Did you know that acne scarring occurs in 95 percent of all people with acne vulgaris? Scarring is the result of the body’s natural healing process, which is initiated by the inflammatory nature of active acne. There are two basic classifications of scars depending on whether there is a net loss of collagen (atrophic acne scars) or net gain of collagen (hypertrophic and keloidal scars).

Atrophic acne scars occur most frequently (80 to 90% of patients) compared to a minority who show hypertrophic scars and keloids. Moreover, atrophic acne scars can be divided into three subtypes: icepick, boxcar, and rolling. In this post, we’ll be discussing the different types of atrophic acne scars as well as the treatment options offered by Dr. Krant specifically for these scars.

Atrophic acne scars

Atrophic acne scars can appear flat or sunken, and sometimes look like a hole in the skin. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology explains that atrophic acne scars are likely caused by inflammatory processes leading to degradation of the collagen fibers and subcutaneous fat beneath the skin. With atrophic scars, the icepick type represents 60%–70% of total scars, the boxcar 20%–30%, and rolling scars 15%–25%. (Dermatol Res Pract. 2010)

Atrophic Acne Scars

Icepick atrophic acne scars

Icepick scars are deep, narrow, pitted scars that are deeper than they are wide.


Boxcar atrophic acne scars

Boxcar scars are wider than they are deep with sharply defined edges.


Rolling atrophic acne scars

Rolling scars are broad depressions with sloping edges that give a rolling or undulating appearance to the skin.

Treatment for atrophic acne scars

It’s important to keep in mind that no OTC topical treatment can raise atrophic acne scars once they have sunk. While atrophic acne scarring may seem like a permanent problem, advances in technology and science have lead to the development of treatment options that can reduce or even eliminate their appearance. Dr. Krant offers various types of chemical peels, laser treatments, and injectable dermal fillers, all which can improve the appearance of atrophic acne scars. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Krant today to discuss which treatment option is best for you.