Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011

Acne Scar Treatment

You have options when it comes to treating acne scars. The treatments vary in intensity and invasiveness depending on the level of scarring. A good dermatologist can treat the scarring with chemical peels, filler injections, surgery, laser acne scar removal, and microneedling.

Each acne treatment has pros and cons and works well with specific cases. Despite the wide variety of options, your New York dermatologist can help you determine the best treatments for your condition. It starts with an initial consultation. If you’re suffering from acne scars, don’t wait any longer.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your physician after a thorough consultation and examination for an accurate diagnosis and acne treatment plan.

Chemical Peels

An acidic solution is applied to the affected area for this treatment, which causes the skin to exfoliate and peel off. New, smoother skin regenerates in its place. Peels come in different strengths. Your dermatologist chooses which, depending on your level of scarring. The procedure takes about 15–30 minutes. You may feel a little stinging or burning during the procedure, but you should not feel any pain.

Your face may feel sensitive afterward. Skin peeling is expected to last for a few days depending on the strength of the acid used. Aftercare includes staying out of the sun and applying prescribed moisturizers. Potential risks and side effects of chemical peels include scarring, a permanent change in skin color, and reactivation of cold sores.

Dermal Filler injections

Filler injections are an acne scar treatment that gives great immediate results. Your doctor can choose from among many different filler formulations. Your doctor numbs the area with a topical cream during the procedure to reduce pain, but the pain is minimal. Then your skin experts fill your scars by injecting the fillers beneath your scar. This procedure takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of your scarring.  You may experience slight bruising, redness, or swelling on your face for the next few days. These are common but temporary side effects. Potential rare risks include vascular occlusion or infection.

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars and Microneedling

Laser resurfacing and micro-needling are frequently used in combination with other treatments. Scarred skin is traumatized to promote skin cell regeneration and collagen formation. Each laser treatment takes between 10 –30 minutes, depending on the surface area of the affected area. You’ll feel little to no pain with this procedure as numbing cream is applied before the procedure. After your procedure, your face may be pink and swollen for several hours to several days. You will not see results for weeks or even months after treatment. Risks from this acne treatment are minimal but include pain, discoloration, swelling, scarring, or infection.

Intralesional Injections

A common procedure for raised scars, this treatment requires corticosteroids to be injected into your car, which causes it to soften and flatten. The procedure isn’t painful and takes just a few minutes, depending on the size of the treated area. There are minimal side effects and risks associated with corticosteroid injections, including skin thinning and hypopigmentation.

Punch Grafts

Your dermatologist uses an instrument to punch a hole in your scarred skin to remove the scar. A plug of new skin replaces the removed skin. The procedure itself causes minimal scarring, so it’s typically recommended only for profound acne scars. Local anesthesia is often used. While healing generally takes a week or two, you can participate in daily activities the next day. The duration of acne scar removal depends on how many scars are being treated. The risks associated with punch grafts involve anesthesia, infection, scarring, and bleeding.

Subcutaneous Incision

A subcutaneous incision, also known as subcision, is typically performed for deep rolling acne scar treatment. Local anesthesia is applied to the area before the procedure, keeping your pain minimal. A thin needle is inserted under the scar to break up the fibrous bands that tether down the scar. The duration of this procedure differs depending on the treatment surface area. It takes weeks, sometimes even months, to see the effects of this treatment. A few side effects and risks associated with this treatment include temporary bruising of your skin. It takes about a week to heal from this procedure.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult a dermatologist about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board-certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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