Acne Scars: Removal & Treatment in Cleveland

October 31, 2023
Reading Time: 6 mins
acne scarring, treatment, prevention and skincare at Bodytonic Cleveland

Despite being the most common skin condition in the USA and affecting over 50 million Americans per year, we know that acne’s prevalence makes it no less annoying or upsetting to those who suffer from it. 

We also know that it’s not just active acne that is the problem. As all too often, having triumphantly battled against acne and come out the other side, you’re then left with acne scars – which not only impact your skin’s overall appearance, but can also be a painful reminder of the condition you’ve been fighting. 

Given the high number of people that acne affects, it’s no surprise that there is a high demand for information on how to get rid of acne scars. And the good news is, there are a number of things you can do to minimize, reduce, and in some cases completely remove acne scars. 

By far the most effective way to treat acne scars is with in-office treatments at licensed medical spas such as BodyTonic Cleveland. Skincare products can also help, although in isolation they are unlikely to have a significant impact. The best results usually come from a combination of skin treatments such as lasers, injectable fillers, and/or microneedling, alongside quality medical-grade skincare products that contain powerful active ingredients. 

In this blog we’ll explain more about the various acne scar treatment options available. However, as with all skin concerns, the best choice of treatment will depend on your unique skin condition and other factors, so your first step should always be to consult a professional. 

If you’re looking for acne scar removal in Cleveland, come and see us at BodyTonic Med Spa for a completely free, no-obligation consultation where we’ll explain all your options and the results you can expect. 

Can acne scars be removed completely? 

Acne scars come in many shapes and sizes, and different people will have varying levels of scarring. So there is no one definitive answer to whether or not acne scars can be removed completely. 

The potential to remove or reduce acne scars will depend both on the type of scar, and the extent of the scarring. Faint discoloration, for example, can sometimes be improved just by using quality topical treatments, while the addition of in-office treatments may then be able to remove all traces entirely. Deep scarring, on the other hand, will almost certainly need a combination of in-office treatments. 

Understanding the different types of acne scarring is therefore the first step in deciding which treatments may be suitable, as different types of scars respond to different treatments. 

There are three main types of acne scar:

  • Atrophic scars: these are small indentations in the skin that are most commonly caused by cystic acne. There are three types of atrophic scar: icepick scars – small, narrow indentations; boxcar scars – broader, box-like depressions with defined edges; and rolling scars – varying depths and unclear edges which can give the skin a rolling, wavy appearance.
    • Fillers, lasers, chemical peels, microneedling, and radiofrequency treatments are typically the best treatments for this type of scarring. 
atrophic scar removal - Bodytonic Cleveland
  • Hypertrophic and keloid scars: the opposite of atrophic, these scars are enlarged, raised growths of scar tissue that form in the place of the acne. They’re usually red or darker in color than the surrounding skin. Keloid scars are bigger and more raised than hypertrophic.
    • Laser resurfacing is most effective for this type of scarring.
Hypertrophic acne scar removal - Bodytonic Cleveland
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH): these are dark or red spots on the skin left behind from acne once it’s healed. Although a common side-effect of acne, this in fact isn’t true scarring as although it leaves a mark on the skin, it’s not permanent damage and usually goes away on its own, although it can take a few years to fade completely.
    • Chemical peels, lasers, and dermaplaning can yield great results on this type of scarring, and PIH can also respond well to topical skincare products.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) scar removal - Bodytonic Cleveland

It’s always best to approach acne scars with a range of treatments that will address the different components of the scarring. But essentially, no matter how old or severe your acne scars are, there is a treatment or combination of treatments that will be able to help. 

​​One important thing to note is that most treatments can’t be done during active acne breakouts, so it’s important to wait until your acne is under control before seeking treatment for any scarring.

The best acne scar treatments 

There is no single treatment that will be best for everyone, but the following are the most popular and effective treatments that can – between them – improve the appearance of all types of acne scarring. 

Laser skin resurfacing is one of the most popular and effective ways of getting rid of acne scars. Lasers work by removing the uppermost layer of skin to reveal the younger and smoother skin cells underneath, and are effective on all types of acne scars. 

Microneedling is another of the most effective acne scar treatments. Also known as collagen-induction therapy, the treatment involves using lots of tiny needles to create microscopic wounds in the top layer of skin, which stimulates collagen production and helps to smooth out the skin’s texture. There are various types of microneedling treatments available, from the popular SkinPen® to Radiofrequency Microneedling, depending on the severity of your scars. 

Chemical peels can be used on all types of scars, but are most effective on hyperpigmentation and minimizing the appearance of atrophic acne scars. Depending on your individual needs there are various options – from repeated mild or medium peels to a single deeper peel. Chemical peels involve a chemical solution being applied to the skin, which removes the top layer of skin and results in a smoother more even skin texture and complexion. 

Dermaplaning is another popular solution for reducing the appearance of acne scars. Similar to the above-mentioned treatments, this involves removing the top layer of skin to reveal the newer and smoother skin cells beneath. Dermaplaning involves a certified practitioner using a medical-grade scalpel to gently scrape away the top layer of skin. 

Injectable fillers are an increasingly popular option for treating atrophic acne scars. All types of filler can be used, including hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm, which instantly fill out and smoothen indented acne scars, or Sculptra, which stimulates collagen production to more slowly fill the scars out over time, but with longer-lasting results. Fillers are not permanent solutions, but if used in conjunction with other treatments they can be a great way of achieving more instantaneous results, while other treatments can then gradually achieve more permanent results. 

For very severe acne scarring, additional medical treatments may be recommended, such as steroid injections that “halt” the over-healing process for hypertrophic and keloid scars. Such procedures should only be performed if recommended by your doctor, but your medical spa practitioner will be able to advise you if this is something you should speak with your doctor about. 

Can retinol reduce acne scars?

There are plenty of over-the-counter products that contain retinol and other beneficial-to-skin ingredients that claim to get rid of acne scars. But the reality is that acne scars are generally stubborn and therefore not something you can successfully treat with topical products alone.

Raised or sunken acne scars in particular will always need more specialist treatment, and while hyperpigmentation and discoloration from acne can respond well to topical treatments, results will never be as good from this alone as they will be from more intensive skin rejuvenation treatments. 

However, combining in-office acne scar treatments with top-quality skincare products can make a remarkable difference – for all types of acne scarring. There are a few core ingredients to look out for that assist in addressing both discoloration and skin texture.   

  • Retinoids (including retinol): speed up cell regeneration and improve texture and discoloration. 
  • Lactic acid (alpha hydroxy): improves skin texture and pigmentation. 
  • Salicylic acid (beta hydroxy): clears pores, reduces swelling and redness, and exfoliates the skin. 
  • Vitamin C: reduces the appearance of redness and promotes collagen production. 
  • Sunscreen: prevents further darkening of scars. 

If you want to try and improve your acne scars using skincare products, you need medical-grade skincare rather than over-the-counter products for them to be most effective. Medical-grade skincare can only be purchased through licensed sellers, which means you’re also sure to be recommended the best products for your individual needs. 
At BodyTonic Cleveland we’re proud to work with top medical-grade skincare brands like SkinBetter Science®, Neocutis, and iS CLINICAL – all of which have excellent creams, serums, and other products containing the ingredients that help reduce the appearance of acne scars, amongst their many other benefits. 

Acne scar removal in Cleveland at BodyTonic Med Spa 

We know that acne scars can be a painful reminder of a distressing skin condition, but there is a wide range of treatments now available that can significantly improve the appearance of acne scarring, meaning it’s more than possible to achieve results you will be thrilled with. 

At BodyTonic Med Spa Cleveland, acne scar removal is just one of the many ways in which we’re helping our clients regain their confidence and fall in love with their skin again. 

If you want to put all reminders of your acne firmly behind you, book your 30 minutes free consultation at BodyTonic today, and find out the different ways we can help you achieve the skin you dream of. 

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