Does Tanning Help With Acne Scars?

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Acne is so very frustrating. We’ve all been there.

Acne is difficult to control… but control is possible with proper treatment, patience, and persistence. 

Once you’ve controlled the breakouts, you are still left with acne scars. They don’t easily go away, even if you haven’t had any acne breakouts recently.

There are many ways to attack acne scars, and one of the common recommendations is tanning.

So does tanning help with acne scars? Is this a myth or a fact?

Unfortunately, this one is a myth. Tanning can even worsen the appearance of your acne scars.

We’ll explain that in detail below. Plus we’ll also help you figure out what could really help with your acne scars.


Types Of Acne Scars

Who wouldn’t want to get rid of their acne scars? If there is a proven way to do it, we’ll also be the first ones to go and get it. 

We all love flawless and smooth-looking skin. But acne marks can ruin all that.

Did you know that not all people are prone to developing acne scars? There are some people who are more prone than others. 

You are more likely to develop acne marks if your acne is painful, swollen, and reddish.

Additionally, if you don’t treat the inflammation right away, it will progress and cause more damage, leading to acne marks. 

Lastly, those who just can’t help themselves but pop, pick or squeeze them are more likely to develop scars.

Acne scars can be divided into two kinds, atrophic scars, and hypertrophic scars. 

Atrophic Scars

Atrophic acne scars are produced because there isn’t enough collagen when the acne or site of acne is healing. This is why it seems that there are holes in the skin. They could develop in different shapes.

Hypertrophic Scars

On the other hand, hypertrophic scars are due to excessive collagen present while the acne is healing. This creates a raised appearance of the scar. 

Does Tanning Help With Acne Scars?

If you’ve ever read something telling you that tanning will help deal with your acne scars, don’t believe it. Unfortunately, it is a myth. 

Whether you have atrophic or hypertrophic scars, tanning them won’t do any good. So what happens to your scars when tanning? Well, the scars get tanned just like the rest of your body. 

This myth came from the belief that tanning the area around the acne scar will help make it less obvious.

However, that isn’t true.

Does Tanning Make Acne Scars More Visible?

If you tan your acne scars, they are more likely to get more damaged because of the UV light. 

When that happens, your acne scar can look darker or burnt. That will definitely make it more obvious 

Additionally, the UV light in tanning beds is much more powerful than what we get from sun exposure. It is drying to the skin and also damaging to components such as collagen and elastin fibers. 

Such components are used to heal acne scars. And with a lack of them, the acne scars won’t be healed efficiently. 

Furthermore, if tanning could make the acne scars less obvious, wouldn’t they be obvious again once the tan fades?

Tanning doesn’t somehow skip over acne scars – the acne scars will get darker as well. Cover your scars if you’re using a tanning bed.

What Actually Helps With Acne Scars?

Acne marks and acne scars are two different things. Acne marks cause discoloration but will eventually heal in about 3-6 months. 

However, acne scars are more permanent and need to be treated for you to get rid of them. Here are some of your options for acne scar treatments: 

Final Thoughts

Acne causes acne scars to develop but not all people are going to have them. There are some who are simply more prone to developing acne scars. 

The acne scars are different from acne marks, which usually heal and disappear in about 6 months. The acne scars can either be atrophic or hypertrophic. 

Nonetheless, tanning doesn’t help with any of your acne scars, nor does it help with acne itself. It can even cause further damage by drying out the skin. 

Tanning will also make the acne scars more visible. The scars will also get tanned and look darker than the rest of the skin. 

Some effective ways to get rid of your acne scars include dermabrasion, chemical peels, light therapy, fillers, laser resurfacing, injections, microneedling, and skincare products.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).