Was my dermatologist fraudulent?

I went to a dermatologist about my acne scars, she told me juviderm would fill them. I never saw the juviderm box or needle, she injected my face about 15 times per side, my face was swollen for a few days, after the swelling went down, there was no change. I spoke to her, she told me that juviderm takes 4 to 6 weeks to see results because it builds collagen. Told her that was not true and she offered to give me all my money back right on the spot. Should I report her?

Doctor Answers 8

Biostimulatory Fillers Can Be Useful In Acne Scar Treatment

Frankly, without knowing exactly what kind of scars you have (and usually it is a mixture of boxcar, rolling and pit scars), it is really difficult to comment fully.

If rolling scars, for example, predominate, then the use of subcision, to break up the tethering scar tissue that is pulling the skin down, is a reasonable first step, which may then be followed by the use of a biostimulatory filler (my preference would be more robust fillers than plain Juvederm, e.g. Radiesse Plus or Voluma XC) that would provide immediate lift and improvement and stimulate new, native collagen and elastic fiber synthesis (neocollagenesis, neoelastogenesis) over the next four to six weeks. 

Boxcar scars and certainly pit scars because of their anatomy are very unlikely to respond particularly well to fillers, although some improvement can be obtained in the former following subcision. 

Since trust in the physician is an essential element of treatment, I would strongly suggest that you look for another board certified aesthetic physician with experience and expertise in all forms of acne scar treatments.

Best of luck to you.


New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Acne Scarring

You can treat acne scars with Restylane, Juvederm and Belafill. It  can be difficult to see a great result especially in the beginning. The scars are bound down. Even the action of putting a needle into the scar will help over time. It can take several treatments to see a difference. You also have to remember your skin will not look the same as before you had the acne . It takes a lot of patience to treat acne scars with fillers. There are lasers that may do a better job than fillers for your scarring..
your doctor was being nice to refund your money.

Esta Kronberg, MD
Houston Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Fillers and Acne Scarring

Fillers can help improve scars but no filler but bellafill or silicone give permanent results.  She wasn't fraudulent she just wasn't an expert in acne scar treatment (as juvederm wouldn't be my filler of choice) nor was she honest or informative about the procedure.  Pick a better dermatologist.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Juvederm for acne scars

Any filler may help the appearance of acne scars by adding volume under the scar and pushing it up.  The needle will also help to break any scar bands under the skin.  Juvederm can therefore be used for this but probably not the optimal choice.  Fat is often used for this since you can add significant volume to the whole scarred area, and hopefully get some stem cell effect on the skin.  The new filler Belafill is also approved for acne scars.  But no matter what filler you use, you may often see little improvement depending on the amount of scarring you have.  Often laser is a best first choice and then some filler.
Offering your money back is just being nice - they probably were equally disappointed that you didn't get a better result.  But it certainly isn't fraudulent.     

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Acne Scars and Filling indentations

There are many different fillers for acne scars such as Bellafill, Restylane, or Juvederm.  Juvederm is an immediate filler for these scars.  It is best to consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise in acne scars for the best cosmetic results. Lasers may also be effective to treat these scars such as Fraxel or eMatrix. Best, Dr. Green

Was my dermatologist fraudulent?

There is no way to know or even find out! But to me why? did you not use your previous PS to inject you? Bet the fees were normal and not discounted. SO you see low fees can lead to fake fillers! Your PS, that you were happy with, Dr de la P., would have used genuine fillers but at a normal fee for service charge. Guess lesson learned! 

Difficult situation...

Thank you for your question.  While I have to believe her intent was good and she was trying to rectify a bad situation by offering to refund the money, unfortunately this is a situation we see daily in South Florida though typically with non-core specialists (Derm, PS, Facial PS, OculoPS) or people masquerading as core specialists.  We typically use Bellafill for acne scars with subcision not only due to the fact it is the only FDA approved product for acne scarring, but that while the collagen yields immediate results, the PMMA microspheres yield long term results (up to 5 years) by supporting your bodies own building of collagen.  We have seen excellent results with Bellafill.  Regards, Dr. Matt Elias

Matthew Elias, DO, FAAD
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Tricky situation

Thanks for the question.  
This is a tricky question to answer but I will do my best.  Acne scars are difficult to treat in general.  Some people use fat grafting, with the thought process that the stem cells in the fat will help to "regenerate" the skin and improve the look and contour.  Some will use fillers such as hyaluronic acid, aka Juvederm.  It really depends on what the doctor was trying to achieve.  If you had a lot of depressions and pits then the the filler may help with those immediately.  The other concept is that similar to fat, you are using the filler to try and improve the overall skin quality and contour.  Juvederm, will over time help your body to create new collagen and potentially improve the quality of the skin.  This process will take months though.  That is why we see some patients who get fillers every 6 months, and then after a year or two find they need less product, or sometimes no more product.  So I think everything she told you was accurate.  I can't vouch for the behind the scenes stuff though.  I will say, in my practice, I don't always open the product right in front of the patient, but would always be more than happy to if there was a patient who was skeptical about what they were receiving.  I think the fact that she refunded you immediately likely means she was being honest and just didn't want a dissatisfied customer.  I am not sure I would report her unless you have other evidence or testimonials from other patients about inappropriate behavior. 

Hope this helps

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