Top Acne Scarring Treatments Of 2021

January 03, 2021 8 min read 0 Comments

top acne scar treatments infographic

What are acne scars?

Acne scars are changes in texture and indentations that occur on the skin as a result of severe acne. These are inflamed blemishes caused by skin pores with excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells.

Why treat acne scarring?

Reasons for treating acne scarring are physical, emotional and social that includes the promotion of better skin health and improved self-esteem.

Who gets acne scars?

Acne scars appear when the acne clears already. The probability increases when a person has inflammatory acne that often includes acne cysts and nodules. Picking, squeezing or popping acne increases inflammation which results in scarring.

Also if inflammatory acne is not treated. The longer a person has inflammatory acne, the higher the risk of scarring. 

Our acne journey can be a lot painful especially when it leaves a mark, making us feel embarrassed about ourselves and our skin. They can leave different kinds of scars – raised and red, flat and even depressed.

These scars caused by acne can leave a permanent or long-lasting effect on our physical, mental and social well-being. It can also worsen our acne than it already is. There are pros and cons to trying these top acne treatments when you want to deal with acne.

These top acne treatments depending on your skin condition and type of scarring. The type of scarring can be a common and challenging one since no one can find and easy and actual solution to it. 

Here are the top 7 acne scar treatments:

  1. Microneedling
  2. Dermabrasion 
  3. Chemical Peels 
  4. Retinoic Acid
  5. Lasers
  6. Fillers
  7. Punch Excision

top acne scar treatments infographic


One of the most recommended acne scar treatments is microneedling. This procedure is great for those who want the results of laser skin resurfacing with little to no downtime.

This top acne scar treatment is now a popular solution for treating acne scars. Microneedling helps reduce the appearance of your acne scars by breaking down the old tissues and remodeling your skin with a new batch of collagen and elastin fibers.

This acne treatment also stimulates collagen production and healing factors. Your collagen is an essential protein that helps give your skin a youthful look.

Microneedling, though, is not a quick fix, as it involves your skin’s regrowth and it may take up to several months before you could see drastic results from the treatment procedure. It is an effective and safe procedure that improves your skin’s appearance as it helps reduce wrinkles, diminish scarring and tightens or rejuvenates your loose or aging skin.

Microneedles that are 1mm and longer should be performed in office by a professional since the risk is greater. 

Home acne scar treatments with a microneedling tool with a smaller bristle length can be used too, such as the Banisher 2.0.  

Here are the common microneedling tools:

  • Dermaroller

This is the most common microneedling tool which is full of tiny needles (length may vary) attached to a handle. A lot of  derma rollers may come from different brands but it’s best to use or purchase from a trusted brand for you to ensure its quality. Bent needles may thug or cause damage to your skin than healing it. 

  • Derma stamp

Needles from the  derma stamp enter the skin in a straight manner compared to that of a derma roller which comes in a slight 90-degree angle. It is a better tool for you to use should you aim for hard to reach areas such as the sides of your nose.

what is microneedling infographic


Dermabrasion is also known as a skin-resurfacing procedure which uses a rotating device and sheds off the outer skin layers. This  acne scar treatment allows new skin to take place and helps prevent the appearance of facial lines, as well as improving acne scars. It can be done either as a  stand-alone treatments or with other cosmetic procedures.

Also known as dermaplaning, dermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that is considered as physical exfoliation and removes the outermost part of the skin. This top acne scar treatment leads to a smoother surface of the skin as a result and it helps treat the following skin conditions:

  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Skin lesions
  • Age spots
  • Acne scars, pox marks, and scars from accidents or disease.
  • Burn scars (less effective)
  • Aging skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Removal of warts, moles, skin tags

This kind of acne scar treatment is often performed in the doctor’s clinic where medication is administered to the patient, the patient to relax, and they may also be numbed with some medication before the procedure starts.

This top acne scar treatment is recommended for patients with a fair skin complexion since performing this treatment on those with darker skin color may result in scarring and discoloration.


  • Another top acne scar treatment would be   chemical peels. They use different types of acid which breaks down layers of skin to help rid of any fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores and uneven skin tones which makes them less noticeable. This  acne scar treatment also helps tighten the skin, regenerate and revitalize it. The goal of chemical peel is to help achieve a more radiant complexion through exfoliating the old damaged layer of skin off.

    There are 3 types of chemical peels – superficial, medium depth and deep depth. The superficial type is the most recommended type among the three kinds of chemical peels as it has the mildest effect and requires minimal downtime.  Deeper peels run a larger risk of causing more scarring, and have a longer healing time. Aside from this, superficial chemical peels are less expensive and less painful.

    However, the setback for this top acne treatment would be the recovery period as it would take five to seven days for the result to be seen and during the recovery period, skin can look red and raw and start peeing. You would also need to be very careful to avoid the sun and cover skin with an ointment to protect it.


  • Retinoic acid  is made from Vitamin A and found only in prescription creams which help or result to skin cell turnover and minimizes collagen breakdown.

    This ingredient has been known to treat acne scars and reduce post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Side effects of this top acne scar treatment include peeling, irritation, redness, discomfort and even sensitivity to sun exposure.

    Retinol is a weaker, OTC version of tretinoin and is highly effective in reversing the damage caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays and signs of aging. Tretinoin, on the other hand, minimizes fine lines, evens out your skin color, improves skin texture and acne scars. Side effects would include intolerance to irritation and dryness.

    Results can take months of consistent use, and retinols are best used for acne scars due to hyperpigmentation and dark marks rather than pitted, or rolling acne scars. 

  • banish acne scars treatment


    Another top acne scar treatment is laser treatment. It helps reduce the appearance of your acne scars and mainly focuses on using light therapy to either help or remove the surface of your skin’s outer layer and stimulates the production of new cells as a replacement to the old and damaged cells.

    Laser treatments are done as an outpatient procedure where a skin specialist moves a laser wand over your skin, removing the damaged skin cells and make the scars disappear, including these types of scars:

    • injury scars
    • burn marks
    • acne scars
    • dark spots, age spots, and other types of hyperpigmentation

    This top acne scar treatment, however, is not recommended when you have light sensitivity due to certain medications as laser treatment involves both heat and light. Your skin specialist may also discourage you from undergoing laser treatment if you’re taking blood-thinning medications (to prevent the risk of bleeding) and other sorts of skin conditions including:

    • active acne
    • skin sores

    These treatments are categorized as ablative and non-ablative – The difference between these two types of laser treatment is that the ablative laser treatments help in removing the damaged tissue by vaporization or melting. Erbium YAG and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) lasers are the commonly used ablative laser treatments as they help erode the scar surface and tighten your collagen fibers. They are also known to have a longer recovery time. Non-ablative lasers, on the contrary, are known to show less, impressive results compared to that of the ablative laser treatment. Non-ablative laser treatments do not remove any tissue from the skin but it helps boost collagen production and tighten your skin. The commonly used non-ablative laser treatments are the Diode and NdYAG lasers.

    The fractional CO2 laser is a commonly known laser used to treat acne, resurfacing the sizes of the scars. A variety of sizes and densities are being used to meet the patient’s needs when it comes to healing or treating acne. It can be easily used on other body parts other than your face. 

    Laser resurfacing may be combined with aesthetic facial surgery such as facelift or neck lift to achieve possible results.

    Smoothbeam Laser Treatment is another form of laser treatment that involves using low energy, 1450 nm-diode laser to treat acne scars. This type of laser treatment also uses a dynamic cooling device that cools the targeted area with short blasts of cryogen spray. Smoothbeam Laser Treatment helps protect the epidermis and is quickly followed by the other laser beam targeting the upper dermis.

    According to a study, this laser treatment method needs to be refined or improved and that the methods are more standardized in order to minimize the side effects of the said procedure. 30 subjects who are involved in the study reported to have post-acne scars and have been treated for 18 months (including follow up sessions until 6 months post-treatment). However, only 53.3% of these cases had satisfactory results while about 66.7% had post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

    Profractional Laser Treatment for Acne Scars or Erbium laser helps treat the fractions of the skin by creating a number of micro-channels with skin tissues to boost collagen production and smoothen acne scars. It also helps improve the appearance of acne scars and tightens the skin, minimizes wrinkles, improves skin texture and reduces photodamage.

    Laser resurfacing treatment is non-invasive and usually ensures positive results. However, there are risks involved in this treatment. Before thinking about undergoing laser treatment, consider its pros and cons.

    This laser treatment is non-invasive and ensures positive results. Take note though that there are also risks involved in undergoing this treatment so before proceeding with this top 4 acne treatment, it is best to consider the pros and cons first or consult with your skin specialist just to make sure.


  • Fillers are less-expensive forms of acne scar treatment which help give you a younger look. This 5th top acne treatment is helpful for treating wrinkles, hollows, and lines and also plumps up your cheeks, lips, hands, chin, jawlines, and temples. 

    Fillers reduce the appearance of any wrinkles and skin folds around the mouth and nose, even filling the depressed scars and certain areas of the chin. This top acne treatment may be used for non-surgical chin augmentations and non-surgical nose lifts.

    Dermal fillers, on the other hand, help in treating and getting rid of a certain type of acne scars. These fillers are safe and well-tolerated, particularly effective for rolling scars and less defined boxcar scars. Dermal fillers are classified into 3 types: temporary, semi-permanent and permanent.

    Medical-grade silicon has been used for soft-tissue augmentation.


    Also known as punch biopsy or subcision, punch excision is a method where all types of facial scars are removed using a small punch tool. They puncture the skin’s top layer and creates an opening to allow removal of any cyst or pore.

    Punch excision also treats deep ice pick scars in which the dermatologist makes an incision on your skin, removes the scar and places a graft over that area. It may leave behind a scar that is less noticeable than the original one.

    This top acne treatment is recommended for patients having deep pitted scars that are unresponsive to the TCA Cross Technique.

    No one asked to have acne scars, right? But having acne is very common and having some scars after is normal too.  If you'd like to start fading your acne scars, try any of the top acne scar treatments mentioned above. If you're ever in doubt, check with your dermatologist to make sure you're picking the best options for your skin type!

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