Can Acne Scars Be Removed Completely?

Doctor Answers 6 depends on the scar type, skin type, and what we use.

The answer is complex... if you have shallow scars, or deep scars (such as ICE PICK), we have the ability to use different treatments such as TCA CROSS, combining this with full erbium. 

In some patients I may only improve scarring by 50% with multiple treatments, in others I may rid of all scars (100%) removal in only one treatment. 

It depends on so many factors. 


Dr Davin Lim 
Laser Dermatologist

Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Can Acne Scars be Removed Completely?

Hi SJ.  It depends on the type of scars.  When we treat colored acne scars (red or brown), we are fairly certain that with laser procedures and/or bleaching agents, we can get rid of them completely. 

Textured (bumpy or indented) acne scars are different.  Textured acne scars will respond differently based on the type and severity of the scar as well as the method of treatment.  In all cases, we are aiming for some % of improvement.  Whether that's 20% or 50% depends on the patient, scars and the treatment, but we do help patients understand that textured acne scars are virtually impossible to remove altogether.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Eradication of Acne Scars

Thanks for the question.

While you can anticipate marked improvements of acne scars through various resurfacing techniques and collagen induction therapy, complete eradication is highly unlikely given the nature of the problem. 

Warmest Regards,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Acne scars can be improved but not removed.

There are several methods to improved acne scars:  peels, laser resurfacing, punch excision, subcision, filler.  All of these are helpful but none will completely resolve the problem.  For people with extensive scarring, the only real viable option is the laser.  In my opinion, Fraxel re:pair or Fraxel Dual, are very good at improving scarring.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Acne scars cannot be removed completely but you can get closer to this through different approaches

Things are advancing all the time. Since Acne scarring is so tough, there are many people that just give up on it. Skin is the hardest to replace sometimes. I believe in a multilayered approach with co2 laser resurfacing employed in a different way. Most surgeons use just co2 laser resurfacing but this is only treating 10-20% of the problem.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Removing acne scars

The short answer is no. However, combination treatment with the CO2 laser for resurfacing and perhaps punch excision if it is bad enough can minimize the appearance of acne scarring. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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