Atrophic Acne Scars

Atrophic scarring is often an unfortunate and permanent complication of acne vulgaris. It has high prevalence, significant impact on quality of life, and therapeutic challenge.

Acne is a common condition that affects up to 80 percent of the adolescent population to some degree or another. It is caused and characterized by multiple factors. Inflammatory acne lesions can result in permanent scars. Scarring occurs early in acne and may affect some 95 percent of patients with this disease, relating to both its severity and delay before treatment.


Acne scars can be classified into three different types: atrophic, hypertrophic, or keloidal. Atrophic acne scars are the most common type. The pathogenesis of atrophic acne scarring is most likely related to inflammatory mediators and enzymatic degradation of collagen fibers and subcutaneous fat. The most basic and practical system divides atrophic acne scars into three main types: ice pick, rolling, and boxcar scars. A number of treatments are available to reduce the appearance of scars. Treatment of acne scars must be individually directed for each client depending on the types of scars present.

Treatment Options

The treatment of atrophic acne scars varies depending on the types of acne scars and the limitations of the treatment modalities in their ability to improve scars. Therefore, many options are available for the treatment of acne scarring, including glycolic peeling, microdermabrasion, microneedling, or subcision. Various modalities have been used to treat scars, but limited efficacy and problematic side effects have restricted their application.

In order to optimally treat a scar, we need to consider which treatment offers the most satisfactory result. There are different treatment options of atrophic acne scars and a consultation will help us analyze the method for selecting the best therapeutic strategy, whether it be single or combined therapy, in the treatment of atrophic acne scars while reducing or avoiding the side effects and complications.