Will Collagen Injections Get Rid of Acne Scars?

I have horrible acne scars, and a friend suggested that injections of collagen could help. How expensive it this? Will it work and does it last?

Doctor Answers 12

Collagen for acne scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This would depend on how many acne scars you have and their type. If you have a few acne scars and they have shallow shoulders, collagen might be a good answer.

Stretch the skin between the scar. If it flattens out, then Collagen might be a good choice. It is the cheapest option, since a 1/2 cc should run you about $125. The results last for about 9 months to a year.

Unlike collagen for other areas, collagen for scars is to under muscular tension and this gives it its relative longevity. I prefer collagen (Cosmoderm) for acne scars, but Resylane is also a good choice. I actually enjoy doing these injections since they are safe and provide lots of patient gratification.

Limitation: Deep ice pick scars do not do well. You did not ask about other treatments for acne scarring but some very good ones are out there, including chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing and Fraxel. They all do well. The gold standard would be laser ablative surgery, in which the whole epidermis is destroyed by light and then permitted to grow back in.

There can be problems with pigment differentiation and scarring. Fraxel is a fractionated laser that removes small areas in a rapid and consistent pattern. The results are not as good, but there is less down time, and this is a far safer technique.

Also, there are various suture techniques. These include punch grafts, in which the acne scar is punched out and then the skin is gently sewn together, and subcision, in which the strands tethering the scars to the skin are eliminated and fillers injected. Plain skilled surgery is another means of correcting the problem.

Hope this answers some of your questions.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Collagen is one solution to acne scars. Unfortunately,...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Collagen is one solution to acne scars. Unfortunately, it is a temporary solution for a permanent problem. There are other fillers which can last longer but if you are talking about scars that collagen would be able to treat - think multi-faceted approach for long term results.

For deep scars, which collagen would be used to treat, a deep chemical peel, ablative laser (CO2 or erbium) resurfacing, or dermabrasion/dermasanding may be necessary. For deeper scars, deeper solutions are necessary. Again, several options exist.

  • Deeper scars can be surgically excised with the larger acne scar replaced with a surgically placed small line. This can later be refined with other rejuvenation techniques.
  • Punch grafting affords a simple method for treating multiple scars. A circular punch is used to create an incision around an acne scar. The scar is then allowed to heal and the resulting skin irregularity is smoothed.
  • Subcision involves releasing the tethering attachments underneath the scar and then filling the space with either a temporary or permanent filler to prevent the scar from reforming when it heals. With the advent of new temporary artificial fillers such as hyaluronic acid, this is a good option for larger depressed scars.

Whatever the treatment option, it is important to consult a physician with a large arsenal of treatment options – if a physician only sells a cheeseburger, then you get sold a cheeseburger, even if you need a bacon burger. It is also important to remember that just as acne scars did not form overnight, treatment can sometimes take months to get the desired result.

Once you find an experienced physician and decide on a treatment option, remember that it’s a long road but one that is usually worth the wait.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Collagen injections are one of many options to treat acne scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Acne scars are the result of long time infection and inflammation of the skin’s glands; the result is an uneven surface with peaks and valleys.

There are many treatments for acne scars, and filler injections, such as collagen, are often helpful. Fillers help to raise the valleys so that there is less of a depression around the peaks. This means less shadowing and therefore the appearance of a smoother skin surface.

Collagen fillers, which can be of either human or bovine (cow) origin, are safe and effective to use if there is no patient allergy present. The injections usually last from 3-6 months, and can be repeated when necessary.

Other fillers, such as hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapetite, and polymethylmethacrylate beads, are also available for this purpose. The duration of these fillers is from 6 months to permanent. Each substance has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Still other treatments for acne scars include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and chemical peels. A qualified physician, with experience in all of these methods, should examine your scars before helping you choose the appropriate course.

Ira D. Papel, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Bellafill is a collagen based filler with is FDA approved for the treatment of acne scars.  The filler stimulates you body to produce collagen and has a 5 year indication.

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Collagen can work to fill in depressed scars but there are other options that are better

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Collagen can be used to fill in depressed scars. But now a days there are better fillers that last longer and have less chance of reactions. These fillers include restylane, perlane, juvederm,etc. Other options exist for more long term treatment of your scars including fat injections, subcision, co2 laser resurfacing, excision, etc. Things will continue to improve.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Collagen for acne

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Personally I think this is a waste of time and money. Fillers are a temporary measure to solve any acne problems. I have also found through personal experience that it is very hard to disguise the acne pit or saucer with a filler and not leave bumps. Fillers sound good , are safe and easy but except for mostly isolated defects I have found them to be very dissappointing for real acne problems. I see many patients who have gone the filler route and are now looking for something better and more permanent

Filler for acne scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The only FDA approved filler for acne scar treatment is Bellafill.  If you are interested in improving your scars, consider excising the deepest scars first, followed by Bellafill injection which is performed with subcision, then microneedling all of the scars for 4-6 sessions.

Bellafill has been shown to last at least 5 years and theroetically should last permanently so is a great option for younger patients so they don't have to repeat treatments.  Bellafill can be expensive but because it is permanent, you can do the treatments in stages.  Usually, a patient needs 2-4 syringes depending on the amount of scarring present.  

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Collagen for acne

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The answer is no.

A good doctor will start by framing things medically and tell you that, in general, it is impossible to "get rid" of a scar completely. No false expectations. Next, a clear explanation for ways that we treat skin to make it more cosmetically appealing. Collagen is out, Hyaluronic acid is in, and laser is one of the mainstays of treatment. 

all of these options are expensive, So see a specialist before making any decisions. 

Injections of Fillers for Acne Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Filers such as Restylane and Juvederm can definitely help improve the appearance of acne scars.  Sculptra which is longer lasting - up to two years- builds your body's own collagen and may be more lasting solution.  I also recommend lasers such as Fraxel and eMatrix since these lasers offer a more permanent solution to your acne scars.  Best, Dr. Green

Some Acne Scars Respond Well to Laser Resurfacing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It all really depends on the amount of old acne scars and how deep they are. Fillers are a good quick way of getting off some types of acne scars but they simply cover them temporarily because they basically hide the bumps and after a few months you will have the acne bumps again. So if you are looking for a quick fix that can last a few months then injections should be your choice. Sometimes, the scars would have to be subcised before a dermal filler is used. Some acne scars would respond well to laser resurfacing using fro insytance the Fraxel Repair or Fraxel Dual. Sometimes a combination of methods is called for.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 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.