Acne Scars: What's the Best Treatment?

Acne might be one of the worst things you face as a teenager and even as an adult. But the horror doesn't end there. Once they clear up, there are stubborn scars to deal with, and unfortunately, a lot of them don't go away on their own.

When the skin needs help in getting rid of scars, many treatments can come to the rescue. But by using a dermaroller, acne scars can fade within weeks, and it costs you less than half the amount of in-clinic sessions. Or, you can opt for the various in-clinic procedures for different types of acne scars.

This post will discuss all the treatments that can help you get rid of them. We'll also give you an idea of how pricey each treatment can get and whether or not it's the right option for your scars. Keep reading!

Types of Acne Scars

What may be the correct method for someone's skin might not work too well for you.

This is because there are various types of acne scars. You may have one of them or even all three types. The treatments can vary depending on your skin, the kind of acne you had, and the area of your body.

Here are three major categories of acne scars:

Depressed Scars 

Depressed Scars

If your acne left any sort of indentations in the skin, then it's called a depressed scar. These little depressions on the surface cause the skin to look very uneven.

But not all depressed scars look the same. There are ice pick scars, for instance, that look like small holes in the skin. Then there are shallow but stretched depressions on the skin, which are called rolling scars. And lastly, some people have boxcar scars, which are sharp-edged indentations.


Acne often leaves your skin discolored after it heals. Luckily, though, several treatments can effectively get rid of these pigmented spots.




These scars are often called 'raised scars' because that's exactly what they look like - outgrowths. These mound-like scars are tricky to get rid of, but there are some treatments that make it possible.

7 Treatments that Get Rid of Acne Scars

Even though acne scars are pretty common, it can take a toll on people's mental health and how they look at themselves. Here are seven treatments that can remove or reduce their appearance for you:

I- Microneedling/Dermarolling



One of the most effective ways of treating acne scars is by microneedling the skin. Using needles, your skin is pricked multiple times, which triggers its healing process. In effect, collagen is produced in large amounts, causing the skin to regenerate and fade the scars.

You can opt for in-clinic sessions, where your practitioner uses a professional needle to prick your skin, or you can do it at home using a dermaroller. For instance, DermRollers are great for treating all sorts of acne scars with their wide variety of needle sizes.

The former method is costly but yields quick results. But by using a dermaroller acne scars can fade within weeks, and it costs you less than half the amount of in-clinic sessions.

Either way, it's a cost-effective way to even out all sorts of depressions in the skin or reduce pigmentation. You can't remove keloids with this treatment, though.

II- Carbon Dioxide Laser Skin Resurfacing

You can also go for CO2 lasers if you have hyperpigmentation or depressed scars. It involves targeting the skin with laser beams that remove the skin's top layer while heating up the deeper layers.

Carbon Dioxide Laser Skin Resurfacing

So while the top layer heals itself to form new skin, the heated layers underneath will produce more collagen and help with the process. It's generally an effective way to treat scars that aren't too deep.

Either way, expect to pay a handsome amount per session, between $400 to $1500. However, this varies widely - the cost might go up to $2500 depending on your location, practitioner, etc.

III- Dermabrasion

Another type of skin resurfacing method, dermabrasion, involves removing the skin's top layer using an abrasive motorized device. Imagine it like a sandpaper evening out a rough surface - it sounds scary, but most of the time proves effective.


The treatment triggers the skin's healing process, and the new layer that grows back is usually smoother and plump. It can even out rolling and boxcar scars to a significant extent.

However, dermabrasion might be a risky procedure, considering the weeks-long recovery period and possible side effects.

Alternatively, if you have mild, pigmented scarring, you can go for microdermabrasion. It utilizes the same principle of removing the top layer of the skin but with a less scary tool. Also, it has virtually no recovery period and only costs an average of $100 per session.

IV- Chemical Peels

As the name suggests, this treatment 'peels' off the skin, revealing new and healthy skin from below. It's quite similar to exfoliation, but chemical peels are more intense and effective.

 Chemical Peels

Depending on the type of acne scars, you can choose between light, medium, or deep chemical peels. Generally, though, chemical peels are more effective on shallow depressions and flat, pigmented scars.

Also, the recovery time depends on the type of chemical peel you go for, and so does the price. However, this treatment is comparatively cheaper than lasers and dermabrasion.

V- Radiofrequency

You don't always have to mess with the top layer of your skin to treat acne scars. Radiofrequency only targets the deeper layers through radio waves, heating them up and triggering collagen production.

As a result, pigmented scars, shallow depressions, and even boxcar scars start to heal themselves from within. Your practitioner might suggest pairing RF with another treatment for more noticeable results.

VI- Fillers

Depressed scars are often too deep to be treated for satisfactory results. When that's the case, your best bet is dermal fillers. These are made of synthetic or natural substances such as hyaluronic acid, which 'fill' up the skin's indentations. 

The result is plump, even skin that looks beautiful and young. However, the fillers only last from six to twelve months (but some can last a couple of years). Getting fillers is relatively cheaper, as the price ranges between $600 to $1400 for one ml. Keep in mind, though, that it will prove expensive in the long run.

VII- Subcision

This treatment involves a simple surgery on rolling scars. Your practitioner will use a special needle to pick the scars, breaking the tissues that were holding the skin down. This creates an empty pocket below the skin, which triggers the body's natural response to heal and fill them up.

You might want to pair this surgery with fillers, which will ensure long-lasting results. And as far as the surgery's price is concerned, expect to pay an average of $1500 per session. But again, this varies from clinic to clinic, and the number of sessions you need.


In sum, microneedling, lasers, dermabrasion, etc., are effective on deep acne scars. However, if you don't want to spend too much, you can try chemical peels at home.

Also, by using a dermaroller acne scars will reduce and disappear over time, as several studies prove their efficacy. Hence, it's another cheap yet super effective at-home alternative.

The best treatment for you depends on your budget, the type of scars you've got, and how well your skin takes the treatment. As always, consult your dermatologist before deciding anything.