\nThe most common kind of acne scarring is called “atrophic” scarring. These depressed scars, sometimes called “ice pick” or “boxcar” scars, occur when there is a loss of skin tissue during the healing process.\nKeloid scarring occurs when the body produces too many collagen fibers. This type of scarring appears as raised bumps along the skin’s surface.\n\nHow Do You Treat Acne Scars?\nThe best way to treat or prevent acne scarring is to control your acne breakouts early. If your acne is cystic and severe, you may need to make an appointment with a dermatologist for a prescription and further recommendations for how to beat your acne.\n\nDo not pop or pick pimples. Squeezing a pimple can worsen the inflammation, deepening the scar and spreading bacteria.\nDo not over-scrub your skin. Over-scrubbing can further irritate blemishes and make scars look more prominent.\nApply sunscreen each time you go outdoors. Sunlight can further damage existing acne blemishes or scars. Sunscreen protects skin, allowing it to heal properly.\n\nCan Acne Scars Be Removed?\nBefore you consider acne scar removal, your breakouts need to be under control. Keep in mind, some acne scar removal treatments only minimize the appearance of scarring, rather than fully removing it.\nDermabrasion\nDermabrasion involves a dermatologist surgically removing the outer damaged layer of your skin where the scarring occurs.\nLaser resurfacing\nUnder this procedure, a laser removes the top layer of your skin in the precise location where the scarring has occurred, exposing and tightening the skin beneath.\nFiller injections\nA dermatologist injects the acne scar with a filler, such as Juvederm, which raises any indentations caused by deep scarring. Filler injections are, however, temporary.\nFor more information about removing or treating your acne scars, contact the UPMC Department of Dermatology.