Expert Doctor

Fillers for Acne Scars

Fillers can be used to treat acne scars by filling in any sort of depression that is created from the volume loss caused by the inflammatory process of the acne infection. . However, fillers might not work as well for ice pick scars (deep and narrow scars that look like a large and empty skin pore) that are down to the tissue. It is hard to get those scars to elevate up with just fillers.

Using fillers to treat acne scars is dependent on what type of scar the patient has on their body. Some of the fillers that can be injected include:

  • Radiesse – Made up of calcium and helps smooth the skin as well as stimulate collagen production.
  • Restylane – Adds volume to the skin and also corrects mild to severe wrinkles and scars.
  • Juvederm – Used to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds.



Fillers are temporary solutions for people who do not want a permanent fix and do not want to do undergo an invasive procedure. Fillers can offer some improvement that lasts six months to a year.



Fillers can fill in the deeper layers while lasers only work on the first millimeter of the skin.



While fillers for acne scars can help treat and reduce the amount of acne scars on the body, there are a few limitations when it comes to using the treatment. Some of the limitations include:

  • The Type of Scar Being Treated - The type of scar dictates what type of treatment can be used as well as the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Path of Least Resistance - Fillers normally want to take the path of least resistance. In other words, fillers sometimes want to fill around the scar instead of going under the scar.
  • Temporary Results - The results seen from fillers normally last six months to a year.



Following the treatment, there will be some swelling and bruising that can last for around one or two weeks.



The earlier a patient uses ice on the swelling and bruising the easier their recovery from using fillers for acne scars will be. It is important to use ice for the first few days. Avoiding blood thinners is also important. Controlling how much swelling happens by applying pressure and limiting the expansion of the swelling will make the post treatment timeframe more bearable for the patient.



Patients should get touch-ups or follow-up fillers for acne scars treatments every six months to a year. Once the final result from the previous treatment expires they can have a follow-up treatment.



There are other treatment options besides using fillers for acne scars that can show good results in dealing with acne scars. Some of the other treatment options include:

  • Excision – The procedure of removing scars by actually cutting them out during an invasive procedure.
  • Subcision – A process that separates the skin tissue in the area that is affected by deeper scar tissue. This treatment causes the scars to level off and be similar to the other skin areas.
  • Lasering – The laser will remove the top layer of skin that is damaged. The middle layer of skin is then tightened which results in smoother skin.
  • Punch Grafting – The first step is cutting out the scar. After the scar is removed, a skin graft (normally taken from behind the ear) is placed into the area where the scar used to be located. This results in smoother skin where the scar was on the patient.



There is an alternative treatment called the acne scar vitalizer treatment. It is a 5-7 step process that is all done in one treatment in about 2 hours that can attack all of those elements of acne.  It incorporates using laser resurfacing techniques, volumizing in the deeper layers with multiple approaches, as well as individual treatment of each scar based on the particular qualities of each scar. It is a pretty aggressive approach and is a comprehensive treatment for acne scars. A patient might need some anesthesia to feel comfortable during the treatment. The scars go through all the layers so it is more complicated than just treating the surface layer.



The use of fillers for acne scars is a helpful treatment for a good number of patients. While it can help fill in any areas of depression due to the acne scars, it is not the only treatment method available for a patient. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced and board-certified physician can help a patient determine the best treatment option for removing their acne scars.


Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA

Based on an exclusive interview by Philip Young, MD in Bellevue, WA