Did you know that acne is the number one reason why people visit a dermatologist?…
Removing acne scars is a topic some people spend a reasonable amount of time agonizing over. Did you know that acne impacts almost 10% of the world’s population, and nearly 95% of those suffer from acne scarring?
Acne can pit the skin because of the production of collagen while the acne is present, causing scarring. This scarring embarrasses some of our patients, and they want a way to improve the look of their skin.
Fortunately, at the Center for Surgical Dermatology, we have a variety of different methods of improving acne scars. Which approach we use will depend on the location of the scarring and your desired outcome. We can answer the question “how to remove acne scars” quite handily, so take a look at the different tools that can give you the smooth skin you’ve been hoping for.
Methods For Improving or Removing Acne Scars
First, you must have a conversation with your dermatologist about your goals for removing acne scars. For example, what type of scarring do you have? How quickly do you want the scarring to go away? What type of budget do you have? Are you satisfied with just minimizing the scars, or is your goal to remove them altogether? Once these questions are answered, your dermatologist will be able to review the different treatments we provide so that we can choose the treatment that makes the most sense for your situation.
Being educated on all the different methods of improving or removing acne scars is essential to making an informed decision. We’ve outlined below a couple of options available for removing acne to give you an idea of the pros and cons of each method. The options include excision, microneedling, dermal fillers, and topical treatments.
Removing Acne Scars Using Surgical Excision
Surgical excision can target specific scars and remove a punched-out, depressed scar, replacing it with a perfectly-contoured, less-noticeable scar.
- Pros: This is a one-and-done procedure.
- Cons: Surgical excision creates a new, less noticeable, scar where the old scar was. The goal is that the new scar blends with your skin so that the appearance is much more subtle.
Removing Acne Scars Using Microneedling
Microneedling works by penetrating the skin, boosting your body’s collagen production. That said, microneedling pens have been cleared by the FDA as a medical device, meaning that only a certified clinician may perform the treatments.
- Pros: The clinician can adjust the needle’s depth depending on the area they are working with. Microneedling pens can reach places around the eye and upper lip, while derma rolling cannot.
- Cons: It can take 3-4 sessions spread out throughout six weeks or so to see the maximum effect. And like derma rolling, there will be a few days where the areas will be slightly red and inflamed.
Removing Acne Scars Using Dermal Fillers
If you’re looking to improve the contour of your skin, dermal fillers are also an excellent choice in the search for how to camouflage acne scars. That said, the goal of an injectable regarding acne scarring is an improvement of the scar, not complete removal. To determine if you are a good candidate to use dermal fillers to improve the look of your acne scars, you will want a thorough consultation with your dermatologist to determine the best approach, which can vary by how old the scar is, the severity of the scarring, and so on.
- Pros: Dermal fillers have the ability to give you an immediate result. Downtime is minimal, and injectables can last up to six months.
- Cons: Dermal fillers are not a permanent solution, and you will have to maintain a schedule of injections a few times a year.
Removing Acne Scars Using Topical Treatments
Topical treatments are a less dramatic but still effective treatment of acne scars. Many topical treatments can reduce not only scarring but also redness and discoloration, which is what many people mistake for acne scars.
Retinols are often used as a topical treatment, and depending on your particular situation, your dermatologist might prescribe several topical treatments to be used at once.
- Pros: More mild acne scarring can vanish within three to four months. It might be a long wait for a good result, but the results are permanent. Some deeper acne scars might not necessarily “go away” with topical treatments.
- Cons: Some topical treatments can cause itchiness and drying. Using moisturizers (oil-free) should reduce or eliminate these irritants.
Can I Remove Acne Scars from Home?
TikTok and Instagram influencers will show you many “self-help” tools that claim to be “true” derma rollers you can use from home. The needles of the device used by a dermatologist are sterile, and go much deeper into the skin, inducing a higher production of collagen and reducing the time it takes to get the desired result.
And if you don’t do it just right, if you do it too frequently, or if you don’t properly cleanse your face first, you are likely to cause permanent scarring, infection, and darkening of the skin–the exact opposite of what you want! Potential infections and a lack of a sterile environment are just a few reasons you should never try derma rolling from home – leave this to your dermatologist!
The FDA has classified a microneedling pen as a medical device, meaning it must be used by a clinician who is an expert at getting the best possible result for you. Plus, because poking microneedles into your skin is not exactly painless, a dermatologist can numb your face, ensuring your constant comfort.
Bottom line: do not attempt to use home remedies or over-the-counter devices that claim to remove acne scarring. You need a detailed consultation with a licensed dermatologist to explore all of the many acne scarring removal options. We will develop a unique strategy specific to you and your skin.
Banish Acne Scars Forever at the Center for Surgical Dermatology
Center of Surgical Dermatology is the largest medical and surgical skin treatment and wellness facility in Central Ohio. Since 2007, our board-certified dermatologists, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, and caring professional staff have provided patients with effective skincare treatments they can trust in an environment second to none. Learn more about our state-of-the-art Dermatology Center before booking your appointment today.