Acne Scar Treatments

Acne Scars At A Glance

  • Best Results1-6 treatments
  • Treatment Recovery0-9 days
  • Procedure Time15 to 90 min
  • Skin SpecialistNurse, dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsYears+ to permanent
  • AnaestheticNumbing to sedation
  • Back to WorkImmediately- 7 days
  • Cost$-$$$$

Acne Scar Treatments

Acne scarring is my specialty. My method of scar revision is aimed at treating each and every scar with the optimal treatment for that scar. Meticulous planning & mapping, together with angled photography provides a treatment plan for your scars. My point of difference is that I primarily use my hands, using lasers when appropriate.

FactsFacts on Acne Scar Treatments

  • Acne scars, no matter how old or severe can be improved
  • 3 factors determines treatments- skin type, scar type & downtime
  • I use techniques such as subcision, deep peels, surgery, lasers & other energy devices
  • Each type of scar will have an optimal treatment
  • Matching scar types & skin types to scar treatment procedures is the key to success
  • On average, 70-80% of acne scars can be improved with bespoke revision
  • Medicare rebate apply to subcision & laser resurfacing procedures

How much improvement can I expect from our treatments?

Acne Scar Treatments

On average, patients will receive at least 70% global* improvement with a scar management program. Some patients with predominantly ice-pick & box car scars can expect up to 95% improvement.

Quantifying improvement by objective measurements is important. I prefer to use the ‘distance rule’ to gauge improvements. More on this topic later.

* What does global improvement mean? It means that taken as whole, the majority of scars will improve. It does not refer to that one specific scar you can see with a mirror held 20 cm from your face at a certain angle of lighting.


What makes my method of acne scar revision unique?

My method of scar revision is based solely on finding the optimal treatment for each scar. Often it is manual work, namely I use non-laser methods to treat scarring. I only use a laser or energy devices as it pertains to the scar type.

I photography & map each scar type. In the near future we will incorporate artificial intelligence software maps scars three dimensionally. This allows for accurate progress during your scar revision journey.

Most patients will have mixed scars, namely rolling scars, box scars, ice-pick and anchored scars. This means that multiple modalities are needed including surgery, peels, & in some cases lasers.

Each type of acne scar will have a best form of treatment associated with it. Our technique matches the treatment to the scar type.

Why are manual methods better than laser packages ?

Have you ever seen a carpenter make a table with only a hammer, or a dentist with only one drill, or a mechanic with only spanner? The same analogy applies to scar revision. In the context of what I do as a dermatologist, my work is 100% manual. I employ devices, lasers & instruments pertaining to the job.

As a guide, for severe rolling scars, my work is primarily surgical subcision. This entails mapping out areas, finding the level of scarring intra-operatively, & then applying instruments to treat those scars. Manual treatment of acne scaring is Gold Standard.

scar acne treatments
Correction of scars are based around contour & colour changes. That’s it.

What severity of acne scars do I treat?

The majority of my work is focused on the treatment of objectively severe acne scars, or scars recalcitrant to previous treatments. Severe acne scars are defined as scars that can easily be seen at conversion distances by normal people & can not be adequately camouflaged with make up in women or beard hair in men. (Severity should not be gauged subjectively).

Severe scars can be categorised as medical treatments, & in most cases a Medicare rebate will apply. Having mild to moderate scars does not mean I will not treat you, it means that you may not get a Medicare rebate for your treatment.

For less severe scaring my team at Cutis Dermatology in Brisbane, or Clinic DVP in Sydney will be able to assist in fixing your skin, improving scars & skin texture.

scar removal tips
This result has changed objectively severe grade 4 scars to grade 0.

Davin’s Viewpoint On Acne Scar Treatments

Acne scarring is one of the most common procedures I perform. My work is primarily aimed at sorting out severe scarring, however my team of nurses help me with mild to moderate scars. An affordable, yet highly effective avenue for scar revision is our acne scar revision series at Cutis Dermatology in Brisbane. A similar scar series treatment is offered in Sydney (from 2024) at our clinic.

How I differ is that most of my work is done by hand, with simple instruments like a brush & a cannula. I do however employ many lasers if the scars lend themselves to energy devices.

Most patients will have multiple scar types, including box car scars, ice pick scars, & rolling scars. Each subtype of scarring will have an optimal treatment. Not all scars respond to lasers- some scars such as ice pick scars respond nicely to TCA CROSS, whilst scars such as atrophic ones respond to filler & surgical subcsion.

An individually based method of scar removal will give the best outcomes- assessing scar type, skin type and downtime gives the balance that is needed. Patients must have realistic expectations. In some patients 90-95% improvement is possible, however in difficult cases, I can only achieve 70 to 85% global improvement.

A new way of approaching acne scar revision is a concept called biostimulation or bioremodelling. This can be done as a primary way of treatment for rolling atrophic scars, as adjunctive therapy to treatments such as TCA Paint, laser resurfacing, RF microneedling or subcision, or at the very end of treatment to ‘mop up’ residual or resistant scars. Bioremodelling relies on the injection of a biostimulant, an agent that up-regulates your immune system to produce collagen in turn filling the void of atrophic scarring.

The pros of biostimulatory injections include-

  • Quick procedure with no downtime
  • Produces collagen over time, most scars improve with time
  • Address age related volume loss
  • Provides improvement in skin laxity, volume & luminosity (skin quality)
  • Can be safely used in all skin types
  • Augments & potentiates the effects of lasers & other scar directed treatments
  • Has a long safety record & is TGA, FDA & CE approved in Australia, US, Asia & Europe

The cons of biostimultory injections include-

  • Takes time to work (often best at 4-8 months post injection)
  • Requires 2-4 sessions for optimal results
  • Requires an efficient immune system for best results (variable individually)
  • Has no Medicare rebate (unlike surgical subcision or fully ablative laser resurfacing)
  • Requires skill to select the best biostimulatory injectable, depend on many factors
  • May have a finite lifespan (5 to 10 year results still pending)
scar removal tips
This result has changed objectively severe grade 4 scars to grade 0. Skill sets & equipment levels aside, the immune response of the patient has a huge impact on the outcome of scar revision. Much like height, weight & IQ levels, neocollagenesis & scar remodelling lies on a bell curve. This patient lies to the far right (in the context of remodelling).

Acne scar treatments in Sydney will be commencing in 2024. Simple non-surgical modalities such as RF microneedling, fractional laser resurfacing, dermal fillers & biostimulatory injectables will be performed in clinic at Woolahra, whilst surgical subcision & fully ablative work will be performed in a private hospital with theatre facilities in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. Stay tuned for more updates.


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