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Best Treatments for Acne Scars

Posted on: November 23rd, 2020 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

While covering up acne scars camouflages them to a degree, most people seek a permanent solution. Fortunately, there are various ways to minimize acne scarring. The doctors at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic discuss options for acne scar eradication.

Types of Acne Scars

The best treatment for acne scars depends on scar type. Acne scars fall into several general categories. These include:

  • Boxcar scars –Indents in the skin are known as boxcar scars. This type of scar is more often found in areas where the skin is thicker, such as the jaw and lower cheeks.
  • Ice pick scars –Usually found on the cheeks, these scars are difficult to treat. They are narrow and deep, and do not fade like some acne scars.
  • Rolling scars –These scars range in depth. Their edges make skin look uneven.

All of these scar types are associated with cystic acne, the most severe form of the condition.

Even those who do not suffer from cystic acne may end up with scarring. Hypertrophic and keloid scars form lumps where the acne was located. The former are about the same size as the original lesion, while the latter grows beyond that space.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy can diminish most types of acne scarring. It is not suitable for those still experiencing regular breakouts. The laser’s heat removes the top layer of the scarred skin. The heat also encourages healthy skin growth. Skin looks smoother and scar reddening is reduced.

The dermatologist uses a laser most suitable for the patient’s skin and scar type. Side effects may include redness and mild discomfort.


Microneedling consists of rolling micro needles over the skin. It helps to improve and   minimize the appearance of  acne scars. Microneedling may help with the hyperpigmentation some patients experience with acne.  By creating microtrauma to the skin, skin produces more collagen, the body’s most abundant protein, to heal these largely unnoticeable wounds. The boost in collagen works to smooth scars, and it is also an excellent way to improve the appearance of  fine lines. Microneedling is appropriate for cystic acne-related scarring.

There is minimal pain involved with microneedling. It is recommended to apply a numbing cream to the skin prior to treatment. It feels like a light kneading of the skin with sandpaper. The only side effect is temporary skin reddening.

Contact Us

There’s no need to live your life with acne scarring. If you would like to improve your acne scars and have questions about the best procedures for you, schedule a consultation with Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic. Please contact our La Mesa office today to request an appointment.

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology