What Do Acne Craters Look Like?

by Melissa King ; Updated July 18, 2017

A close-up of a man's cheek with acne scarring.

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After a pimple goes away, it may leave behind a dip or depression on the surface of the skin. These depressions are a type of scarring. Acne sufferers can develop three different types of depressed scars, and they all look slightly different. Dermatologists offer treatment that reduces these scars and makes them less noticeable.

Types of Acne Scars

Rolling acne scars leave a bumpy, wavy pattern on the skin's surface. These scars develop when fibrous tissue bands form between layers of skin. The tissue bands pull on the skin's top layer, which causes the wavy appearance. Boxcar acne scars have steep vertical sides and wide, boxlike walls. The depressions can vary in depth. Boxcar scars develop after an acne breakout destroys collagen in the skin. Ice pick scars are dark-colored and narrow. These scars make the skin look as if it was punctured by a sharp instrument. The scars often form because of an infected pimple or cyst.

Treatment for Acne Scars

Dermatologists offer several treatment options depending on the type of scar they need to treat. For example, with a technique called punch excision, a doctor cuts out the scars. Next, the doctor stitches together the normal edges of skin so the surface looks flat. Other surgeries include the punch graft, punch elevation and subcutaneous incision. Some doctors smooth out scars with laser resurfacing. This procedure stimulates new collagen production, which fills in depressed scars. Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and fillers are a few other options.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.