Will a Facelift Help with Acne Scars?

I have bad acne scarring on my checks and am considering a facelift. I had dermabrasion about 15 years ago, and laser resurfacing about 12 years ago. The past couple of years, I have had filler injections, but they only last about 6 months and two syringes fill only about half of my scars. I'm 46. Would a facelift help or should I consider other options?

Doctor Answers 10

Facelift for Acne Scars

A facelift will temporarily improve acne scars because of post-op swelling and stretching of the skin. The facelift will eliminate excess skin and improve facial contour, but ultimately will do nothing for the acne scars. Treatment of these scars is very frustrating for surgeons because there is no consistent, reliable solution for the problem. I have found that dermabrasion or lysis of the pitsand lipo-sculpting using the patient's own fat are the best alternatives.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Facelift and acne scars

Acne scars could be helped by a Facelift. The improvement varies from person to person, but in my experience is very minimal. The rolling hills scars are helped better. Ice Pick scars tend to be more resistant to improvement.

The best procedure for acne scars improvement still is old fashion Dermabrasion or a Laser Resurfacing.

Gustavo A. Diaz, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Facelift for acne scars

A facelift by removing the excess skin of the face may help with acne scars for ,since the skin is stretched ,the pitting and scars appear smoother. You mentioned that you have had dermabrasion as well as a CO2laser resurfacing already. These are probably more beneficial than the facelift. You could have the CO2 laser resurfacing repeated, even at the same time as the facelift to try and maximize your improvement.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Facelifting with MicroAblative Laser is effective

In many older patients the acne scarring present earlier in life worsens with the loss of collagen and elastin fibers of the facial skin.  We find facelifting is effective particularly when combined with the newer fractional CO2 lasers.

Richard D. Gentile, MD
Youngstown Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Facelift help with acne scars

I disagree in a different manner. The stretch of the facial skin can camouflage the acne scars to a minor degree. So the answer to the question is a small yes. Otherwise as Drs. Mayer, Adlea have staed a dermabrasion will improve more.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Facelift for acne scars.

I agree with Dr. Aldea, a facelift will not help enough to justify the surgery. Facelifts remove extra skin; it won't tightened the skin to smooth out acne scars. You may need another dermabrasion.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

You can include improvement of acne scars as a portion of the face-lift

Patients with a history of severe acne are often among those that come in early for face-lifts.  It seems that the acne itself with its cysts and inflammation created stretching and disruption of the skin.  In addition if they have had cortisone injections as part of their acne management, the skin in the area of injection may be also depleted.

We typically combine modalities in such patients.

This means starting with the lifting, punch incising or under releasing areas that are adherent due to acne and finishing off with the Mixto Laser using  both shrink and resurfacing modes to really impact the skin.

This is a combination that has always given us good results and sometimes a really spectacular result.

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Facelift does Not help Acne Scars

Most acne scarring is located on the inner 2/3's of the face not the lateral 1/3. As a result since a Facelift can remove only the most inferior and lateral aspects of the loose skin the acne scarring would not be affected. Facelift is not the answer.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews


Acne scarring may be temporarily improved with facelifting as the skin is pulled tighter but the scars are not modified at all and will recur as the skin loosens.  I have had the best results with the Palomar Starluxe laser to resurface and juvederm filler to improve mild contour deformities.

Marisa Lawrence, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Face Lift Surgery Does Not Help Acne Scars

No, a face lift will not improve acne scars.

Face lift surgery may involve removing a small amount of extra skin from around the ears. This area on the sides of the face is usually acne free. Acne is more commonly found in the central face, cheeks, nose, and forehead. However, face lift surgery may be part of overall facial enhancement in patients with acne scarring.

Speak with a face lift plastic surgeon to help determine if face lift surgery is appropriate for you.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 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.