Dermal Filler Acne Scars

Dermal Fillers At A Glance

  • Best Results1-3 sessions
  • Treatment RecoveryNil
  • Procedure Time5 to 30 min
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim, Dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsYears
  • AnaestheticNumbing & blocks
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$-$$$

Dermal Filler Acne Scars

Acne scars can be treated with subcision & dermal fillers. This provides instant acne scar reduction with no downtime. Fillers are best used when your immune system can not regenerate enough collagen or fat to replace volume changes associated with acne scars. I use many types of fillers including hyaluronic acid & collagen stimulating fillers, taking into account age of patient, types of scars as well as the location of scarring.

FactsFacts on Dermal Filler Acne Scars

  • Fillers are used to correct volume deficits due to scarring
  • FIllers are indicated when your immune system can not generate enough collagen
  • HA fillers last 18+ months
  • Collagen stimulating fillers last up to 5 yrs
  • Correcting age related volume loss is equally as important as addressing acne scars
  • Fillers give support to skin, thereby indirectly improving acne scars

When are dermal fillers used to treat acne scars?

Dermal Filler Acne Scars

Dermal fillers are used in two situations. Firstly, if you are in a hurry to get immediate results with no downtime. Secondly, if your immune system can not generate enough collagen & or fat to correct depressions.

Most patients will have a mixture of acne scars. These include rolling, mixed, atrophic, tethered, & depressed scars. These scar types can respond to dermal fillers.

How to dermal fillers work?

Dermal fillers correct volume deficits due to loss of collagen & fat. Fillers are indicated in patients whose immune response can not stimulate enough tissue.

Lasers & radiofrequency can stimulate collagen-producing cells to start laying more collagen. The disadvantage of this process is that it takes time and several treatments for the best results. Downtime, meaning skin recovery can take between 2-10 days. Results from energy based devices like lasers & micro needling RF rely on your own immune system to stimulate collagen production – this means results are only seen after 6-8 weeks, and maximal at 3-4 months after the procedure.

acne scar clinic sydney
If you can not remodel or regenerate collagen, the best solution is with dermal fillers.

In some patients, the immune system can not replace the volume loss due to both age & acne. Fillers are used to correct volume changes.

Are fillers permanent?

No, however they typically last 1.5 to 5 years in the context of acne scars. Like everyone else I want a permanent solution for acne scars. The fact remains that if your body’s immune system can not correct volume changes you are left with only 2 choices- namely dermal fillers or fat transfer.

Pros of fillers– 1 to 1 correct, meaning if I place one ml of volume, there will be at least one ml of correction. HA fillers are reversible should there be any over correction or injection into a blood vessel.

profhilo acne scars 1
Dermal fillers give your immune system a helping hand to generate more collagen.

Cons of fillers– In some cases volume deficits can be large (upwards of 8 mls). In this situation fat may be a more cost effective solution. Fillers last 18 months to 3 years for hyaluronic acid brands, whilst some collagen stimulating fillers last up to 5 years

Do I mix different types of fillers for acne scars?

Yes. I use thick fillers for support, & thin fillers for filling fine areas such as the temples & tiny open pores. For most of my patients I use what I call a ‘layered technique’- support for deep scars, & finesses for fine scars. Hence I combine two types of cross-linked HA fillers.

I also combine collagen stimulating fillers with HA fillers. Additionally I also combine fat transfer, ASC (Adipose Stem Cells), with fillers.

profhilo acne scars
Hybrid fillers are new in 2022. They have the most amount of data in the context of scar revision.

Davin’s Viewpoint On Dermal Fillers

I too want a permanent solution for patients. In the next 2 years there will be newer fillers entering the market offering longer duration, however as it stands they max out around 5 years.

In the early years, acne scar revision started off with full dermabrasion, followed by fully ablative lasers such as CO2 and Erbium. I started skin needling or skin rolling in the early 2000s then introduced fractional laser resurfacing to my practice in 2006.

A decade later, the addition of new cross linked HA fillers has given acne scar patients another modality to improve their scars. Acne scar revision is always based on 3 factors- acne scar type, skin type and downtime of the patient. Fillers are primarily used for atrophic, rolling, & tethered acne scars, and can be used in all skin types. This means skin colour does not play a rate limiting role for filler treatment.

Fillers have a clear and distinct advantage over lasers in that they provide ‘instant’ collagen & scar correction with no downtime. The procedure takes only a few minutes to perform, and patients can resume exercise the next day. The procedure is well tolerated as I combine a local anaesthetic together with the filler.

With increasing research and development we will be seeing a newer generation of HA fillers in 2022 that will last beyond 3-4 years. In the context of scar revision, fillers remain at the forefront of the procedures I conduct on a daily basis.

Fillers are not a substitute for my other procedures such as laser ablation, fractional lasers, subcision, surgery & TCA CROSS, however this technique adds another avenue for scar revision for suitable candidates. Fillers provide instant results with no downtime.

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