A question that we hear a lot in the clinic has to do with acne scars: can we remove it? While the general answer is yes, it’s important to realise that there are some restrictions on what we can realistically do. There are several factors that affect the results than can be achieved.
Depth of scarring
While CO2 Laser Resurfacing can help scars up to a certain depth, deeper scarring can only be improved, not eliminated completely.
Amount of scarring
If you have only mild to moderate acne scarring, then you can usually and realistically expect to see an overall reduction in scarring of around 30-50%.
Type of treatment used
There are a number of different treatments that we can use to remove or lessen the appearance of acne scarring:
- Medical-Grade Microdermabrasion is a very superficial treatment that removes only the very top layer of skin and therefore reduces only minimally the appearance of scarring.
- Collagen Induction Therapy stimulates the production of the skin’s collagen framework under the scars with a series of tiny needle punctures.
- Dermal Fillers are very commonly used to fill out acne scars – more so the ‘valley’ type shapes of acne scars.
- Surgical Excision can be used to remove or diminish raised or large ‘crater’ type scars.
- CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing is probably the most effective tool overall to reduce acne scars.
Please note that chemical peeling, although excellent for other skin conditions, is generally not useful for acne scarring unless the scarring is very fine.
Are there any reasons that treatments might not be for me?
If you have been taking Roaccutane for acne, you must wait for 6-12 months after finishing it before having any resurfacing treatments.
If you are still experiencing acne then you should defer treatment of the scarring until all active acne has been eradicated and there are no more major outbreaks.
Want more information?
Find out more about the type of Acne Scars and their Best Treatments.