menu
BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Baylor Dermatology Clinic

Acne Scar Surgery

Acne scars come in many forms. No one treatment is able to best treat all scars. We offer many options in order to best treat any patients suffering from disfiguring acne scars. Scars are divided into many subgroups

  • Rolling (softly indented scars)
  • Boxcar (depressed scars with a sharp border)
  • Ice pick (narrow, but deep small scars)
  • Hypertrophic or Keloidal (inflamed and thickened scars)
  • Dark pigmentation (discoloration is not true scarring and usually slowly resolves without treatment)
  • Erythematous (pink or red areas but not true scarring, usually slowly resolves without treatment)

Options

Candela Smoothbeam Laser (1450 nm Diode laser) Four sessions deliver mild to moderate improvement in most acne scars. In addition, active acne is improved an average of 70 percent. Virtually no downtime (usually 1-4 hours of redness).

Fraxel Re:store Laser (Non-ablative Fractional Resurfacing) The latest technique to smooth the skin, fractional resurfacing is one of the most exciting recent advances in laser treatment. Though more research needs to be done to better assess the average amount of improvement, this has the potential to significantly improve the appearance of most acne scars. Expect minimal downtime (1-2 days of swelling, 2-4 days of redness, 4-7 days of peeling).

Candela V-Beam Laser (Pulsed Dye Laser) A good option for pink scars, including hypertrophic or keloidal scars. The laser is used to remove unwanted blood vessels that produce the pink appearance. This may cause a bruise lasting 3-10 days.

Lumenis Ultrapulse Encore (Ablative Fractional Resurfacing) A more aggressive skin resurfacing device that may allow for less number of treatments compared to the Fraxel Re:store to achieve similar results.

Subcision. After a quick numbing injection, a small needle is used to break up scar tissue underneath rolling acne scars. Usually no downtime, however bruising lasting 1-2 weeks may be seen. This technique is often best combined with other techniques, such as laser treatment.

Punch Excision Very small instruments are used to surgically cut out ice pick scars. A stitch is placed. The resulting scar usually looks better than the scar it replaced.

Corticosteroid Injection Used only for hypertrophic scars or keloids, a series of injection with medicinal steroids may shrink an inflamed raised scar. Any of our dermatologists offers this technique.