Treatment Options for Scars

Chemical Peels – TCA (trichloroacetic acid) chemical peels for acne scars and hyperpigmentation

Cryotherapy – a freezing therapy using liquid nitrogen for smaller keloid scars.

Dermabrasion – a procedure that removes top layers of skin, in effect “sanding down” acne scars. Treats hyperpigmentation as well.

Dermapen – a form of microneedling, effective on hypertrophic and atrophic scars.

Dermaroller – a form of microneedling, effective on hypertrophic and atrophic scars.

Fillers – Restylane, Perlane, Juvéderm, Radiesse or Fat Transfer used to plump up atrophic (depressed) scars, as in the case of acne, also stretch marks.

Lasers –

Latisse – used in combination with fractional laser therapy has shown promise on hypopigmented scars.

Retin-A – A topical derivative of vitamin A available by prescription only. Most effective against shallow acne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Stimulates the production of collagen. Can be helpful in relieving the pain and itching associated with keloids and hypertrophic scars.

Steroid Injections – a variety known as Kenalog is used to flatten out hypertrophic and keloid scars.

Silicone Sheeting – reduces keloid and hypertrophic scars including surgery scars from tummy tucks, breast augmentation or reduction and other cosmetic and non-cosmetic procedures such as C-section.

Surgical Excision – in the case of keloid scars, where an incision is made and the scar is cut out.

Punch Grafting – For depressed acne scars. A technique where the scar is cut out, then a skin graft, usually taken from behind the ear, is used to fill the void.

Punch Elevation – For depressed acne scars. A technique where the scar tissue is pinched, the base of the scar raised and the surrounding tissue sutured to seal off the site.

Topical Creams –

Prescription varieties:

  • Aldara Cream has been shown to decrease the reappearance of surgically excised keloids.
  • 5-Fluorouracil Cream (5-FU) – typically used to treat skin cancers, it decreases collagen production and has proven helpful on some hypertrophic scars.


  • Mederma, a gel based on an onion extract. Its marketing claims to make make scars “softer, smoother and less noticeable.
  • Bleaching Creams – a variety exist on the market to help diminish hyperpigmented scars.
  • Vitamin E – Special Note: Studies have shown that topically applied vitamin E does NOT help in improving the cosmetic appearance of scars and leads to a higher incidence of an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis.

Vibradermabrasion – a form of dermabrasion that uses a vibrating paddle.

Concealment of Scars

Tattooing a Scar – NEVER a good idea. The exact pigment can never be matched. Tattoos fade over time and skin pigment changes throughout the year.