The appearance of some acne scars can be improved using injections of dermal fillers. These are substances, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid which are both normal substances found in the dermis (undersurface) of the skin. By injecting these materials beneath shallow scars, the scars are forced to become elevated and appear less obvious. This is only a temporary treatment since the injections have to be repeated often. Ice pick scars are best treated with surgical methods. For example, using a surgical apparatus, the deep hole of an ice pick scar can be punched out from the skin, with the remaining wound closed with a stitch. For boxcar and rolling scars, various treatments can be used. If very shallow, then they can be improved using resurfacing techniques. Dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion) is an older surgical technique that vigorously scrapes the surface off of the skin, leaving it to heal more evenly. Caution must be exercised when using this technique because of the possibility of discoloration or further scarring after healing.
Permanent Acne Scarring
For deeper boxcar scars, other techniques, such as punch elevation can be used to lift up the acne scars to be even with the surrounding normal skin. This technique involves carving out the depressed portion of the scar and pulling it up. Another similar treatment, called subcision, involves elevating depressed scars by using a needle to undermine the scars and break the fibrous strands that pull them down. Once the fibers are broken, the scar can lift up and become more even with the normal skin surface.
Advances in laser technology have also led to new and effective laser treatments for acne scars.