Can Radiesse Reveal Old Acne Scars?

I had radiesse injected in my cheeks 2 weeks ago. I have noticed in some areas where the radiesse was injected that there appear to be very small, ice-pick acne scars from years' past that weren't visible before the injection. I am hoping this isn't lumpy radiesse! What does lumpy radiesse look like?? What are your thoughts? Does radiesse make scars more obvious? And what do I do now? Laser treatment, or will this go down once the radiesse dissolves? I am worried I made a huge mistake.

Doctor Answers 13

Radiesse won't reveal old acne scars if done correctly.

Radiesse is injected deeply into the skin and won't reveal old acne scars.  You make start looking closer at your skin since you got the radiesse and start to see old scars that were always there before.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Orange Peel Appearance Can Accentuate Old Acne Scars

If the Radiesse was placed to superficially or in to large an amount, the skin can take on an orange peel appearance and that would accentuate old acne scars.  Ask the MD that did the Radiesse if you can massage the area.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Can Radiesse Reveal Acne Scars?

Hello.  What you are pointing out is certainly possible.  Especially in convex areas of the face (those outward rolling areas) like the cheekbones, adding more volume in the dermis can make the cheeks appear fuller and more rounded, but it can also cause the skin to be stretched slightly from the additional volume. 

This stretching may make older acne scars more apparent.  This would be similar to finding small imperfections on a balloon as it is blown up.  As the surface area increases, the imperfections become more visible.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

When any injectable is done, other areas, such as old acne scars, reveal themselves

When any injectable is done, other areas, such as old acne scars, reveal themselves. It’s like painting the walls and not painting the ceiling. Suddenly you realize all the chips and cracks that you didn’t see before. If you restore volume to an area of the face that was hollow, you may notice these acne scars now because they were lost in the hollowness before treatment. Lumps from Radiesse are usually palpable, you can feel an actual nodule if there’s really a lump, and when you smile in your face you will often see that.

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Radiesse and ice pick acne scars

Radiesse is not injected superficially as it is viscous (thick) and meant to be injected between the dermis and subcutaneous fatty layer. I doubt that the filler would be placed so high in the dermis that it would fill up the skin around the ice pick scar making the depressed scar look deeper.  What I have seen in practice is that Radiesse which is used during my panfacial augmentation procedures to revolumize the face when significant atrophy of the fatty layer has taken place, is that the deep folds which have skin that is not seen for years that traverses down along the walls of the fold, are now raised and are visible.  With this skin that formerly hid in the shadow of the deep crease walls now raised, the surface epidermis imperfections are seen again for the first time in years. This is the same as using your hands to pull the skin back and make a tighter face, the way people do when they want to see how they would look after a facelift, and then see the skin for the first time in years that was hiding.

Ice pick scars can be treated with different techniques such as the CROSS technique with TCA (trichloracetic acid) or punch grafts and then resurfacing. There are risks and these need to be discussed in detail with prospective patients.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Lumpy radiesse

I doubt that what you are experiencing is what we think of as the lumps that are caused when the filler is placed too much in one area. I think that the filling  in the lower level of skin ( the dermis), which is where radiesse is supposed to go, raised up the surface layer ( the epidermis) making your ice pick scars more noticeable. Fillers aren't really supposed to have any effect on the surface layer so don't blame the radiesse! I use a lot of it and its a great product for its application....which is too fill up the dermis in some areas. I'm sorry that you experienced a "worsening" of the appearance of the surface. Maybe you will benefit by a chemical peel or other procedure

Beverly Johnson, MD
Silver Spring Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Radiesse Making Old Acne Scars more Obvious

The depth of acne scars are usually adherent to the deep tissue.  When a filler is injected into the area, the non-scarred skin will elevate, increasing the depth of the acne pit. In the future it would be beneficial to release the depth of the scars before placing fillers.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Acne scars risen from the dead

This is likely from the volume of the radiuses causing the light to reflect off your cheeks differently, now making the eye pick up scars that were previously in a shadow. Laser resurfacing is the treatment of acne scars. Your injecting MD will be able to tell if this is product or volume effect.

Purvisha Patel, MD
Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Radiesse will not help ice pick scars, may worsen them

It is possible that the induration from Radiesse placed superficially may cause the skin to be indurated and accentuate ice pick scars. Early on, Radiesse can be massaged and even broken up with some saline and needle subsicion. Go back ASAP as after 2 weeks, it is hard to manipulate the material.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Radiesse Making Scars More Prominent

The Radiesse you had injected may still be causing some swelling which can make the scars more prominent. Lumpy injections alone are not likely to have caused this. I think you should wait a little longer to see if things improve. If no improvement is seen you can begin massaging the area. Over several months the Radiesse gel matrix will be absorbed and things should get better then as well.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 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.