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The Difference between Acne Marks & Acne Scarring

Difference between Acne Marks and Acne Scarring

How to tell Difference between Acne Marks and Acne Scarring!

Part two of my Acne Journey: Learning the difference between acne marks and acne scarring. Let this be motivation to not squeeze your pimples. They will haunt you for life.

If you missed my journey with acne and how I cleared up my flare-ups you can read it here. In that post, I talk about the things I wish I knew when I was experiencing acne, and how to get through it.

Today I want to talk about the two different spots you can experience after flare-ups.

What Causes Dark Spots?

This is important to remember and if you don’t take anything from this, please remember this it will save your skin.


Did you know there is a difference between Acne Scarring and Acne Marks?

I didn’t at the time and this brings me to my point of why you should never squeeze those pimples.

Acne Marks

When you break out your experiencing inflammation in the skin. Inflammation puts a strain on the surface, which is part of the natural healing process. Eventually, the mark fades on its own over several weeks to months.

Acne marks are smooth to the touch (not raised or indented). Even though this can be frustrating, this is a good sign because this is a sign there isnt permanent damage.

Acne Scars

Acne scars are formed when there is damage to the skin which is why you never want to squeeze. Scarring leads to abnormal collagen production and tends to appear raised or bumpy. When it comes to scaring the two tyoes you can see: depressed and raised.

Depressed scarring is a huge reason why I use pore smoothing primers. These are the scars that resemble pits or craters in the skin. This is the primary type of scaring I have.

Raised scaring, on the other hand, have the appearance of being firm and tends to be more tender. Both depressed and raised are permanent, or are they?

Prevention Is The Best Remedy For Acne Marks

What happens when you can’t prevent those spots what should you do?

Ideally that’s what we want right?

To be able to prevent the spotting, most of the time it’s not realistic. But that also shouldn’t stress you out either. Today there are so many products that are geared toward clearing up those dark spots.

There are a few things you want to look for when picking up products to help fade the discoloration.

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Exfoliation
  3. Sunscreen

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that we hear about often to treat dark spots and sun damage. These serums can brighten sun spots on your face; it can do the same to pigmentation around scars. Since Vitamin c is acidic, it eats away dead cells from the surface of the skin, leaving it brighter and smoother. In other words, vitamin c speeds up new cell regeneration.


Wondering why exfoliation is important in fading acne scars? Exfoliation removes dead skin cells. Our skin naturally sheds dead cells, but for those experiencing acne, the natural exfoliation process isn’t working as effectively as it should.

There are numerous exfoliating products and procedures available today, but you’ll see them in one of two forms: physical or chemical.


You’re probably most familiar with physical exfoliants. These exfoliants manually remove dead skin cells by the use of either a gritty like scrub, textured cleansing pads and cloths and microdermabrasion.

Physical exfoliants will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, but they can be painful if you’re currently breaking out. The friction involved in using a physical exfoliant can irritate already inflamed skin.

I use physical when my skin is free of breakouts to prevent breaking the skin and leaving dark spots.


Chemical exfoliants dissolve or loosen the bonds that hold dead cells on the skin’s surface using an acid or enzyme.

This is my preferred method since there isn’t the harsh scrubbing involved. However, be prepared most chemical exfoliates will dry the skin to some degree so having a good moisturizer on hand is important.

Common Chemical exfoliants you’ll see

  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) aka glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acid
  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) aka salicylic acid
  • Topical retinoids: Differin,  retinol, and Retin-A
  • Chemical peels


Sunscreen is really important and is not often thought about. You must use sunscreen every single day and avoid getting daylight on your skin when possible.

Basically, when you’re in the sun and have left your acne spot in the sun unprotected your dark spot will only darken. Causing for delayed fading time.

Also, it’s important to use one that is lightweight and non-pore clogging. The last thing you’ll want is your sunscreen to actually cause you to breakout. No breakouts, No problems

Just One Last Piece of Advice about Difference between Acne Marks and Acne Scarring

There you have it, the Difference between Acne Marks and Acne Scarring!

I know I left you a lot in this post, but this is something that I’m truly passionate about. I wanted to share all the struggles I’ve endured to help you confident that good skin is for everyone!

Dermarolling and Dermaplaning combined with great products have completely taken my skin beyond what I could have imagined.

Keep in mind you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve great results!

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