What’s the Best Dermal Filler for Acne Scars?

Is there a preferred injectable brand for deep scarring?

Doctor Answers 29

There are many options for filling in scars

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Fillers are a temporary way to fill in depressed scars. Restylane can last about 6-9months, and radiesse 1-2 years. Fat can be another option to fill in scars and can last many years like 10 years give or take a few years when done right.

In my experience, using temporary fillers gives one only modest results and most people are left desiring more improvement. Other ways to lift the scar include subscision technique where you use a needle to lift the scar up so that it sits level with the plane of the rest of the skin. This can be done in conjunction with laser resurfacing. Other ways to lift up the scar is to use biopsy instruments to incise around the depressed scar and this is then lifted up into the right plane. Another way is to cut the scar out and follow this with resurfacing.


Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dermal Filler for Acne Scars

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If you have ice pick- deep narrow scars they are best treated by cutting them out with a biopsy punch and suturing the hole closed with a file suture. 
If your scars are broad and more shallow I often treat them successfully with releasing the scar from below with a long needle( called subcision) and them filling the space underneath with either Sculptra or your own fat. 
"Peeling" such scars are not the best option.

Best Dermal Fillers for Acne Scars

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Great question! It really depends on your degree of scarring. For individuals who have severe scarring with major volume depressions, I like to use a combination of Sculptra, fractioned laser, and micro-Radiesse injections. First, I use Sculptra to give a pan-facial volume restoration. I follow this up by performing fractionated laser, before finalizing with micro-Radiesse injections in the divots.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Bellafill is FDA approved for acne scar treatment

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Bellafill is the only current dermal filler FDA approved for acne scars. The scars should be relatively shallow and able to smooth out when pulled manually. Other dermal fillers can be used off-label to treat certain types of acne scars, but the effects are temporary. Generally, a combination treatment customized to your particular needs is best for treating acne scars, as there are multiple different types of acne scars as well as discoloration that can go along with them. Laser resurfacing, microneedling, and chemical peels are just a few of the various treatment options available for dealing with acne scars. The best thing to do is to see a board-certified dermatologist for an in-person consultation and evaluation to determine the best course of action for you. 

Melda A. Isaac, MD
Washington DC Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Acne scars - Make it plump and make it last

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There are so many fillers these days that it is often difficult to know which is best. Acne scars are a specialized treatment area and thus the choice is often times easier.

The two basic requirements should be that the filler plumps the skin well enough to correct the scar and second that it lasts long enough for prolonged correction.

My personal favorite is Radiesse (Calcium hydroxlapetite). This filler plumps, provides immediate correction and last approximately 9-16 months.

Microroplet silicone is another excellent alternative. This is a specialized technique performed by only a limited number of physicians. It is a permanent filler and must be used with care.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ACNE SCARS: there are many different types of acne scars (ice pick, box car, rolling type scars), and they must be approached using different techniques and combinations of techniques including lasers, acid peels and then fillers as a final therapy.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Acne Scar Treatment

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Depending on what type of acne scars you have will determine which filler you should get. Fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane can last 6-12 months. However, keep in mind that you might instead require a resurfacing laser treatment or other approach based on the actual acne scars to obtain the best result.

Fillers are a great option for atrophic acne scars

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Most acne scars- even "deep" ones are seldom greater than 1.5 mm deep. Thus- a thin filler like volbella works exceptionally well. I often combine fillers with subcision and microneedling. 

Sameer Bashey, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Filler for acne scars

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While there are several options for filler treatment for acne scars, Bellafill has FDA approval for this purpose and does a very good and long lasting job for acne scars.  It is the longest lasting being approved for 5 years but probably lasts longer.  It is a combination of bovine collagen and PMMA particles stimulating your own collagen production.  It does require a skin test to determine whether you are allergic. 

Leslie Pickens, MD
Alexandria Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Should I or Shouldn't I? Pros and Cons of Dermal Fillers for Scars

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There is only one FDA approved filler for acne scars and that's Bellafill. But that doesn't mean it's the only filler that works for scars.

Pros of Bellafill

  • Contains permanent microbeads, so once injected, it's there to stay
  • Has FDA approval and is proven in clinical studies to last at least 5 years

Cons of Bellafill

  • Once injected, it can't be "removed" or dissolved - this means if there is any problem, it's very difficult to manage
  • Contains bovine collagen which some people are allergic to

Pros of Hyaluronic Gel Fillers

  • No pre test required
  • If you don't like the results, HA gel can be removed
  • Varying filler densities can be selected

Cons of Hyaluronic Gel Fillers

  • Not permanent and will require additional injections 

Often it is the combination of laser, fractional RF, micro needling, possibly subcision or other modalities combined with fillers that get the best effect. Treatments that increase the levels of collagen in your skin provide a change generated from within. Fillers are used when scars are too deep to realistically be treated with laser or other. Subcision will "lift" the scar's floor so other treatment and/or filler requirement is diminished.

Most popular fillers for acne scars

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Thanks for your inquiry. Injectable fillers are best used for shallow, saucer-shaped scarring. This type of treatment is used to fill in or plump up the area of scarring to reduce the look of and the damage of the area. While many surgeons have prefer one over another, there are different factors to consider, so an in-person consultation is the best way to determine which filler is best for you. The most popular dermal filler brands to correct acne scarring are Juvéderm, Restylane, Perlane, and Radiesse. These are all brands that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada, and they are recommended by highly acclaimed cosmetic surgeons in North America.

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.