How Can Someone Get Rid of Old Acne Scars?

What acne scar treatments are best for old scars?

Doctor Answers 1

Several treatments for old acne scars

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Acne scars are typically depressed scars that are associated with a loss of tissue. These depressed scars may occur in several forms, including:

  • Jagged ice-pick scars
  • Depressed fibrotic scars
  • Soft scars
  • Soft discolorations (called "atrophic macules")

There are several treatments available for acne scars. These treatments include:

  1. Dermbrasion. Dermabrasion is considered one of the most effective treatments for acne scars. In dermabrasion, a brush is used to remove the outer surface of the skin thereby contouring the scars. Superficial scars may be removed entirely, and deeper scars may be reduced in depth.
  2. Laser treatment. Lasers may be used to improve acne scarring by removing the outer surface of the skin and contouring scar tissue. In some cases, multiple treatments may be needed.
  3. Skin surgery. Some ice-pick scars may be removed by punch excision of individual scars. In other situations, depressed scars may be elevated using a technique called subcision, in which scar tissue is lifted away form unscarred skin using a small instrument.
  4. Injectable filler. In some types of soft scars, filler substances such as your own fat, Restylane, Juvederm, etc. may be injected under the skin to stretch and fill out the scar tissue.

Choosing the best treatment depends on the type and severity of your scars, your skin color, and your goals for treatment. See a qualified cosmetic professional (e.g. plastic surgeon or dermatologist) for an honest evaluation!

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.