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What are the Different Types of Acne Scar Removal?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Acne scar removal is an option that many people consider. Normally, this type of skin restoration is conducted only in situations where acne has left behind scarring that is very prominent. Fortunately, there are several different methods that can be used to repair the damage caused by acne and provide the individual with a healthy complexion.

One of the more common types of acne scar removal is known as dermabrasion. With this approach, the top layers of skin are removed, making it possible to smooth and contour the scars left by the acne. This technique works especially well with surface scarring, but can also minimize the appearance of deeper scars. Typically, a dermatologist will confer with the patient ahead of time and set reasonable expectations for the amount of improvement that can be expected with this kind of treatment.

Along with dermabrasion, the use of collagen injections has become a common approach to acne scar removal. The collagen is injected directly into the areas where the scarring is present. This form of acne scar removal treatment works best with superficial scars left from acne, but may also help with deeper scarring. Unlike dermabrasion, collagen injections provide only a temporary solution. In order to maintain the appearance, it is necessary to repeat the injections every few months.

The transfer of body fat to the damaged skin is another effective acne scar removal technique. With this solution, the fat is harvested from elsewhere around the body, then injected directly into the skin. The fat helps to smooth out the acne scars, elevating the deeper scars so the pitted appearance of the skin is minimized. Fat transfer treatments tend to provide longer lasting results than collagen injections, as the procedure does not have to be repeated for anywhere from six to eighteen months.

Laser acne scar removal is another viable solution. This type of treatment helps to change the contours of the scar tissue generated by the acne, while also removing some of the redness that is usually left by the lesions caused by the skin condition. Unlike some other methods, the use of laser technology to combat acne scarring normally requires only one treatment. However, there may be some lingering redness for a few months, owing to the powerful energy bursts that the skin absorbs.

For severe cases of acne scarring, surgery may be the most effective means of acne scar removal. Depending on the degree of scarring present, it may be possible to use skin grafts to fill in the lesions left behind. Other situations call for the removal of the damaged skin altogether and replacing it with a larger graft harvested from another area of the body.

A qualified dermatologist can determine the best acne scar removal approach, based on the patient’s situation. In general, the cost associated with the removal will vary based on the type of treatment used. A treatment that is intended to be a more permanent solution usually is more expensive than solutions that offer temporary results. However, people with severe acne scarring may opt for treatments that are more likely to produce long-term improvements, and avoid recurring expenses associated with the temporary solutions.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By stoneMason — On Feb 23, 2014

I'm scared of surgical procedures so I'm trying to remove my acne scars with natural remedies and oils. I'm using salicylic acid and vitamin E oil to help my scars heal. The small ones are definitely improving, but it appears as though the larger scars will take a lot longer.

By turquoise — On Feb 23, 2014

@fBoyle-- I'm not sure how dermabrasion can be done at home. It's usually done at the dermatologist's office. It's a method where the top layer of skin is removed but it requires equipment and care that can only be provided at a doctor's office.

Skin peeling is one of the best ways to remove scars. Scars occur on the top layer of skin and when this layer is removed, fresh skin without scars and blemishes come up.

There are side effects to this method. It takes a while to recover, depending on the peeling method that is used. I've gotten an AHA acne peel before and it worked great and removed my acne scars. But it took about two weeks for my skin to recover.

By fBoyle — On Feb 22, 2014

I tried an at home dermabrasion kit that I bought from a pharmacy. It didn't work. My acne and scars did not go away. My skin just became irritated and dry. I returned the kit.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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