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Acne Scars: Signs And Symptoms


Acne Scars: Signs And Symptoms | Palm Harbor | St. Petersburg | TampaMany individuals are left with raised or pitted acne scars even after the acne clears up on their face, chest, or back. These marks can become more visible due to aging because of depleted collagen, the protein that supports the structure of the skin. 

Some individuals are not unhappy about acne scars and choose to live with them. However, others seek help for various reasons, such as:

  • Improved appearance
  • Better self-esteem and improved confidence
  • Healthier skin

Dermatologists at the Palm Harbor Dermatology Cancer and Laser Surgery Center provide safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Tampa, Spring Hill, Riverview, Florida, and surrounding locations.

Acne Scars Maybe More Noticeable with Age

Aging causes the loss of collagen in the skin, which usually makes acne scars more visible. Effective acne scar treatment involves the selection of the best treatment approach for each type of scar. For instance, a patient with deep scars may benefit from a filler injection, which adds fullness to the skin. They may also undergo laser treatments afterward.

Prior to receiving treatment for acne scars, it is vital to clear the acne. New acne flares can cause new acne scars. The presence of acne also means that their skin is inflamed. Swelling decreases the effectiveness of acne scar treatment. 

For best outcomes, a dermatologist initially examines the patient’s skin. Following the exam, some patients are surprised to learn that their acne scars are, in fact, a different skin issue. 

Acne Scars: Signs and Symptoms

Acne Scar Symptoms

Acne scars are classified into two categories, with distinct appearance:

Raised: These types of scars are also known as hypertrophic or keloid scars. They typically develop on the chest or back. Such scars occur more commonly among people whose skin has color, such as Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans.

Depressed: These pitted scars usually develop on the face and are called atrophic. There are three types, each with different signs:


The name of these scars refers to their shape as they appear as large, angular pores and typically develop on the temples and cheeks. They can be deep or shallow. 

Boxcar scars are oval or round depressions with steep vertical sides. These scars are wider than ice pick scars, and give the skin an irregular, pitted appearance. Boxcar scars can be superficial to severe, which depends on the amount of tissue lost. 


Ice pick scars refer to deep, very narrow scars that extend into the dermis. The skin appears as if it has been pierced by a sharp instrument or an ice pick, as the name suggests. Ice pick scars appear to make a tiny, thin, deep hole into the skin. Sometimes, these scars may appear as a large, open pore.


Certain scars make the skin appear wavy. Such scarring causes wave-like or rolling depressions across otherwise normal-looking skin. Rolling scars are not as sharply defined as boxcar scars. The skin itself appears rough and uneven. Rolling scars occur when bands of fibrous tissue develop between the skin and the subcutaneous tissue below.

Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars are elevated, firm scars that develop above the skin’s surface. These scars, when caused by acne, occur most frequently on the torso, particularly in males, but they can develop elsewhere on the body as well. Hypertrophic scars arise more commonly after a trauma or a deep wound. 

Dermatologists at the Palm Harbor Dermatology Cancer and Laser Surgery Center receive patients from Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Tampa, Spring Hill, Riverview, Florida, and nearby areas for advanced and innovative skin care solutions.

PH Dermatology Cancer & Laser Surgery Center, led by board certified dermatologists, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Brandon, Riverview, Spring Hill, Florida and surrounding communities. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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