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Acne Scarring

Acne scars are a major problem that can be disfiguring and psychologically devastating to patients.

Acne scars affect patients of all ethnic backgrounds and skin types. Even minor breakouts can result in permanent scarring. Although it is a complex condition, treatments are available for acne scarring.

Acne scarring actually takes on different forms. Some patients will complain of persistent red or dark marks on their skin after the acne has resolved. Others might note textural changes in their skin, with rolled depressions or deep “ice pick” indentations on the skin surface.

Acne Scarring

Considering the difference in scar formation from person to person, not all acne scarring patients can be treated in the same way. Therapies need to be individualized and each case must be carefully evaluated to provide the most effective solution for each unique situation.

“I saw Dr. Mamelak for treatment of my acne scars. He performed a procedure called TCA cross. I look and feel so much better now. Thank you Dr. M!”

~ Michael

Treatments for Acne Scarring

Our experienced dermatologists offer comprehensive, customized treatments. Depending on the nature of your acne scarring, the recommended treatment may include one or multiple options to smooth the skin’s texture and address pigmentation issues. Treatment plans are tailored for your specific skin type and needs for the best possible results. The best solution or combination of options will be discussed with you during your appointment with one of our dermatologists. In general, our acne scarring patients can benefit from one or more of the following:

Fractional Laser Therapy

Fractional laser skin resurfacing has proven to be a highly effective method for improving skin texture from acne scarring. During this treatment, the fractional laser technology will direct a beam of laser energy to the target area, which helps break up scar tissue while allowing for new collagen to be placed underneath the skin. This provides a smoothing effect as the area heals, helping diminish any signs of scarring.


Subcision is ideal for those who have rolled depressions from acne scars. After the skin is numbed, a specially made needle is gently inserted under the scarred skin. With this needle, the fibrous tissue that is pulling the scar down creating a depression is detached. New collagen is then placed underneath the treatment area, helping even out the irregular skin texture. Some patients may also benefit from dermal filler injections to provide additional volume in the target area.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are often used to help reduce the appearance of acne scarring by stimulating the growth of new, healthier skin. Our dermatologists typically recommend one of two chemical peel options. In the total face chemical peel, the chemical-based material is placed across the entire face, which can be especially helpful for discoloration. In the CROSS approach, each acne scar is individually treated with a small amount of the highly concentrated peel material. This eliminates the scar, helping the skin regenerate for a smoother result.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers for acne scars may be recommended to help raise noticeable depressions. This involves the injection of one of our fillers under the skin, such as collagen, RADIESSE®, JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, or Sculptra® Aesthetic. By administering a dermal filler in the sunken area, lost volume is restored, creating a smoother skin surface.


Dermabrasion strategically removes damaged skin layers to help eliminate scarring caused by acne. One of our skincare professionals will carefully guide a diamond-tipped tool across the target area to remove the affected skin. This precise, abrasive process stimulates the skin to regenerate, creating a smoother, healthier layer with minimal signs of previous scarring.


Mini-excisions can be highly beneficial for people left with very deep or raised scars from acne. In the mini-excision procedure, the large scars are completely excised, and the nearby skin is then closed using stitches. This scar reduction method can significantly improve the appearance of the scarred skin, leaving only a small, subtle line behind from the stitches once they have healed.


The microneedling procedure involves the use of ultra thin medical-grade needles to make microscopic perforations across the skin. This process breaks up the scar tissue, stimulating the body’s natural healing process. This causes the skin to regenerate its collagen to create a smoother, more evenly toned surface.

Because patients often present with different types of scarring, a combination of these procedures may be required to maximize your scar treatment outcome. Our dermatologists will develop a comprehensive approach to acne scarring for each patient, individualizing treatment in order to provide the highest success in improving the skin appearance.

If you would like more information about our acne scarring treatment options, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists, please contact Sanova Dermatology today.