Treating Acne Scars With Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers, commonly known as a ‘liquid facelift’ are a popular, non-surgical cosmetic treatment. These injectables plump skin and lips, smooth wrinkles and restore lost volume with natural ingredients. What you may not know, is that dermal fillers can also be used to address acne scars. Treating Acne Scars With Dermal Fillers


Acne scars are indentations on the skin where cystic acne once was present. The skin-colored marks are not normally red or brown, but their texture can make them appear highly visible. Acne scars can extend the embarrassment and discomfort associated with cystic acne, long after the acne itself is cured.


Cystic acne alters the skin’s cellular structure by damaging collagen fibers underneath the surface layers of the skin. Once the inflammation of a breakout subsides, the skin can at last attempt to repair itself. But when new collagen is formed, it’s generally not as even as it was before, which results in scarring.

Scarring is more likely to be prevalent if you squeeze or pick at your acne. While acne scars on the face are normally indented, acne on the back or chest can form keloid scars, which are raised or lumpy.


Dermal filler treats acne scars by plumping underneath the depressed tissue. While your skin will not look ‘perfect’ after treatment, dermal fillers do have the potential to dramatically reduce the appearance of scars, and may spur a more accelerated natural healing process.


Acne scar treatment with dermal fillers commonly uses hyaluronic-acid based fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane. Your doctor will first cleanse the area to be treat, and then review which scars will be fill. The amount of filler needed depends on the severity of your scarring, and the number of areas to be treat. A tiny needle is then insert into the scar, and the area behind it is plump with filler. Treating Acne Scars With Dermal Fillers


Results should be immediately visible, although you may have some minor swelling or redness at the injection site. While your skin will not look exactly as it did before your acne, you should see improvements in overall smoothness.


Depending on the type of filler, dermal fillers last approximately 3-6 months before becoming reabsorbed by the body. However, hyaluronic-acid fillers are know to boost the body’s natural collagen production. Thus, treatment with dermal fillers may help break up scar tissue, resulting in long term improvements. Treating Acne Scars With Dermal Fillers


Dermal filler works best for isolate (versus widespread) scarring, and may work better for some types of acne scars, although all types can be treat. Fillers may be use on any area of the body, not just the face.

Rolling Scars: Rolling scars are wide, circular, depressed areas of the skin and respond best to treatment with dermal filler.

Boxcar Scars: Boxcar scars are circular or square shaped indentations with a more clearly defined border than rolling scars. These, too, respond well to dermal fillers.

Ice Pick Scars: Ice pick scars are deep, triangular shaped indents that are often the results of picking at acne. While they can be more difficult to treat with dermal filler, it is possible to see favorable results.

Macular Scars: Macular acne scars are red or hyperpigmented, but generally flat. Dermal filler will not change the color of these types of scars, nor reduce their appearance. Alternate treatments are suggest.

Keloid Scars: Keloid scars are raise, lumpy scars which result from the body over-repairing an area with scar tissue. Because these types of scars are already raise, alternate treatment is suggest.

Mixed Acne Scars: Most commonly, people have a mix of the above types of acne scars. Mixed scarring responds well to combination treatments, in which dermal filler is combine with a complementary scar revision method.


For best results, dermal fillers may be combine with alternate acne scarring treatments. Common alternate treatment methods include the following:

Laser Skin Resurfacing: There are two main types of laser skin resurfacing, ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers remove the top layer of the skin, while non-ablative lasers stimulate collagen by targeting deeper layers of the skin. Which type works best for you depends upon the type of scarring you have, and your tolerance for down time. 2-5 treatments are suggest for best results.

Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is an in-office treatment that works best for minimal scarring. The in-office procedure exfoliates the top layer of skin to remove dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production. It can also help prevent new acne from forming. 2-5 treatments suggest for best results.

Chemical Peels: Chemical peels smooth skin by promoting skin cell turnover and collagen growth. A chemical peel can also help with scar-related discoloration, something which dermal fillers cannot do on their own. 2-3 treatments are suggest for best results.

Microneedling: Microneedling uses a roller or a pen-like device to deliver thousands of miniscule pin pricks to the skin’s surface. This stimulates collagen production for a skin-smoothing effect. This method may be more effective for darker skin types.

Surgical Scar Removal: Surgical scar removal is a possibility for raised keloid scars, and is also effective for deep ice pick scars. Typically, surgery is follow by one of the above methods at a later date.

If your acne scars are bothering you, there are several treatment options available. Consult with your doctor to find out if your scars are well suit for a dermal filler treatment, another method, or a combination of approaches.

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