How Long Does It Take for Acne Scars to Fade?

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Sometimes it is really a struggle to deal with pimples. The hardest part is when they develop into acne and leave scars in their wake. How long does it take for acne scars to fade?

In general, it takes around 3 to 6 months before acne marks disappear. But acne scars are different. They are permanent skin damage; therefore, scar treatment is needed for them to disappear.

Acne scars change the texture of the skin. If there are skin indentations because of the scars, the damage has been done on the skin’s deeper level.

Oftentimes, the brownish or reddish acne marks that are left behind after pimples have cleared up will fade even if you don’t treat them. However, if you squeeze or pick your pimples, it will increase the risk of acne scarring.

Read on to learn more about how long it will take for acne scars to fade, factors that affect the length of time, how you can make them fade faster, and how to prevent this problem, as well as their causes.

How Long Does It Take for Acne Scars to Fade?

how long does it take for acne scars to fade

Ordinary acne marks may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to fade. But acne scars have damaged the skin permanently. Therefore, they need scar treatment before they disappear.

While scars may be less visible since they have acquired the skin color, acne marks are easier to minimize or hide by using a concealer.

Acne marks are generally dark but flat. They often fade with time, which may take about 3 to 6 months. You can easily hide them by covering them with makeup or concealer. But acne scars are more difficult to hide since they have created pits on the skin’s surface.

It’s hard to estimate the exact time required for acne scars’ disappearance because not all people have the same reactions to skin inflammation.

The consensus is that majority of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be expected to heal within 3 to 24 months. For other and deeper scars, treatment may be needed for them to disappear.

After a breakout, your body will attempt to heal the skin by replacing lost or damaged skin tissue. When your body makes insufficient or excessive skin tissue, scarring will occur, and scars will form on the affected skin area.

Causes of Acne Scars

When acne deeply penetrates your skin, the damage will be sustained by your skin tissues underneath it. As the acne heals, your body will try to repair the damage.

Your body produces collagen as your skin heals. Too much or too little collagen will result in a scar. In other words, the scar will develop, depending on the amount of collagen your body can produce.

Factors That Affect How Long It Takes for Acne Scars to Fade

When will acne scars fade? The time it will take for acne scars to disappear depends on several factors. These factors are as follows:

1. Type of Acne Scar

There are numerous kinds of acne scars. And each type requires a certain time and mode of treatment before they will disappear:

Boxcar Scars

These are shallow scars that have sharp and defined edges. They typically appear as little imprints on the skin. These shallow scars are more difficult to treat. You will need a dermatologist to treat these scars. It may take some time to treat these types of scars.

Icepick or Depressed Scars

These are deep but narrow scars that are similar to empty pores on the skin. They tend to be the hardest scars to treat. You will need a dermatologist to treat these scars. And it will take a long time. The scars’ dept will determine how long they can be treated.

Rolling Scars

These are also shallow scars with smooth and soft edges. On the skin, they appear like waves. They are the result of long-term inflammatory acne.

As you age, your skin loses fullness and elasticity, and rolling scars become more pronounced. To get the best results, ask a dermatologist to administer the treatment.

Keloids or Hypertrophic Scars

These are raised scars that generally appear as red spots. They are the result of cystic acne. As the cysts healed, too much skin tissue has developed in its place. This resulted in a bulge of rubbery and thick scar tissue. They can be itchy and can cause skin irritation.

Treatment must be done. And usually, the treatment takes time. Laser resurfacing is usually provided by a qualified dermatologist in treating these scars.

2. Skin Discoloration

Acne scars can be lighter, redder, or darker than your regular skin tone. The skin discoloration will also affect the length of time required to treat these acne scars. Skin discoloration is not really a scar but a typical acne side effect.

There are times when skin discoloration fades by itself. But there are times that the skin discoloration can be permanent. There are three types of skin discoloration.


Erythema is a skin redness resulting in the small capillaries underneath the skin surface being permanently dilated. This is a common occurrence in acne patients with fair skin.

It is treated by topical medication, which will temporarily reduce vasodilation. A long-term solution like Intense Pulse Light phototherapy can also be used.


 This is a brown discoloration of the skin. The production of melanin in the damaged skin cells has increased because of acne resulting in this brown discoloration.

There are numerous treatment options for this particular skin condition, including laser and light procedures, administration of topical retinoids to lessen melanin production, increased skin cells’ turnover, and hydroquinone administration.


These are light spots on the skin that are caused by a lack of melanin. Scar tissue often is light pink in color. They are more noticeable on dark-skinned people. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels are some of the usual treatments for this skin discoloration.

3. Skin Type

The type of skin will also affect the length of time for acne scars to disappear. If your skin type falls on the oily side, acne scars will take a longer time to fade away. But if you have dry skin, the acne scars will disappear faster.

Acne uses oil as a catalyst. Therefore, the less oil on your skin or the drier your skin, the more difficult for acne scars to form or remain. And in reverse, oily skin presents more opportunities for acne scars to remain.

How long for acne scars to fade away? Acne marks usually fade away in 3-6 months. However, acne scars need to be properly treated for them to heal completely. This length of time also depends on several factors discussed above, such as scar, skin, etc.

How to Make Acne Scars Fade Away Faster?

Alternative health practitioners believe that natural remedies can speed up acne scars’ treatment and make them disappear faster. Some people have found these treatments effective:


Coconut Oil

  1. Get a few tablespoons of liquid coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is better.
  2. Massage this oil into the acne scar for around 10 minutes.
  3. Allow the oil to stay on the scar for at least one hour so that your skin can absorb it.
  4. Do this two to four times every day until the acne scar clears.

Aloe Vera

  1. Open up an aloe vera leaf by removing its dark green cover on its flatter side.
  2. Take enough amount of the light green gel from inside the leaf.
  3. Rub this gel directly on your acne scar by circular motions.
  4. Allow the gel to remain on the scar for half an hour.
  5. After 1/2 hour, rinse the gel with cool water.
  6. For the scar to heal, repeat this procedure twice a day.

Baking Soda

  1. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda in distilled water, doing it gradually until a paste is formed.
  2. Wet the acne scar with distilled water and then put the paste onto the scar.
  3. Use a warm compress to hold the paste on top of the scar for about 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the paste with water.
  5. Repeat this procedure until the scar clears.


  1. Get one fresh lemon and cut a wedge from it.
  2. Rub the juicy side of the lemon gently on the acne scar while squeezing its juice onto it.
  3. Allow the juice to remain on the scar for about 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse off the dried juice with water.
  5. Repeat this procedure every day at around the same time until the scar clears.

Vitamin E

  1. Get a vitamin E capsule and cut it open.
  2. Squeeze its content over the acne scar. You may need a few vitamin E capsules to cover all the acne scars.
  3. Message the liquid oil around the scar for around 10 minutes.
  4. Let the oil stay there for another 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse the oil off with warm and clean water.
  6. Repeat these steps at least three times every day until the scar clears.

Frankincense and Rosehip

  1.  Mix equal parts of frankincense oil and rosehip oil.
  2. Massage this mixture onto the acne scar.
  3. Allow this mixture to stay for about 45 minutes.
  4. Rinse the solution with warm water.
  5. Repeat these steps three times every day until the acne scar disappears.

Olive Oil and Lavender

  1. Mix three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil with three drops of lavender essential oil.
  2. Massage this mixture onto the acne scar for around five minutes.
  3. Leave the solution in place for around 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse the oils with warm water.
  5. Repeat this procedure at least three times a day until the acne scar disappears.


  1. Cut a potato into medium thick round pieces.
  2. With circular motions, rub the slice of potato onto the scar.
  3. Replace the potato slice with a fresh slice if it gets dry and continue the procedure.
  4. Continue rubbing the potato slice for about 20 minutes.
  5. Allow the scar to dry for about 10 minutes.
  6. Repeat this procedure at least once a day until the acne scar fades away.

Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Combine two tablespoons (tbsp) of apple cider vinegar with four tablespoons (tbsp) of distilled water.
  2. Dip a cotton swab into this mixture and dab the liquid generously onto the scar.
  3. Allow the solution to dry.
  4. Repeat this procedure every night until the acne scar starts to clear.


  1. Before bedtime, put some honey on top of the acne scar.
  2. Cover the scar with a bandage.
  3. Leave the bandage on for the whole night.
  4. Remove the bandage upon waking up in the morning.
  5. Rinse off the honey with warm water.
  6. Repeat this routine every night until the acne scare fades away.

Again, how long does it take for acne scars to fade? It will take about three to six months for acne marks to disappear completely. But acne scars need to be treated for them to disappear since acne scars can change your skin’s texture.

Next, let’s look at the possible solutions to speed up your acne scars’ healing.

Other Treatments

For severe acne scars, the following treatments are recommended to speed up the restoration of the affected skin area:

Chemical Peels

These procedures use different chemicals at different concentrations to remove acne scars and correct skin discoloration. The concentration of the chemicals used will depend on the characteristics of the scar. This treatment offers minimal downtime and lasting results.


how long for acne scars to fade away

This procedure will exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin. It utilizes a diamond tip to perform the procedure. A vacuum suctions the exfoliated skin, removing the dead skin cells, thereby improving the acne scars’ look.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

This procedure removes any lingering acne scars. By using short pulses of light, this procedure removes the top layer of the scarred skin.


This procedure utilizes fine needles in creating ‘micro-tunnels’ on the skin. These small wounds will induce the skin to produce the required collagen to heal itself.

How to Prevent Acne Scars from Forming?

You can prevent acne scars from forming on your face if you will adhere to the following practices:

1. Don’t Pop Your Pimples

Popping pimples is the most common cause of acne scar formation. Control the urge to pop pimples when you see them on your face.

2. Treat Your Breakouts

Treat your breakouts once they occur. Don’t let them get infected. Use facial products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These substances can manage the pimples already there and control the development of new ones.

Serum may also help reduce inflammation and puffiness of your skin and brighten your acne scars. The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Face Firming Serum for All Skin Types is an excellent serum.

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3. Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Always moisturize your skin so that it won’t be easy for pimples to develop.

4. Wear Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen (at least SPF 30) every day. It will prevent acne scars from getting darker and make them less visible.

5. Use a Recovery Gel

A recovery gel such as SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel can soften and minimize pink or red scars’ appearance. It applies to all skin types.

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More and more pharmacists and doctors recommend an advanced scar gel to treat older and newer acne scars. Here’s an excellent scar gel:

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Conclusion: How Long for Acne Scars to Fade?

On average, it may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months before acne marks disappear. However, acne scars are permanent skin damage, so treatment is required for the scars to disappear.

The acne scars have already damaged the skin’s texture. If the skin has some indentations caused by the acne scars, the damage has already been done to the skin’s deeper level.