Can Pimples Leave Holes? Exploring Acne Scars & Solutions




can pimples leave holes

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Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people, often leaving behind unsightly scars. If you suffer from acne, you may wonder whether pimples can leave holes or indentations on your skin. The answer is yes, they can. In fact, pitted or atrophic scars are a common type of acne scar that can create visible depressions or holes on the skin’s surface.

Key Takeaways:

  • Acne scars can create visible depressions or holes in the skin’s surface.
  • Pitted or atrophic scars are a common type of acne scar.
  • Preventative skincare measures and professional treatment options are available to help reduce the appearance of acne scars.

Understanding Acne Scars and Pitted Scars

If you’ve ever had a pimple, you may have noticed that it sometimes leaves behind a mark or indentation on your skin. These marks, known as acne scars, can come in a variety of types, with pitted or atrophic scars being among the most common.

Pitted scars occur when the skin’s underlying structure is damaged and the body is unable to produce enough collagen and elastin to fill the resulting depression. They are also known as atrophic scars because they create an indentation or depression in the skin.

Types of Acne Scars

There are several types of acne scars, including:

  • Ice pick scars: Deep, narrow scars with a narrow opening at the skin’s surface
  • Boxcar scars: Wider, U-shaped scars with defined edges
  • Rolling scars: Wide, shallow scars that create a wave-like appearance on the skin

Pitted scars are a sub-type of atrophic scars and can also be classified based on their depth and severity. Superficial pitted scars are more shallow and have a smoother appearance, while deep pitted scars can create a more severe depression in the skin.

It’s important to note that not all marks left behind by pimples are considered acne scars. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a temporary form of scarring that can also leave marks on the skin, but it usually fades over time.

Causes of Acne Scarring:

If you’re dealing with acne, you may be concerned about scarring. When a pimple forms, the pore becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The resulting inflammation can cause damage to the surrounding tissue, leading to scarring.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is another type of scarring that can occur after a pimple has healed. This temporary discoloration can last for several weeks or months.

It’s important to note that not everyone will develop acne scars, and the severity of scarring can vary based on several factors, including the type and duration of acne, how it’s treated, and your individual skin type.

Skincare for Pitted Scars: Prevention and Healing

If you have acne-prone skin, preventing pimples from turning into deep, pitted scars requires a delicate balance of using effective treatments without causing further skin damage. Here are some skincare tips for reducing the appearance of pitted scars:

  1. Gentle cleansing: Use a mild, non-abrasive cleanser to avoid irritating your skin and triggering inflammation. Avoid scrubs or exfoliating brushes that can exacerbate pitted scars.
  2. Exfoliation: While physical exfoliation can aggravate pitted scars, chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs can help improve skin texture and reduce hyperpigmentation. Start with a low concentration and patch test before using regularly.
  3. Scar-fading ingredients: Look for skincare products containing ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, niacinamide, and glycolic acid, all of which have been shown to fade scars and improve skin texture over time.
  4. Sun protection: Protect your skin from UV damage by wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every day. Sun exposure can worsen the appearance of scars and lead to further skin damage.
  5. Avoid picking or squeezing pimples: As tempting as it may be, squeezing or picking at pimples can lead to further inflammation and scarring. Instead, use spot treatments containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to help clear acne without damaging skin.
  6. Non-comedogenic skincare: Stick to skincare products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free” to avoid clogging pores and causing further breakouts.

Remember that preventing and minimizing the appearance of pitted scars takes time and consistency. Be patient with your skin and consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional if you’re unsure about which products or treatments are right for you.

Available Scar Treatment Options

There are several professional scar treatment options available to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Your dermatologist or skincare professional can help you decide which treatment is best for you.

Treatment Description
Laser treatments Uses laser technology to resurface the skin and stimulate collagen production. This can help reduce the appearance of pitted scars.
Chemical peels Involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove the top layer of damaged skin and reveal smoother skin underneath.
Microdermabrasion A non-invasive procedure that uses a special tool to remove the top layer of dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production.
Dermal fillers Injectable treatments that can raise depressed scars to match the level of the surrounding skin.

It’s important to note that these treatments may not completely erase the appearance of acne scars, but they can help to significantly improve their visibility.

Effective Home Remedies for Acne Scars

If you prefer natural and homemade skincare solutions, you can try several remedies to fade acne scars and improve the overall texture of your skin.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can soothe irritated skin and enhance healing. Apply aloe vera gel directly to your scars and massage it gently for a few minutes. Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Repeat this process daily for best results.

Vitamin C Serums

Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that can stimulate collagen production and repair damaged skin cells. Apply vitamin C serum to your scars and leave it for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off. You can also look for skincare products that contain vitamin C as an active ingredient.


Retinol is a form of vitamin A that can improve skin cell turnover and reduce the appearance of scar tissue. Apply a retinol-based cream or serum on your scars and leave it overnight. Be cautious not to use it if you have sensitive skin as it can cause irritation.


Niacinamide or vitamin B3 can improve skin tone and texture by reducing inflammation and promoting collagen synthesis. Look for skincare products that contain niacinamide and apply them on your scars twice daily.

While these remedies can help fade acne scars, they may not work for everyone. If you have sensitive skin or any underlying medical conditions, check with your dermatologist before using any home remedies.

Skin Care Dos and Don’ts for Acne Scars

If you’re dealing with acne scars, it’s important to take proper care of your skin to avoid further damage and promote healing. Here are some skin care dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do protect your skin from the sun

Exposure to UV rays can worsen the appearance of acne scars and cause discoloration. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and avoid direct sunlight during peak hours.

Don’t pick or squeeze pimples

As tempting as it may be, picking or squeezing pimples can lead to further inflammation and scarring. Instead, apply a spot treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Do use non-comedogenic skincare products

Choose skincare products that won’t clog your pores, as this can exacerbate acne and scarring. Look for products labeled as non-comedogenic or oil-free.

Don’t over-exfoliate or use harsh scrubs

While exfoliating can help remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, too much exfoliation can damage your skin and worsen scarring. Stick to gentle exfoliants and use them no more than twice a week.

Do keep your skin hydrated

Drink plenty of water and use a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Look for moisturizers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin.

Don’t use abrasive tools or harsh treatments on your skin

Using tools like pore vacuums or harsh treatments like chemical peels can damage your skin and worsen scarring. Stick to gentle, non-invasive treatments and consult with a skincare professional before trying anything new.

Professional Treatments for Severe Acne Scarring

If you are struggling with severe or resistant acne scarring, there are a variety of professional treatments that may help minimize their appearance. These options are typically more aggressive and invasive than at-home remedies, and should only be considered after consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional.

Fractional Laser Resurfacing

Fractional laser resurfacing is a procedure that uses laser technology to target the deep layers of skin, promoting collagen production and reducing the appearance of scars. It can be effective for pitted scars and other forms of acne scarring, and typically requires several sessions for optimal results.


Subcision is a surgical procedure that involves using a small needle to separate scar tissue from the underlying skin, resulting in a smoother appearance. It is often used for pitted scars and can be combined with other treatments for more dramatic results.

Punch Excision

Punch excision is a surgical procedure that involves removing individual scars and replacing them with stitches or skin grafts. This method is typically used for more severe scars and may require more downtime for recovery.

Keep in mind that these professional treatments for acne scarring may not be suitable for everyone, and results can vary depending on the severity of scarring and individual skin type. Consult with a professional to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Emotional Impact of Acne Scars

If you are struggling with acne scars, know that you are not alone. Many people experience emotional distress as a result of their scars, feeling self-conscious, embarrassed, or even depressed.

It’s important to remember that your scars do not define you, and seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can be helpful in processing the emotions that come with scarring. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.

Remember that there are many treatment options available to help reduce the appearance of acne scars, and taking care of your skin with a consistent routine can also help improve your overall skin health and confidence.

Lifestyle Changes for Better Skin Health

When it comes to preventing and minimizing acne scars, what you do outside of your skincare routine can make a big difference. Here are some lifestyle changes you can make to improve your overall skin health:

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants, such as leafy greens, berries, and fish.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption.
  • Manage stress through activities like meditation, yoga, or exercise.
  • Get quality sleep each night to allow your body to recover and regenerate.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive sun exposure, both of which can damage the skin and increase the risk of scarring.

By adopting these healthy habits, you can help support your skin’s natural healing processes and improve its overall appearance.

Long-Term Outlook: Treating and Living with Acne Scars

Dealing with acne scars can be a long and challenging journey, but it’s important to remember that there are plenty of treatment options available. While some scars may never completely disappear, with time, dedication, and professional guidance, they can be significantly reduced in appearance.

It’s essential to be patient and consistent in your approach to scar treatment. Depending on the severity of your scarring, it may take several months or even years to see noticeable improvement. However, sticking to a healthy skincare routine and making lifestyle changes can help maximize the results of your treatments.

Remember that acne scars can also have an emotional impact on your confidence and self-esteem. It’s essential to take care of your mental health as well and seek support if needed.

Setting Realistic Expectations

It’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to treating acne scars. While some scars may be significantly reduced, it’s unlikely that they will completely disappear. However, even a slight improvement in appearance can make a big difference in how you feel about your skin.

In some cases, additional treatments or a combination of treatments may be necessary to achieve the best possible results. Your dermatologist or skincare professional can provide guidance on the most effective treatment plan for your specific needs.

Continuing Skincare and Lifestyle Changes

Even after your acne scars have been significantly reduced, it’s crucial to continue taking care of your skin to prevent future breakouts and potential scarring. A consistent skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing can help maintain smoother, healthier-looking skin.

Making lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, managing stress, and getting quality sleep can also contribute to better skin health and reduce the risk of future scarring.

Remember to be patient and consistent in your approach to treating acne scars. With time, dedication, and proper professional guidance, you can achieve smoother, healthier-looking skin and regain your confidence.


Congratulations! You have now learned about the connection between pimples and acne scars, and how pitted or atrophic scars can create visible holes or depressions in the skin. Remember that preventing acne scars is always easier than treating them, so be sure to implement a consistent skincare routine, avoid picking or squeezing pimples, and protect your skin from sun damage.

There are a variety of treatment options available for those seeking to reduce the appearance of acne scars, including professional procedures like laser treatments and chemical peels, as well as natural remedies like aloe vera and vitamin C serums. Just be sure to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional before undergoing any treatments.

It’s important to recognize the emotional impact that acne scars can have on your self-esteem and confidence, so don’t hesitate to seek support if needed. Remember, everyone’s skin is unique, and it may take some time and patience to achieve your desired results. By making lifestyle changes like maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, managing stress, and getting quality sleep, you can contribute to healthier skin and potentially reduce the risk of acne scars in the long term.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this article has provided you with valuable information and tips for treating and living with acne scars.


Q: Can pimples leave holes?

A: Pimples can potentially leave indentations or holes on the skin, known as acne scars. These scars are often caused by the body’s inflammatory response to acne and can result in pitted or atrophic scars.

Q: What are pitted scars?

A: Pitted scars, also known as atrophic scars, are a type of acne scar that can cause visible depressions or holes in the skin. These scars are typically a result of collagen loss during the healing process of acne.

Q: What causes acne scarring?

A: Acne scarring is primarily caused by inflammation and the body’s healing response to acne. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a temporary form of scarring, can also leave marks on the skin.

Q: How can I prevent and heal pitted scars?

A: To prevent acne scars and promote healing of existing scars, it’s important to maintain a consistent skincare routine. This includes gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and the use of scar-fading ingredients.

Q: What are the available scar treatment options?

A: There are several treatment options for acne scars, including laser treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermal fillers. These procedures can help minimize the appearance of pitted scars.

Q: Are there effective home remedies for acne scars?

A: Yes, there are natural remedies that can be used at home to reduce the appearance of acne scars. These include aloe vera, vitamin C serums, and topical treatments containing retinol or niacinamide.

Q: What are the skincare dos and don’ts for acne scars?

A: When dealing with acne scars, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun, avoid picking or squeezing pimples, and use non-comedogenic skincare products.

Q: What professional treatments are available for severe acne scarring?

A: For severe or resistant acne scarring, advanced treatments such as fractional laser resurfacing, subcision, or punch excision may be recommended. Consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized advice.

Q: What is the emotional impact of acne scars?

A: Acne scars can have a significant psychological impact on self-esteem and confidence. It’s important to practice self-acceptance and seek support if needed.

Q: What lifestyle changes can improve skin health?

A: Maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, managing stress, and getting quality sleep can contribute to healthier skin and potentially reduce the risk of acne scars.

Q: What is the long-term outlook for treating acne scars?

A: Treating acne scars requires patience and consistency. While complete removal may not be possible, there are treatments available that can significantly improve the appearance of scars and help individuals live with them more confidently.

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