Does Tanning Help Get Rid of Acne Scars?

Does Tanning Help Get Rid of Acne Scars?

Often when people have prominent acne scars, they try tanning to try to make the scar fade or hide it by darkening the skin around it. In fact, tanning is one of the worst things you can do for a scar. For starters, scar tissue is different from normal skin and much less resistant to damage caused by ultraviolet rays. That means a much higher likelihood that your scar will burn – even if the skin around it doesn’t. Excessive sun exposure can also darken a scar permanently. This is especially a problem in people with darker complexions.

When you have acne scars, you should protect them from sun exposure to prevent worsening of their visibility and promote their fading. Use sunscreen religiously. Anytime you sweat or get in the water, you should reapply it. Even better, cover the scar with protective clothing, if possible.

Read: How Does the Sun Affect Scars?

Preventing Acne Scars

Besides protecting your acne scars from the sun, there are other measures you can take to speed their healing and fading. The most important treatment for acne scars is preventing new ones. Treat your acne, if necessary by using antibiotics – see your dermatologist for more information on this. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and keeps your hands off of the affected area – your hands carry oil and various dirt and germs that can aggravate the condition.

Treating the Scars You Have

For the scars you already have, prioritize hydration – oral and topical. Moisturizers for your skin and plenty of water to drink will both help. Add lemon juice to your water for a dose of vitamin C and to help flush out toxins. And use “skin-friendly” (water-based, hypoallergenic) cosmetics.

Fortunately, there are very effective topical scar treatments on the market today. The sooner you treat a new scar, the more responsive it is likely to be to the treatment. Vitamin C is one of the strongest scar treatment ingredients available; look for a product containing it. Silicone is another one proven to fade and soften scars.

When nothing else has worked, you can try laser treatments. This is appropriate for severe scarring and actually removes the top layer of scarred skin so that newer, healthier skin can replace it. Over time, this makes the scar much less noticeable. Laser scar treatment is often an ongoing, expensive process, but can yield good results in stubborn cases.

Finally, as with any scar, don’t smoke. Smoking causes complications during any healing process. Nicotine impairs oxygen flow to the area, and oxygen is a vital component of the scar healing process. When you smoke, your blood vessels constrict, allowing less oxygen to be transported to the areas that need it the most. Smoking also increases the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood, resulting in even less oxygen. Smoking depletes levels of vitamin C in your body, which is bad for many reasons, but particularly because scars need vitamin C to heal. Vitamin C helps you form new collagen, boosts your immune system health, and is a powerful antioxidant.

Have you tried tanning to fade your acne scars?

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.


  1. The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
  2. I’m at the end of my rope bc of my scars. I have scars all over from not one thing in particular. I’ve been to countless doctors and clinically there’s nothing they can do. Can anyone suggest any treatments, consealers or skin bleacher?

  3. Hi, i’m 16 and have suffered from severe acne on my back for a few years. It’s finally almost cleared thanks to the Accutane medication I am taking. In terms of treating the scars I have after this course, what is the best option for me? It is laser treatment? Topicals? Some of my scars are relatively deep and there are many of them on my back.
    (This is considering money isn’t an issue).
    Any guidance would be of great help to me.

  4. Hi,
    My skin is sort of a contradiction, as it is both sensitive but tough. In the past I have been able to keep my acne away, but I think I did a number on my body by switching from antibiotics to birth control. It made my acne much worse and despite my efforts, the scarring has also. I don’t generally pop them as I know I’m not supposed to. However the deep ones under my skin scar anyways and breakouts are always in one area of my face. So once I’m done with one breakout, I have to focus on the scars which is counterproductive when I break out in the same spot. Again. I’m trying natural solutions, but being at the age where I should be done with this, I’m losing hope and confidence. Do you have any recommendations?

    • Hi Amy, getting the acne under control should be managed prior to treating the scars. Acne being a teen only issue is a myth, as many adults continue to deal with acne and cystic acne. Oftentimes the acne is a result of diet (too much dairy, etc.) or hormones. Your best bet is to consult with a dermatologist who can better assess your diet and any other health issues that may be the cause of it. Once your acne is under control, we recommend trying InviCible Scars with several natural ingredients such as licorice root extract, Vitamin C, aloe and EFA’s.

  5. Hi.
    I’ve had acne since I was a teen, I’m now 27. When was younger I was on acutane twice, antibiotics, sen dermatologists etc etc.
    My acne has always been there but sometimes more under contrail. I’m gonna try and keep this a short as possible lol ;).
    7 years ago, during pregnancy I broke out really bad on my face, chest and back. But since then I have not had any breakouts on my chest and back and my face was pretty under control.
    I recently went through a huge diet change, about 9 months ago. I’ve cut out gluten, most meat, and dairy. I was always told I had pcos, but a recent test of all my hormones came back completely normal. I quit smoking about 9 months ago as well, and switched to vaping.
    So even after doing all that, my face started breaking out, the worst I can remember, and my back and cheat again. So I did all that with my diet, I quit smoking and have normal hormone levels and Drink a ton of water.
    At first I though my body was going through a detox, but 9-10 months later still the same.
    Im in complete shock, I mean what else can I do. To see a dermatologist where I am is a year wait, so at the moment that is not an option. My acne this time is so different then other times, I have a mix of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. But a lot of white heads and black heads all over which I’ve never had. I also have a lot of just red marks, but raised red marks. Also everything seems to take forever to go away. There will be a little mark left for weeks.
    I also started getting my period normal again which I hadn’t in many years. Sometimes I feel like I’m going through puberty again

    • Hi Mandy, sorry to hear all of this. Unfortunately, as it pertains to why you have acne is not something we can answer. This is best discussed with your doctor and/or dermatologist, as they know your medical and health history.

      • Your situation sounds almost identical to mine and I finally had enough of it continually worse-not better… you said…this was different then regular acne that came and went and that I have suffered with since a preteen. Anyways, long story short I finally got fed up went to a dermatologist and she said that I have Rosacea (which I always thought was JUST redness but that’s simply not true.) And she prescribed me Retin-A and a birth control (that I don’t feel comfortable taking b/c I have been pretty hard on my body and although I am only 28 it is still possible for me to have a heart attack-it wouldn’t be the fist time in history and I believe in trusting that little nagging voice or in other words your gut instincts. So, I cannot attest to the effectiveness of the birth control nor the Retin A other then it makes you burn real easily (is also good for wrinkles & fine lines) and makes your face worse BEFORE it gets better and right now I am still in the “WORSE” phase. IDK look up Rosacea and see if that leads you to any answers : ) Good luck

  6. Hi! I got scabies last year and after I got rid of it the pimples left me with brown spots on my legs and buttocks. They are not very dark in sun light look pale brown but in some lighting look pretty dark medium brown almost. I’ve had those spots for a year now and they are still there. I’m currently using a prescription 0.25% tretinoin gel, 8% glycolic acid gel and coconut oil (that I apply all over the body) on those scars every night. Is this a good routine and will these go away? Like I said they are not even dark so I don’t understand how they are still there… They make me feel very embarrased especially the ones on my buttocks.

    • Hi Mona, over time the dark spots should lighten. Not sure if you’ve tried InviCible Scars, but it contains Vitamin C and Licorice Root Extract that will work to fade them. Sunscreen is also vital to prevent further darkening of these spots. Not just when you are at the beach or the pool – but when wearing dresses, shorts, etc. anything that leaves the skin exposed to sunlight (and remember that UV rays can penetrate clothing, too.)

  7. Kaitlyn-Elizabeth says

    Is there anything I can do about an awful scar I have on my back? When I was 9 I was surfing and was stung by a jellyfish and now i can’t find anyway to get rid of it…

  8. I was wondering if you know any way to get rid of mosquito bite scars?? I’ve had them all over my legs for about 2 years now and I’ve tried mederma scar cream and nothing has worked. Do you know of any home remedies or things I can possibly buy at the store that might help?

  9. Hi i have this problem on my legs(feet) and hand (back of my hand like knuckles ) is darker than my body the more I try to get rid of them the more they appear worst . I’ve used many expensive stuffs yet no solution am really worried cos i care so much about my skin. Please anything you know that can help?

  10. Brooklyn Gal says

    I have some markss on my skin that is scabbing over nas some scars too using uvand laser treatment at a dermatologist. also have so scars on other areas how cana i get rid of them. i also have a keloid and scars on my neck and hand

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