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Best Topical Treatments for Acne Scarring

Best Topical Treatments for Acne Scarring Best Topical Treatments for Acne Scarring

Acne is a common skin problem that typically develops on adolescent boys and girls but can also affect individuals for the first time in their late 20s and early 30s. Sometimes, acne can create slight scarring on the skin, which can occur in the form of a slight depression, raised skin or discolorations. This scarring can be noticeable when large areas of the skin are affected, prompting many people to seek methods of reducing or removing the scars.

Laser Treatments

According to the Mayo Clinic, laser treatments consist of a concentrated laser beam resurfacing the skin by destroying the epidermis--the outer layer of the skin--and heating the dermis layers beneath. This creates a slight wound that prompts the body to heal through the creation of new skin cells. The new skin growth effectively replaces the scar, resulting in a diminished appearance and sometimes, if the scarring and laser treatment are both minor, virtually unblemished skin. Similar treatments to lasers, such as pulsed light sources and radiofrequency devices, may take several treatments but can oftentimes achieve the same result.

Collagen Injections

Sometimes called tissue fillers, these injections place collagen into the fat of the skin or directly beneath the skin to raise depressed acne scars to the same level as the rest of the skin, diminishing their visibility. The downside to collagen injections is that they only provide a temporary solution and need to be repeated periodically to maintain their benefit.


Dermabrasion produces a similar result as laser treatments, removing a top layer of the epidermis to stimulate new skin growth. This is done by applying a fast-rotating wire brush or diamond to the skin, wearing away the skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, surface scars can be completely removed, while more significant acne scarring may be diminished in appearance.

Surgical Procedures

Although the surgery is usually minor, it is oftentimes one of the last resorts for acne scar removal due to its complexity. This surgery usually utilizes a punch excision to cut individual acne scars out of the skin. The hole is then repaired using stitches or a skin graft. However, this process is less effective on larger areas because the size of the incision and stitching or skin graft become larger, more complex and present greater risk.

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