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Acne Scars

Dermabrasion For Acne Scars
Name Description Cost
Dermabrasion Dermabrasion is a good treatment for permanently improving acne scars. It is especially useful for boxcar scars. A mechanical rotating tool is used to sand away the epidermis and the dermis...more Dermabrasion of a single acne pit costs about $100. Full facial treatment costs between...more

Chemical Peels Recommended For Acne Scars Chemical peels resurface the skin using concentrated acid to remove the top layers. By damaging the scar tissue in a controlled manner, and encouraging collagen growth, skin is forced to grow back smoother, tighter, and with fewer blemishes.
Name Description Cost
BHA peel A 30% BHA peel can be used to address mild acne scarring. Deeper scars may not respond to the BHA chemicals. Expect to pay $100 to $450 per treatment for up to six sessions of BHA peel treatment for...more
Obagi blue peel The Obagi Blue Peel is a good treatment for shallow atrophic acne scars. Obagi peels are best for individuals with light skin, since the treatment can cause hypopigmentation and splotchy...more Treatment of acne scars for the entire face with Obagi blue peels ranges from $500 to $2,000.
Jessners peel The medium strength Jessners peel can reduce shallow atrophic acne scars. As with most chemical peels, it is recommended for lighter skinned individuals who are less likely to experience...more Each Jessners peel treatment costs about $100 to $500. When used as an addition to TCA peel...more
Phenol peel Phenol peels are used to treat boxcar acne scars. The phenol peel is one of the deepest and strongest peels available. Spot treatment of boxcar scars with a phenol peel costs about $150 per...more Spot treatment of boxcar scars with a phenol peel costs about $150 per scar.
TCA peel TCA, a medium depth chemical peel, is used to spot-treat acne scars, particularly deep ice pick scars. The chemicals also stimulate collagen production over several months, plumping up...more A spot treatment with TCA costs about $150.

Laser Treatments For Acne Scars Laser acne scar revision is accomplished by heating the lower layers of skin and increasing collagen production, which fills in the scar from underneath. Laser resurfacing is especially effective for boxcar scar and shallow atrophic scar treatment.
Name Description Cost
Ablative laser skin resurfacing Fractional ablative lasers are good for acne scar treatment, especially boxcar scars. Fractional ablative lasers directly affect the surface of the skin. They also split the laser energy...more Fractional ablative laser treatment cost between $500 and $2,500 depending on the size of...more
Fractional laser resurfacing Fractional non-ablative lasers pass over the skin’s surface, causing limited damage to the exterior while increasing collagen production below its surface. Fractional lasers distribute laser...more Sessions can cost $750 to $1,500.
Ablative laser skin resurfacing Ablative lasers are a good treatment for facial acne scarring, especially boxcar scars. Ablative lasers deliberately damage the skin’s outer layer and the underlying tissues, resulting in...more Ablative laser treatment of acne scars costs approximately $2,000.
Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing Non-ablative lasers increase collagen production by plumping the skin from underneath, making them a useful tool for smoothing acne-scarred skin. Non-ablative lasers are normally not...more Sessions can cost $250 to $500.

Fillers For Acne Scars Fillers can temporarily fill broad acne scars, such as valley scars, and craters. Keep in mind that the effects of fillers are typically not as long lasting as laser resurfacing treatments. Very deep ice pick scars typically do not respond to fillers, as the scar is too deep.
Name Description Cost
Fat transfer (injection) Autologous fat transfers, a process by which a patient’s own fat is harvested and transferred to another part of the body, is an accepted treatment for filling shallow atrophic acne scars. It...more Fat transfers cost $1,500 to $4,000 depending on the amount of fat transferred.
Hyaluronic acid fillers Hyaluronic acid injections fill in depressed acne scars by amplifying the skin, leveling uneven surfaces. Most hyaluronic acid fillers last about six months before being reabsorbed into the...more The average cost varies from about $500 to $1,000 per syringeful. Some treatments require...more
Restylane Restylane is a popular hyaluronic acid based dermal filler that is safe for filling up depressed acne scars. Restylane injections cost $500 - $1,000 per syringe and last six months to a year. If you only have a few deep pitted or valley scars, it’s possible that a smaller syringe of...more
Perlane Perlane is a good filler for depressed acne scars, like boxcar and valley scars. Unless scarring is very extensive, one syringe of Perlane should be enough to fill scarring. Perlane costs $500 to $900 per syringe and lasts approximately nine months.
Juvederm Juvederm Ultra Plus is approved for filling in superficial skin depressions. This thick filler treats deep valley acne scars for about $450 to $900 - the cost of a single syringe. Smaller...more The amount of Juvederm you require to fill acne scars depends on how many scars you have and...more
ArteFill Acne scars, particularly deep, depressed scars like valley and boxcar scars, are good candidates for being treated by Artefill. Artefill is a semi-permanent filler used off-label to fill...more One syringe of Artefill, at approximately $1,200 to $1,800 per, should be enough to smooth...more

Surgery For Acne Scars When creams, lasers, and peels fail to reduce acne scarring, atrophic and hypertrophic scars can be removed through more invasive means.
Name Description Cost
Punch excisional surgery "Punch" methods provide a more forceful fix for acne scars. Punch excision, punch grafting, and punch elevation all begin in the same way, cutting out the scar with a circular knife. After...more It should cost about $250 to $750 per punch excision.

Treatments Not Recommended
Name Description
Botox Botox and Dysport injections deliver botulinum toxin beneath the skin to immobilize overactive muscles. Neither of these injectables can fill in or level acne scars.
Dysport Botox and Dysport injections deliver botulinum toxin beneath the skin to immobilize overactive muscles. Neither of these injectables can fill in or level acne scars.
Sculptra Sculptra is a dermal filler that stimulates collagen production over time. This thick, firm filler is not ideal for treating acne scars because it can form lumps when placed too close to the surface of the skin.
Radiesse Although Radiesse has been used for filling in isolated acne scars, the calcium-derived injectable has a tendency to form nodules.

Treatment options: Laser treatments, such as carbon dioxide lasers (CO2) and erbium:YAG lasers (er:YAG), can also help remove scars by resurfacing the problematic exterior layer of skin. Another method known to help is dermabrasion, which essentially sands away the top layer of skin.

Surgical treatments: When creams, lasers, and peels fail to reduce acne scarring, "punch" methods can provide a manual fix. Punch excision, punch grafting, and punch elevation all begin in the same way, cutting out the scar with a circular knife. After "punching" a hole around the tissue, the small hole is sewn up. This method is particularly useful for ice pick scars. Grafting refills the hole with skin transferred from (usually) behind the ear. Elevation is best for boxcar scars, a surgical method in which the scar is manually leveled.

Rolling scars require an alternative method known as subcision, or subcutaneous incision, in which a needle is inserted under the scar and then moved back and forth. This breaks up the fibrous tissues under the scar that are causing the skin to be pulled down.

Hypertrophic scars are more disfiguring and tend to reappear even after removal. They most commonly pop up on the chest and back. These thick, red scars are irregular in shape, and are best treated with excision of the tissue or steroid injections to shrink the raised scars.