What’s the Best Dermal Filler for Acne Scars?

I've heard about juvederm and restylane but also long lasters like sculptra. for deep scarring is there one preferred injectable treatment?

Doctor Answers 22

There are many options for filling in scars

Fillers are a temporary way to fill in depressed scars. Restylane can last about 6-9months, and radiesse 1-2 years. Fat can be another option to fill in scars and can last many years like 10 years give or take a few years when done right.

In my experience, using temporary fillers gives one only modest results and most people are left desiring more improvement. Other ways to lift the scar include subscision technique where you use a needle to lift the scar up so that it sits level with the plane of the rest of the skin. This can be done in conjunction with laser resurfacing. Other ways to lift up the scar is to use biopsy instruments to incise around the depressed scar and this is then lifted up into the right plane. Another way is to cut the scar out and follow this with resurfacing.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Dermal fillers and laser treatments

Fillers can improve the appearance of acne scars by partially lifting the depressed scar but their effect is temporary. The results can last from between a few months to a year using fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Perlane, etc. However, laser treatments such as Pixel, Smoothbeam, Erbium or Fraxel can dramatically and permanently reduce the appearance of acne scars with improvement of overall tone.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Acne scars - Make it plump and make it last

There are so many fillers these days that it is often difficult to know which is best. Acne scars are a specialized treatment area and thus the choice is often times easier.

The two basic requirements should be that the filler plumps the skin well enough to correct the scar and second that it lasts long enough for prolonged correction.

My personal favorite is Radiesse (Calcium hydroxlapetite). This filler plumps, provides immediate correction and last approximately 9-16 months.

Microroplet silicone is another excellent alternative. This is a specialized technique performed by only a limited number of physicians. It is a permanent filler and must be used with care.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ACNE SCARS: there are many different types of acne scars (ice pick, box car, rolling type scars), and they must be approached using different techniques and combinations of techniques including lasers, acid peels and then fillers as a final therapy.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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There are many filler options to fill in acne scarring.  Sometimes it is a combination of braking up the scar and then placing the filler.  You want something sufficient enough to lift the scar.  While the options you have listed are often used for scarring you won't get the longevity from the filler.  BellaFill is our preferred filler for that specific issue. It recently received its indication for acne scarring and we are having great success with the product. It is a long lasting filler that will allow you to not have to continue to fill the scarring over and over again.

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Dermal Filler for Acne Scars

If you have ice pick- deep narrow scars they are best treated by cutting them out with a biopsy punch and suturing the hole closed with a file suture. 
If your scars are broad and more shallow I often treat them successfully with releasing the scar from below with a long needle( called subcision) and them filling the space underneath with either Sculptra or your own fat. 
"Peeling" such scars are not the best option.

Richard Sadove, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Dermal Fillers for Acne Scars

Which demal filler that is selected depends on the type of acne scar that is being treated.  For atrophic scars we use saline injections or a hyaluronic acid filler normally.  If there is  deeper tissue loss sometimes a volume filler like Sculptra or Radiesse is used.  Fillers are usually not helpful for thicker scars and ice pick scars.

David J. Sire, MD
Fullerton Dermatologic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Acne Scar Treatment

Depending on what type of acne scars you have will determine which filler you should get. Fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane can last 6-12 months. However, keep in mind that you might instead require a resurfacing laser treatment or other approach based on the actual acne scars to obtain the best result.

Bellafill is FDA approved for acne scar treatment

Bellafill is the only current dermal filler FDA approved for acne scars. The scars should be relatively shallow and able to smooth out when pulled manually. Other dermal fillers can be used off-label to treat certain types of acne scars, but the effects are temporary. Generally, a combination treatment customized to your particular needs is best for treating acne scars, as there are multiple different types of acne scars as well as discoloration that can go along with them. Laser resurfacing, microneedling, and chemical peels are just a few of the various treatment options available for dealing with acne scars. The best thing to do is to see a board-certified dermatologist for an in-person consultation and evaluation to determine the best course of action for you. 

Melda A. Isaac, MD
Washington DC Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Filing in Acne Scars with Restylane, Juvederm, Belotero, Sculptra and Lasers

Scars are complicated in that it takes a multi-prong approach to treat them.  Sculptra when injected into a scarred area of the face will produce new collagen and offer a longer term solution to acne scarring - up to two years.  Restylane  and similar Hyaluronic acid products usually will provide shorter treatment - six to nine months but will slowly build up your body's own collagen in the areas injected.  Lasers such as Fraxel and eMatrix are the gold standard for treating acne scars.  The lasers will require five treatments depend on the depth of the scars.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise in acne scars.  Best, Dr. Green

Best Filler for Scars

Bellafill, previously known as Artefill, is a favorite filler to use for deep scarring. It is a permanent filler that provides structural support. Because Bellafill consists of tiny microspheres that are made up of polymethylmethacrylate, they are not absorbed by the body and can only be removed surgically. These can add volume to sites that are pulled down by scar tissue lifting them in the process. Often these treatments last 5 -10+ years. Since this particular type of filler offers long lasting results, we proceed cautiously to decrease the chances of overfilling. These filler materials stimulate new collagen synthesis which gives some permanent elevation of acne scar depressions. Another filler used includes high grade silicone for acne or other scars (e.g. chickenpox or traumatic).

Always be sure to consult with a board certified dermatologist for best results for your condition.

David J. Myers, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.