Understanding How Non-Invasive Acne Scar Treatments Work

Even if you have gotten rid of a stubborn pimple, you might need to deal with unpleasant reminders in the form of acne scars. These scars form when the underlying skin tissue (dermis) becomes damaged from popping or picking the zit. While they are not as irritating as acne itself, it can linger for years and affect your confidence.

Understandably, most people turn to acne scar treatment to fix the problem since it won’t go away on its own. Unfortunately, it can also become more noticeable as you age since the skin will start to lose collagen. Without the right acne scar treatment, the scars can become permanent.

Different Types of Acne Scars

The lack of collagen produced during the healing of the skin after an acne breakout can form twisted bands between the skin layers. When the skin layers are pulled downwards, they also sink in. This can result in depressed acne scars. There are three prevalent types of acne scars, namely:

  • Rolling scar: These are broad depressions with sloping edges
  • Boxcar scar: These are broad and rectangular depressions with steep edges
  • Ice pick scar: These are deep and narrow scars

Non-Invasive Acne Scar Treatments and How They Work

Laser Therapy

Laser treatment for acne scars will work by targeting the area affected using a beam of light set at a specific energy level. The focused energy will stimulate the tissue and will trigger the skin to repair itself.

After several procedures, the pigment of the scar will appear more like the surrounding skin. At best, this treatment option can completely eradicate acne scars. If not, it can greatly improve the skin’s appearance.


This process involves using a coarse material to scrape specific portions of the skin down to the dermis. Dermabrasion is ideal for patients with scarring and skin pigmentation issues.

However, dermabrasion is primarily recommended for individuals with severe scarring that has healed fully and for those with fair skin. Dermabrasion has been known to cause discoloration in those with dark skin tones.


Dermarolling uses a rolling device with several small needles. The device is run across the skin carefully, ensuring the underlying scar tissue is penetrated. The principle behind dermarolling and microneedling is similar to laser therapy.

The tiny pinpricks will stimulate the skin to produce more collagen. As a result, scars are lightened overtime. While this process won’t eradicate acne scars completely, multiple treatments can generate great improvements.

Dermal Fillers

Also referred to as soft-tissue fillers, dermal fillers are collagen or protein injections that are meant to plump up or fill out a specific area of the skin. Some of the most popular dermal fillers include Restylane, Bellafill, and Juvederm.

The filler is injected into the scar tissue directly and will produce immediate but short-term effects. Patients might need repeat injections yearly to ensure the acne scars won’t show up again.

Chemical Peeling

Certain chemicals like salicylic acid, phenol, and glycolic acid are considered effective treatments for acne scars. A dermatologist will place a peel containing one of the chemicals mentioned and wait for it to take effect.

The acidic substances will remove the skin’s top layer to allow new skin cells to grow and replace the scarred and old ones. While chemical peels are considered effective at minimizing the appearance of acne scars, they also come with certain risks.

Ironically, one possible side effect is scarring. That said, it is crucial that you consult with a dermatologist first so they can check your skin type and provide guidance if chemical peel is right for you.

Related Articles

Back to top button