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How To Get Rid of Dark Acne Marks

Acne sucks. Unexpected breakouts have hit us all at one time or another, and they pop up at the worst possible time. But thankfully these are usually short-lived ordeals. Those of us that are plagued by acne marks know that these momentary moments of embarrassment can be much, much worse — leaving behind marks, bumps and dark spots.

Lucky for us, dermatologists have discovered a handful of ways to combat acne marks and rejuvenate skin like never before. But before we get into the different ways we can treat our beloved skin, let’s take a look at the difference between acne marks and acne scars.
Marks vs. Scars

There are a few distinguishing factors that set acne marks apart from acne scars. It’s important to understand the differences between the two in order to treat them. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, dark or pink inflamed smooth marks on the skin— are not signs of scarring. If there are no indented or raised areas it means that no collagen damage has occurred. These marks are treatable.

Acne scars have distinct features like those mentioned above. Abnormal collagen production causes the skin to become indented or raised.

Indented scarring are considered atrophic and come in three main forms.

  1. Ice pick scars are deep with jagged edges.
  2. Boxcar scars have a rectangular shape with steep and defined edges.
  3. Rolling scars are broad with sloping edges.

Raised scarring can be either hypertrophic or keloid.

  1. Hypertrophic scars are thick and stick out above the skin.
  2. Keloid scars are dense and rubbery.

Think of marks and scars as the result of a wound. After all, a pimple or acne, can cause your skin to open up. How your body reacts determines whether the skin will heal appropriately, leave marks or possibly scar.

How to treat acne marks and scars

Being proactive is usually your best bet. A great skin care routine is a great way to manage any possible future marks or scarring. If acne or pimples do occur (which they inevitably do), don’t pick, poke, pop or even touch the affected area. We all love popping a good ole pimple, but the results can damaging. Resisting temptation is your safest bet.

There are a few other great ways to stay proactive or fight possible marks and scarring during an active breakout.


UV rays are harmful enough — but during an active breakout they can be especially damaging. “Sun exposure during an active breakout can lead to darkening of inflammatory lesions, prolonging their appearance on your skin and making them harder to fade over time,” says Dr. Shereene Idriss from Union Square Dermatology. It’s important to lather up when it’s sunny and when it’s cloudy. Colorescience has some amazing products that fight off harmful UV rays along with some great sunscreen solutions.

Topical Vitamin C

If you’re looking to add some extra protection from the sun while adding collagen building and healing power — topical vitamin C serums are a great start.

Once marks or scars have formed, some treatments require special attention and professional care from a medical spa. Here are some amazing services that can be provided by your local med spa to fight off acne marks and scars.

Chemical Peels

These peels help new cells form and balance out your skin tone. Typically lighter chemical peels are used to treat acne marks and scars. Chemical peel treatments don’t require a lot of down time — but multiple sessions are typically needed to achieve the best result.


Similar to chemical peels, microdermabrasion has to do with helping new cells form. This process exfoliates the top-most layer of skin. This process is non-invasive, and multiple sessions are needed unless a more aggressive approach is agreed upon.


You know what they say, the body is the best healer. Microneedling will stimulate your body’s natural wound healing process, that will result in cell turnover, increased collagen and elastin production.

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