Picking and acne scars – what to do?

Hi. My acne is very mild but unfortunately over the past couple of years I have used picking and squeezing my skin as a form of stress relief, which at times has caused rather horrific wounds. I have mostly gotten my behavior under control but am now left with multiple scars along my shoulders, chest, and back of every variety (raised, flat, red and white, from 2mm diameter to 1.5 cm). I am fairly certain that the rosehip seed oil I am looking into will work with my skin very well, especially on my face, but from the majority of my findings I'm afraid those raised white scars are going to need something a bit more rigorous... is there any non surgical way to return the pigment to those areas and shave them down a bit?

My heart goes out to you on this.  You’re very honest too in your understanding that this is a form of stress relief for you.   To some extent everyone “picks” something at least occasionally.  Some people bite their fingernails, some pick their scalps, some chew on their lip, etc.   So it’s really a matter of degree – when it starts to change into a way to deal with anxiety.  When it gets more serious, some psychologists think it’s a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) which makes sense to me.   I’m happy you’ve gotten the behavior under control and for other out there, please seek help if you are causing scarring.

As for your scars, you really will need laser treatments to help you and please look for an expert laser center so you don’t waste your money. The Fraxel laser or fractioned CO2 laser would probably be best depending on how thick they are and your skin type  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
  • My medical office in Seattle has experience treating thousands of patients.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product line.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!