Scars are an indelible reminder of acne
can play havoc with the social functioning of
the patient leading to stress and anxiety
reduce QOL as great as that with epilepsy,
asthma, diabetes or arthritis.
Limited treatment options for acne scars
leave prevention as the best remedy for
scar prone patients.
Atrophic and Hypertrophic (3 : 1).
Atrophic Acne Scars: 3 types;
Icepick- 60–70% of total scars, the boxcar 20–30% and rolling scars 15–25%.
Of pilosebaceous follicles.
Dermal inflammation greater potential for
GRANULATION TISSUE FORMATION
Normal wound- type III collagen
Mature scars - type I collagen.
Scar prone patients- prolonged cycles of MMPs
Goodman and Baron devised a qualitative scarring grading system that is simple and universally
applicable except in severe cases where different patterns are simultaneously present in a
Combination of medical and surgical approaches
Communication with patients- gain trust and confidence
Understanding patients’ expectations
Pre and post-treatment photographs.
Examination of skin- scar type, extent, tendency for pigmentation and keloid formation.
Skin Needling Therapy, Dermaroller Therapy Or Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT)
Dermaroller- drum shaped roller, studded with 192 microneedles in eight rows.
Needle length ranging from 0.5 to 2 mm.
1.5 mm- mc used. 2 mm- deeper atrophic scar.
Motorized dermastamps- needle cartridges attached to a motor device having a to-
and-fro movement inducing pricks.
Home care dermastamps.
Grade 3 and 4 scars-- rolling and boxcar scars.
Active herpes labialis
Patients on isotretinoin therapy within 6m
Disinfection and anesthetization with EMLA
Rolled four times in four different directions:
horizontally, vertically, and diagonally right and left.
To ensure even pricking pattern, resulting in about
Endpoint- uniform bleeding points.
Skin stretched perpendicular to direction of
dermaroller movement to reach the base of the scars.
Mild swelling and superficial bruising.
Oral analgesics for needle size is >2 mm.
A total of 3-4 treatment sessions, repeated at 4–8
Full result in 8–12 months
Improvement in acne scar continues even after 6
months after the last dermaroller therapy.
Combine with other techniques for better results.
G Fabbrocini et al. confirms that dermaroller therapy was highly effective in treatment of rolling acne scars.
A recent Indian study by Majid I, found that, in 21 patients with Grade 3 scarring treated with microneedling, an excellent response was noted in 16 patients (reduction to
Grade 1 or less). Overall, 26 out of the total of 36 patients (72.2%) showed an excellent response to dermaroller treatment while 6 others achieved a good response (16.7%).
Release subcutaneous fibrotic strands in a rolling scar that improve with stretching the skin
The mechanisms of scar improvement in subcision are:
Releasing fibrotic strands underlying scars
Organization of blood in the induced dermal pocket
Connective tissue formation in the area.
Area is marked and subcutaneous anesthesia given.
Best needle- 1.5 inch Nokor Admix needle.
16 to 23G inj needles can be used.
Done in 2 directions, larger scars- multiple puncture sites.
The needle can be fixed on a 2cc syringe so that the syringe works as a
Firm pressure applied postop for 5 min to achieve hemostasis.
Repeated at 6 weeks for up to 2- 3 successive treatments.
parallel to skin
Sweep gently at
heard as the
Bluish discoloration and swelling persists for 5–7 days.
For multiple scars, start with the most dependent area and work upward
Mild bleeding is expected and beneficial.
large hematoma allow blood to flow out
combined with subdermal implants Autologous fat or dermal tissue
Superior results can be achieved by combination therapy.
1. punch excision
2. punch flotation or punch elevation
3. punch replacement grafting
For ice pick scars and deep boxcar scars less than 3.5 mm diameter
Scar excised with 1.5- 3 mm biopsy punch as per size of the scar
Traction applied perpendicular to the skin lines changes circular wound
into an ellipse parallel to the relaxed skin tension lines.
Scar tissue is removed and wound sutured with interrupted sutures
Best for wide (> 3 mm) boxcar scars
Punch equal to scar size is selected
Bound-down scar is released and freed from the underlying tissue
positioned to lie slightly higher than the surrounding skin.
Secured in position by cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive
Punch Replacement Grafting
For deep, irregular pits and tethered boxcar scars with altered skin texture.
similar to that of a punch flotation,
Plug replaced with donor plug obtained from the postauricular area or inner arm
Donor punch graft should be 0.5 mm larger than the punch used to excise the scar.
Punch replacement and flotation techniques are successful for scars on less mobile
regions such as the malar and forehead area
less successful in perioral sites
poor graft take, graft extrusion and graft visibility.
Poor color and textural mismatch
Dermabrasion after excision, but before closure, improves the subsequent scar
Recently, simultaneous resurfacing with a CO2 laser and punch excision has been
Uses high strength TCA focally on the atrophic acne scars to induce collagenization and
Best t/t for ICE PICK scars
TCA precipitates proteins and cause coagulative necrosis
Induction of collagen production and reorganization of
Remodelling of type III collagen by type I collagen
Improvement of scars
Transient PIH and hypopigmentation
Priming the skin with hydroquinone and tretinoin cream for 2 weeks
Avoid accidental spillage of TCA
Application limited to scar base and not to rim of the opening of the pit.
1. Not susceptible to infection
2. Can be tailored for a variety of defects
3. Creates a permanent spacer between skin and underlying fibrous band
4. Readily available
5. Easy to perform
Two different techniques- conventional and enzymatic separation.
Donor tissue is harvested using biopsy punches/ dermatomes from the
post auricular site.
Epidermal part and excess fat is trimmed and tissue transferred to saline.
Scar area is tunneled to create a space for the graft.
Graft is inserted using a forceps through small slit
slit is sutured with proline
FTSG harvested transferred 0.25% of trypsin in
EDTA solution Incubated at 37º C for 75 minutes.
Tissue is transferred to phosphate buffered saline and
the epidermis is manually separated.
Soft, flexible and easily moldable dermal tissue
Filled into the defect as in case of conventional
Or it can be transferred into 1 cc syringe and pushed
into the defect.
Area molded by external manipulation.
Peeling agents used-
1. salicylic acid 20–30%
2. TCA 10%
3. 15% and 25%
4. glycolic acid 25–35%
5. Jessner’s peel
TCA 35%- used for deeper scars
Salicylic acid 20–30%- peeling agent of choice in active acne
Easy technique, safe in darker skin and low cost.
Indicated for superficial scars and is ineffective for deeper scars.
Repeated weekly until the desired result is obtained.
Soft Tissue Augmentation (Fillers)
T/t of scars with loss of dermal tissue elevate them and bring the surface of the scars in level
with the surface of surrounding skin
Preparations used- hyaluronic acid fillers, autologous fat, PLLA (Sculptra), calcium hydroxyapatite
(CaHA, Radiesse) and Liquid injectable silicon.
High cost and temporary duration of result is a disadvantage.
Scar revision techniques such as Z, M and Y plasty
Performed by a dermatosurgeon properly trained in performing these procedures.
Cryoslush and cryopeel nodulocystic acne, inflammatory papule and pustule.
Cryoslush method, solid CO2 is crushed and a few drops of acetone are added
to make a paste applied to the lesions with a gauze ball for 2–10 seconds.
Superficial peeling is achieved due to epidermal necrosis, which causes
desquamation of comedones, resolution of inflammatory papules, pustules, nodules
Cryopeel method, spray of liquid N2 used for 2–3 sec.
Pigmentary changes are common, esp in darker-skinned patients
Persistent erythema and scarring may also occur
Grade 2 and Grade 3 scars are ideal candidates for
Rolling and superficial boxcar scars respond the
Lasers Used for Acne Scars
1. Ablative lasers
2. Nonablative lasers
Ablative lasers cause injury or ablation of epidermis and dermis with resultant
The two main ablative lasers used are;
emits light at 10,600-nm wavelength.
causes vaporization of epidermis and papillary dermis to a depth of about 20–60
Additionally, there is thermal injury up to another 20– 40 µm zone around the
Erbium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (Er:YAG) laser
Emits light in the 2,940-nm wavelength and the depth of ablation with this laser is
only 10–20 µm.
surrounding thermal damage does not exceed 15 µm.
Thus total depth of achieved is about 30–40 µm with single pass.
1. prolonged erythema
2. exfoliation of the skin
3. posttreatment hyper- and hypopigmentation
4. risk of scarring
5. secondary infections
6. prolonged downtime
Ablative lasers are most effective in treatment of post-acne scars
CO2 laser is thought to be a more effective laser as it can achieve a greater depth of
Erbium YAG laser has less risk of side effects.
MOA- controlled injury to the dermal collagen without any damage to the epidermis
Healing response with dermal collagen remodeling tightening effect on the skin with
resultant improvement in the appearance of the scars
Require less downtime, less efficacious as compared to ablative lasers.
Divided into two groups:
a. Infrared lasers:
1450-nm diode laser- advantage of treating active acne
1064-nm Qs Nd: YAG laser
1320-nm Nd: YAG laser
1540-nm Er: glass laser
b. Visible light lasers:
pulsed dye lasers
light emitting diodes
broadband light sources
• Nonablative lasers provide modest
• T/t comprises of multiple sessions
at 3–4 week
Minimizes adverse effects and shortens the downtime
part of the skin
provides the source
of keratinocytes that
migrate into the
NONABLATIVE FRACTIONAL LASERS
use wavelength of 1410– 1550 nm.
Cause nonablative columns of dermal and
epidermal injury with skip areas.
Eg; 1550-nm erbium doped fiber laser known as
ABLATIVE FRACTIONAL LASERS
Delivers the best of both worlds by providing
efficacy of ablative laser treatment but
minimizes the side effects.
Eg; fractional CO2 laser.
Isotretinoin reduces acne vulgaris and prevents further scarring.
Care should be exercised in patients with recent history of isotretinoin as it
delays in healing and atypical scar formation.
Earlier studies suggest 6–12 m waiting period before performing resurfacing
However, recent publications demonstrate considerable safety of different
procedures in patients recently treated with isotretinoin
Abrasion of a small test area is a useful predictor of wound healing, enabling
earlier acne scar treatment using this procedure.