How Do Acne Scars Form and What You Should Do to Avoid Them

woman looking at face

As annoying as they may be, pimples are a normal part of life. And thankfully, they are temporary annoyances. However, in some cases, pimples can lead to acne scars, which can last for months and even years. 

While acne scar removal is an option, prevention is still better than any treatment. So, it’s essential to understand the causes of acne scars to prevent these little nuisances from leaving their mark. 

What Are the Causes of Acne Scars?

Aside from losing the genetic lottery, there are two common causes of acne scars: untreated acne and skin picking.

Acne scars happen because of inflammation. When your acne is left untreated, the inflammation from the acne can result in scarring. The skin can also become inflamed when you irritate the acne. 

As tempting as picking and popping pimples may be, it is definitely not advised. Aside from being gross, the chances of getting acne scars increases when you have a habit of popping your pimples. 

To avoid acne scars, it’s best to avoid touching your face when you have acne and getting it treated as soon as possible. An even better solution is to prevent the source itself: acne. Practice good skincare, such as regularly washing and moisturising the face. 

What Are the Different Types of Acne Scars?

Acne scars can present in different ways. For example, when there are linear depressions on your skin, this is what you call ice-pick scars. Boxcar scars, on the other hand, leave a wider scar than ice-pick scars. 

Another common type of acne scarring is the rolling scar. This type of scar can show after one experienced moderate to severe acne. As the skin heals, it will leave a wavy and uneven contour.

And lastly, there’s the keloid scar. Keloid scars happen due to the skin producing excess collagen. This gives the scar a raised appearance.

Some people mistake discolouration from acne as acne scars. However, these are not scars but instead post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

Who Are More Prone to Acne Scars?

Unfortunately, some acne scars are caused by genetic predisposition. Some families may tend to have bad scarring after a breakout. So, if any of your family members also experience acne scars, it’s best to see a dermatologist for your acne treatment. 

Ethnicity could also be a factor. For example, keloid scars are more common in certain ethnicities, such as Asian and dark skin. Fair-skinned redheads can also be prone to keloid scarring.

However, if your collagen functions normally, you are less prone to acne scars. This is why collagen is often found in many skincare products, as it can help prevent scarring.

Why Don’t All Breakouts Lead to Scarring?

Not every breakout leads to scarring. But how come? Well, it’s because there has to be a significant inflammation for acne scars to appear. If your skin isn’t that inflamed from a breakout, then you might not experience scarring.

However, if you have cystic acne, you are more likely to scar afterwards. Since the acne is infected in cystic acne, the skin would be more inflamed and would tend to scar. 

Comedonal acne, on the other hand, is less likely to result in scarring as it only consists of whiteheads or blackheads. However, if you pick on these blackheads, it can lead to inflammation, increasing the odds of scarring.


Inflammation of the skin can result in acne scars. So, it’s essential to receive acne treatment as soon as possible to avoid scarring. You should also avoid picking or popping pimples as these can lead to inflammation and increase your chances of getting acne scars.

For acne scar treatment in Kuala Lumpur, you can trust Cleo Clinic to take care of your skin. We are a premier aesthetics clinic that strives to provide the best treatments to our clients. Our philosophy is to boost your confidence and subtly enhance natural beauty with medically proven aesthetic procedures and treatment regimens. Book a free consultation now!