acne marks vs acne scars

Acne marks and acne scars are both blemishes, left behind after pimples heal but are different in appearance, cause, and methods of removing them. 

In this article, we will look at acne marks vs acne scars, their causes, appearance, and treatment of acne marks and acne scars.

Acne Marks:

Acne Marks are blemishes that appear after pimples heal. These marks are temporary discolorations of the skin but many people get worried because of these marks.

Causes of acne marks:

Acne Marks are caused by inflammation and sun exposure because both causes promote the production of melanin. 

Melanin is a pigment in our body that gives skin its color. After pimples heal melanin can make it darker and last longer.


Acne Marks can be red, brown, or purple and the size may differ according to the pimple size and severity.

People who have dark skin color, mostly get purple acne marks. Acne marks are flat and smooth to the touch. 


Many topical medical products can heal acne marks quickly. You can use over-the-counter (OTC) products with ingredients including, retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids.

These ingredients increase cell turnover, reduce melanin production, brighten the skin, and promote the growth of new healthy cells.

Acne Scars:

Acne scars are the result of deep damage to the skin after sensitive pimples. These scars last long and leave a textural change.

Causes of acne scars:

Acne scars are caused by the breakdown of collagen & elastin, and picking and squeezing pimples. 

Due to severe acne, inflammation damages the collagen & elastin layer becomes a cause of acne scars.

Picking and squeezing the pimples can increase the inflammation and promote scar formation.


Acne scars may embossed due to keloid and hypertrophic scars. These scars can appear on the skin as a red or purple pimple. 

Moreover, these include ice pick, boxcar, and rolling scars that can create depression in the skin and make it embossed.

The size of acne scars depends on the size and severity of the pimple.


Unfortunately, Acne scars do not vanish over time rather they require professional treatment. 

Nowadays there are many effective treatments for acne scars including, micro-needling, laser treatment, chemical peels, dermal fillers, and surgery. 

Please speak with a dermatologist to find the best treatment for your acne scars.

Acne Marks VS Acne Scars:

FeatureAcne MarksAcne Scars
AppearanceFlat, smooth to touchRaised or indented
CauseInflammationCollagen/elastin damage
PermanenceTemporaryMore permanent
FadingFades on its own (weeks/months)Requires treatment
TreatmentOver-the-counter productsProfessional treatments
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