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Scarring Treatment

Acne scars are permanent textural changes and indentations that occur on the skin as a result of severe acne.

The appearance of acne scaring can be treated in various ways, including Dermal Filler with Hyaluronic Acid, Laser Skin Resurfacing and Microneedling with SkinPen. 

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Acne Scarring Treatment London

What is Acne Scarring?

The term “scarring” is not used for the temporary red and brown marks left early after acne has occurred as these marks will almost always improve without treatment.

Acne leaves three major types of scars:

  • Ice pick: deep but small pits
  • Boxcar: sharp angles and edges; can be shallow or deep
  • Rolling: tend to be wide and shallow (a wavy look) caused by damage under the surface

What are the main causes of acne scarring?

Post severe acne, large pus-filled spaces known as acne cysts are formed. These cysts destroy skin tissue which is not replaced during the healing process. When the cyst eventually empties and the area heals, it usually leaves behind an indentation (or scar) on the face, chest or back. The scarring can appear lumpy which is known as “hypertrophic” or “keloid” scarring.

Acne Scarring Treatments

At London Real Skin, we provide a full range of acne treatments to reduce scarring and improve overall skin appearance on the face, chest and back. In some cases, a combination of different treatments is required.

The ideal treatment will depend on four main factors:

  • Skin type (skin type is classified according to the amount of pigment in the skin)
  • Type of scar (scars can be” rolling”, “atrophic”,” box car”, “ice pick” or “anchored”)
  • Downtime available (time it takes the skin to heal after the procedure)
  • Cost of the procedure

Benefits of acne scarring treatment 

  • Post treatment, the skin will be more hydrated, have a smoother, tighter texture and the scars will appear less visible.
  • Treatment options include popular advanced technological methods that are FDA approved and are clinically proven to treat acne scarring safely and effectively.
  • Can treat many areas including the face, back, neck and chest.
  • Results are visible either immediately or within 2 weeks of treatment, depending on the treatment option chosen, and are long lasting. 
  • Downtime is considered moderate to minimal, depending on the treatment procedure.
  • Suitable on all skin types.
  • All treatments are carried out by  Nurses and Aesthetic Practitioners who are highly skilled and experienced in treating acne scarring with a variety of different methods.

Popular Treatments

Dermal Filler

Dermal fillers can improve the appearance of acne scarring by lifting the depressed scars. A small quantity of Hyaluronic Acid which has  a smooth gel consistency and is a naturally-occurring substance within the body, will be injected under the scar to lift the area and reduce its appearance. Hyaluronic filler injections are best used for atrophic scars and rolling scars. The results are immediate and can last between 12 to 18 months. Learn more about our Dermal Fillers.

Laser Skin Treatments

We use Erbium Yag Laser to treat acne scarring. The laser produces energy in the mid-infrared invisible light spectrum. It can be used to precisely target skin and water-holding tissue, leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. This creates a controlled thermal injury or wound that leads to remodelling of collagen (the protein in the skin that controls skin strength and elasticity) thus making the scar less visible. 2 to 5 sessions may be required for optimal results. Learn more about our Laser Facial Rejuvenation treatments or Laser Skin Resurfacing.


Skin needling can be effective in the treatment of acne scars. Pen devices have largely replaced skin needling rollers. We utilise a medical grade device (Skin Pen Precision) to treat acne scarring. SkinPen microneedling, as the name suggests, delivers needles of varying depths (0.5 to 3 mm) into the dermal layers of the skin. Needling breaks down scar tissue and stimulates the formation of new collagen. This treatment is ideal for darker skin types, and can be combined with Dermal Fillers for optimal results. Learn more about our Skin Pen micro-needling treatment.

Before & After

Before After Dermatology-Led Aesthetic Clinic in LondonDermatology-Led Aesthetic Clinic in London
Before After Dermatology-Led Aesthetic Clinic in LondonDermatology-Led Aesthetic Clinic in London

Frequently Asked Questions

Each person is different and so will require a personalised approach to treating their acne scarring. We have a number of evidence based treatments here at the clinic that are effective and safe in reducing and minimising acne scarring. 

Your treatment plan may involve microneedling, dermal filler injections, laser treatment, and the use of skincare products, which will all be discussed with you during your initial in-depth skin consultation. Factors that can determine a treatment option include skin type, type of scarring, the downtime required and the cost of the different procedures.

Acne scarring treatments can provide long lasting results. Results may vary according to each patient. These are dependent on a number of factors including lifestyle, age and medical history.

Acne scar treatment is relatively painless. Any dermal fillers used for injecting contain a local anaesthetic so you may feel a small pin-prick initially. And during Skinpen microneedling treatment, we also use a topical anaesthetic which numbs the area.

Laser treatment may also make the skin feel hot like a sunburn, but we will advise on aftercare to help make this a more comfortable and easy experience for you.

With Dermal Filler, there may be some bleeding during the treatment. As a result, there may be some bruising and swelling in the injected area that can last for 24 to 48 hours. Your Practitioner may recommend applying ice for 15 minutes afterwards on the injected area to minimise swelling and to make it more comfortable and assist with the healing process.

Acne on its own will usually clear up or subside periodically whilst acne scars may remain due to damaged skin. Scarring of the tissue is usually a result of trauma, picking and scratching which can cause scarring during the healing process.

Our highly skilled and experienced practitioners will meet with you to deeply understand your concerns and provide a bespoke treatment plan that will help improve the appearance of the skin.

Any type of acne has the unfortunate ability to cause acne scars. It’s more likely to happen when spots like pustules, nodules and cysts burst and cause damage to the skin, creating a larger wound and higher potential for deeper lasting scars.

Nodules are larger than pustules and go a bit deeper into the skin, so they tend to hurt more. Cysts are much larger than both pustules and nodules, and they go much deeper into the skin. Cysts are filled with puss, can be very painful and are most likely to scar.

If you pick or squeeze your acne at home, you may also increase the risk of acne scarring due to damaging the skin.

Acne scars are formed by damage to the skin that causes increased tissue formation following an acne outbreak. Scars vary in form of which they are created, some can indent the skin, others raise above it, and others cause a flat scar /in the affected area.

Hypertrophic and keloid scars are the scars you see that are raised above the skin. Atrophic scars are more common in acne scarring; they indent the skin due to a loss of tissue.

The hardest acne to get rid of is most likely a form called ‘Acne Congolbata’. This is one of the more severe forms of acne and has a very high likely hood of leaving lasting scar damage to the skin.

Acne Congolbata can infect the face, neck, chest, arms and buttocks. Its signature is that of inflamed nodules that are interwoven under the skin with other nodules.

Acne scars can look like indents on the skin, often referred to as ice pick scars. Acne scars can also look like raised bumps of scar tissue, or flat scars on the skin.
Acne scars are not hyperpigmentation. Acne scars can often be confused with hyperpigmentation as it can look slightly similar. Treatment differs greatly between hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. This is why it’s essential to get a dermatologist to look at your skin concerns and get a proper diagnosis before moving forward with any treatment.
Acne scars are not active blemishes but are the result of blemishes from active acne. Sometimes, after acne flare up, further blemishes can bleed into the scarring areas and create larger scars. The most important way to treat acne scarring is to first get the active acne under control. Following that, we would recommend the appropriate treatment for the remaining acne scars.
Acne scars can be red due to the post-inflammatory inflammation marks left behind once the active acne outbreak has died out. Acne scars that are flat and red are called Post Inflammatory Erythema.
Some of the more minor red or brown marks left behind by acne scars may fade within a year or so on their own. However, deeper acne scars will need treatment to start to fade and heal. The most severe acne scars will need treatment to improve their appearance and there is a chance that it may never fully disappear. There are many treatments we offer that can help reduce and improve the appearance of acne scars. Some of the treatments for acne scarring include microdermabrasion, derma filler, skin peels and laser resurfacing treatments. Our expert dermatologist and aestheticians can talk you through the various options available to you for treatment, depending on the overall look and appearance of your acne scars.
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