microdermabrasion treatment systems

Treatments for acne scars

Red or depressed acne scars are more than a physical reminder of past breakouts. They impact our self-esteem and how we are perceived by others. Depending on the severity of the scarring, there are a variety of treatment options that can help restore your skin to a smooth, even state.

Skin resurfacing for acne scars


These professional-strength procedures remove the uppermost layers of the skin — and imperfections such as acne scarring. If you would like to start with a conservative approach, a series of six or more in-office microdermabrasion treatments may provide subtle improvement. This procedure gently resurfaces the skin by "sandblasting" it with microdermabrasion crystals that are then suctioned off along with the uppermost layer of skin. Starting at about $125 per treatment. Another option is the SilkPeel, which uses a diamond microdermabrasion wand (as opposed to crystals and suction) to exfoliate the top layer of skin while simultaneously infusing the face with a targeted serum based on your skin concerns. The procedure rapidly removes uneven patches, and a series of treatments can yield visible results.

Deep skin resurfacing for acne scarring

Starting at about $100 per treatment. Deeper resurfacing treatments such as dermabrasion provide more substantial improvement in the texture and appearance of acne scarring. Dermabrasion using a wire brush is very effective on acne scars but there is a risk of additional scarring and loss of pigmentation. During this procedure — which is performed under local anesthesia with or without oral sedation — the doctor sands down a raised scar or area of scarred skin. Since every case of acne (and the resulting scars) is different, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to determine the best course of treatment.

Collagen injections to resurface acne scars

Starting at about $1,500 per treatment. Injectables Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane can be used as an effective but temporary means to fill depressed scars without defined borders. The results are immediate and will fill the scar for about six months. In some cases the scar first needs to be released with a technique called subcision. This uses a needle to break up the connective tissue under the scar that tethers, or pulls it down. Scars that are filled without subcision may result in a "donut effect," making the scar more apparent. Some doctors are using injectable silicone off-label to treat acne scarring. It’s important to keep in mind that silicone is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic uses; the results are permanent and serious lumpiness and scarring can occur. So if you choose to undergo this treatment, you do so at your own risk.

Fractional resurfacing for acne scars

Starting at about $500 per treatment. Fractional resurfacing To date, the only FDA-approved long-lasting light-based treatment for acne scarring is fractional resurfacing, which works in two ways to treat acne scars: It resurfaces the skin to improve texture and, in some cases, erases surface scars; and it stimulates collagen production deep within the dermis to repair structural damage. It is safe for all skin types, although not recommended if you have a current breakout. After treatment you will look like you have a sunburn that can last for up to a few days, you may be somewhat swollen and your skin may be sensitive. Keep in mind that fractional resurfacing is not a one-shot deal; you’ll need at least three treatments to see a noticeable improvement. Starting at about $1,200.

By PAIGE HERMAN and MARIE KUECHEL, newbeauty.com