What are Tethered or Anchored Acne Scars?

Please explain what tethered or anchored scars look like and the best treatment for them.

Doctor Answers 3

Tethered scars? ENGLEWOOD Cliffs, NJ

Tethered scars are those which have fibrous bands between the base of the scar and the underlying connective tissue. Many different types of scars can be tethered. Superficial boxcars, deep boxcars, atrophic scars, saucer shaped scars all can be tetherered. The best way to determine if a scar is tethered is to pull the skin. If this scar  lifts it is not tethered. Best treatment for tethered scars is to break up the fibers bands. The gold standard is subcision. When thinking about treatment for acne scars, you need to see an expert. Ask to see photos. Hope this helps. Good luck.


Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Scars that attach to the underlying layers of skin ....

Dr Rapaport has explained it very well. These scars are attached to the underlying layers. How I assess for tethered scars is to ask patients to animate- if scars pull DOWN this suggest anchoring or tethering. 

I am in the process of making a video on how to assess scar types at the moment- this will give viewers some idea of ideal treatments. For these types of scars, surgical subcision (with or without filling), is the best solution. 

All the best

Dr Davin Lim 
Laser Dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia.

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Tethered scars and Treatments NYC

If the scars are attached to the skin when you pull up then they are tethered.  Subcision usually works best for these types of scars.  Please consult an expert for scar treatments.  To finish off the scars afterwards you will need Fraxel laser.  Best, Dr. Green

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