Downtime for Punch Excision of Acne Scars?

How long is the usual downtime for punch excision of acne scars? What can be expected during the downtime/recovery period?

Doctor Answers 9

Acne Scar Treatments – Subcision vs Punch

If the scar is attached to underlying structures.  The Physician can take a small needle underneath the skin to break the tissue that is pulling the scar down.  This procedure may be combined with the injection of a dermal filler to lift up scar. 

Punch incision of the scar – if it is small and localized then there is a linear scar rather than a punched out hole of acne scar.

Finding the right physician is really important to access your scars and suggest the best treatment options for you

Vancouver Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ice pick scars - punch excision downtime

Thank you for your question and for sharing your concerns with us. Your approach is very reasonable. I would recommend that consider a direct excision of an icepick scar using a punch.  The downtime is on the order of days to a week.  It will certainly help create a flatter scar. Afterwards, you can consider lasers to help blend it in to the background. The right laser for you would depend on your skin type.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

The downtime for punch excision for acne scars is about a week.

The downtime for punch excision of acne scars is about 7 to 10 days. Sutures would be removed typically between 5 -7 days post treatment, and a dermabrasion may be planned later- if necessary at all.


Renita (Lourdhurajan) Rajan, MD, DNB
India Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Punch Excision for acne scar revision

Acne scars that have a high depth to width ration can be improved with micro-technique acne scar revision including punch excision with or without suture. In most cases, reepithelialization occurs within 24 hours, but the sutures will remain on the skin for 5 to 7 days. I use a very fine suture that is barely noticeable in order to minimize downtime. I encourage patients to return to work following the procedure.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Virtually no downtime for punch excision


Deep acne "pit" scars are sometimes addressed by punch excision. This is not very debilitating although I would probably keep you from immersion in water for a few days afterward.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Acne scar excision usually has 5 - 7 days downtime

For patients who are just having several scars excised, there is 5 - 7 days with stitches, and after that there is essentially no downtime. We don't do punch excision, we actually do excision with a scalpel, so that we can make the resulting scar even smaller and orient it in proper direction. We also recommend dermabrasion in 6 - 8 weeks after excision to further blend in the scar, and that one has a little longer downtime, about a week or two.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Little Downtime for Acne Scars

Excision and closure of acne scars tends to be the most common way to treat this problem. Simple excision and closure can be done in the office setting with minimal discomfort.

There is not significant down time as long as you don't mind being seen with the sutures. I usually leave the sutures in for about 5-7 days. The wound always looks worse (meaning red) at about 3-4 months time, and afterward begins to mature and lighten.

It isn't until one year's time that the scar has completely gone through the healing phase. It is only then that we can say, it is going to be the way it is.

Hope that helps you out.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Downtime for punch excision on acne scars

Depending on the technique used this can vary tremendously.

Traditionally excision can be performed with or without sutures. If sutures are present they are removed at 4-7 days.

Others advocate a light dermabrasion session about 6-8 weeks later which may also requure a 5-7 day downtime.

I hope that helps!

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Punch excision downtime is approximately a week

The downtime for Punch Excision of acne scars is approximately 1 week. Sutures are usually removed within 5-7 days, but there may be some residual bruising at the sites for a week or two.


Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.