Frequently Asked Questions - Scar Treatments
Disclaimer: The information below is provided as a courtesy to address general questions. As we are not medical professionals, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of this information. By reading this information, you agree not to hold us liable for any damages that may result in your use of this information. This information should not replace information that your Doctor or Plastic Surgeon provides you. Please keep in mind that this is for general information only and results will vary for each individual.
Q: How can I prevent my acne from scarring?
A: The best way to prevent scarring is to prevent the acne that causes it. For moderate to light acne, see
For severe acne, please see your Dermatologist for recommendations, as different treatments are required for different situations.
Q: What is the Lemon & Vinegar Method?
A: This is a method that may improve the appearance of shallow, rolling scars. Drink either Robinson, Lemon Barley Water or plain water with half a teaspoon of lemon juice to a full glass of water throughout the day. It is best to use fresh lemons if possible. Use any diluted vinegar (organic apple cider if possible, malt or white are also acceptable) in warm water to splash onto the face day and night. You may have to experiment to find the right combination of water to vinegar. Try diluting it 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water to start with. First wash your face with your normal cleanser, and then apply the vinegar (dab the solution on with cotton balls and leave on) before other topicals/moisturizers (apply topicals 20 minutes later). You should see an improvement within a week or two.
For more information, read this thread:
Q: Can you describe the different types of scarring? scar types:
ÂˇIcepick: Looks like an ice pick has been pressed into the skin. It is generally small in diameter, but can be shallow or deep.
ÂˇBoxcar: Looks somewhat like a chicken pox scar with more rounded edges. It can be small or large in diameter and is fairly deep, though not usually as deep as icepick scars.
ÂˇRolling: Looks like a smooth indentation in the skin. These scars can be deep or shallow, but are generally shallower.
ÂˇMacules: These are most common on the back, chest and arms. They are small areas of hairless scar tissue that will initially be red but will usually fade to pale ivory within 1-2 years. They can be raised (hypertrophic) or indented (atrophic).
For further information on scar types see:
There are two basic types of Raised scar types:
* Hypertrophic scars - are scars that are raised above the skin surface but remain within the boundaries of the original injury.
* Keloid scars - which are raised scars that extends BEYOND the boundaries of the original sore, blemish or injury. It is scar tissue gone wild. It can continue to grow. Some people are genetically prone to keloid scarring. There is a specialist forum for keloid scars:
Q: What is Skin Needling (aka needle dermabrasion, aka dry tattooing or tattooing without pigment)?
A: This is a technique whereby a Dr. or Tattoo artist uses either a hand tool or a tattoo machine to âneedle or âtattoo the skin without using pigment (water can be used in place of ink). This is said to "break up" the scar tissue thereby smoothing the appearance of the skin.
NOTE: It is possible to âneedle yourself, but there are risks associated with this. Also, results are generally not as pleasing. It is best to see a specialist whenever possible.
For more information, read this thread:
Q: Is Elicina effective in reducing the appearance of scars?
A: There are varying reports on this but it appears that a majority of users who have tried it have said âno. In general, topical solutions are not sufficient to affect moderate to deep acne scarring.
Q: Can I get rid of my scarring through the use of topical solutions alone?
A: As mentioned, most people with moderate scarring do not find that topical solutions have a significant effect on their scarring. However, they can help lessen scars if used in the healing stage. Please read this thread for more information:
Q: What is the difference between ablative and non-ablative lasers?
Definition of ablate from dictionary.com: "To remove by erosion, melting, evaporation, or vaporization."
Ablative lasers are much more invasive than non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers are not recommended for use on darker skin colors.
Examples of ablative lasers:
- Erbium: Yag
Non ablative lasers do not remove layers of skin, but instead penetrate through the skin in an attempt to stimulate collagen growth from underneath the surface of the skin. Non-ablative lasers are detailed later in this document.
Q: Will ablative lasers (CO2 or Erbium) reduce the appearance of my scarring?
A: It is possible that it will reduce the appearance of your scarring but it can come with a hefty price tag, a signficant amount of downtime and a risk of new scarring.
Q: What are the different types of non-ablative lasers and how can they reduce scarring?
A: There are several different types of non-ablative lasers. There is some controversy as to whether or not the appearance of scarring can be greatly reduced by the use of them. It is best for you to speak to your Dr. and to research the various laser treatments available to you. Here are examples and links to information about them:
thread on acne.org:
PLEASE READ THIS THREAD FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SMOOTHBEAM ON DIFFERENT SKIN TYPES:
[/url] thread on acne.org:
Q: Will dermabrasion reduce the appearance of my scarring?
A: It is possible that it will reduce the appearance of your scarring but it may come with a hefty price tag, a significant amount of downtime and a risk of new scarring. We suggest that research should be done before proceeding with such an invasive procedure. In addition, this is generally not a good option for darker skin tones.
See these thread for more information:
Q: What is subcision? Will it improve my scars?
A: Subcision is a method whereby a Dr. uses a "Nokor" needle to break up the scar tissue underneath the surface of the skin. It is said to be best for ârolling scars that are âbound down. Bound down scar tissue looks smoother when the skin adjacent to the scar is pulled tight. Some peoplesĂÂ˘Ă˘âÂŹĂ˘âÂ˘ scarring has improved by this method, others have had minimal or no improvement, and others have had their scarring deepen (though this seems to be more rare). Please see your Dermatologist for further information on this procedure.
For more information, check the following thread:
Q: Is there anything I can do to optimise my healing responses following invasive scar procedures?
A: Yes. Through a healthy diet and safe supplementation, you can improve your body's wound healing response effectively. Please read the following thread for more information:
The following site may also be of some interest:
Q: What is the "Dermaroller". Can it improve scarring?
A: The Dermaroller is an instrument that has tiny needles embedded in it that is rolled across the surface of the skin. It is mainly used for better absorption of topical treatments and does not appear to actually break up scar tissue. For more information, read this thread: .
Q: Can "Copper Peptides" improve scarring?
A: Copper Peptides may be able to improve the appearance of scarring by stimulating collagen production after a more ablative procedure such as needling. Copper Peptides are a topical treatment and therefore results will vary for each individual.
See this thread for more info:
Q: How can I get rid of my red marks / hyperpigmentation / brown marks / dark marks?
A: There are several different approaches to help this process. You may have to experiment to find which works best for you. The effectiveness of these treatments varies and they may have to be used in conjunction with other treatments for best results:
* Generally recommended: A Retinoid (i.e. Retin-A) & Hydroquinone*
The tape method of exfoliation
The vinegar method of exfoliation
Apply an Alpha Hydroxy Acid peel (i.e. Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, TCA, etc.)
Apply a Beta-Hydroxy Acid solution
Vita-K for Blotchy Skin
Mandelic Acid Serum
All about lasers:
Chemical Peels explained:
Q: Will Microdermabrasion reduce the appearance of scarring?
A: It is generally thought that Microdermabrasion cannot penetrate the skin deeply enough to affect the appearance of moderate to deep scarring. It is a great method of exfoliation, however and it is possible to reduce very shallow scarring by repeating this procedure in a series of several treatments.
For more information, check out this thread:
Q: What are injectable fillers and how can they reduce the appearance of scarring?
A: There are many types of injectables used for augmentation. It has been shown that once they are injected into the skin, they can raise the surface of the scar. Unfortunately, most of the injectables widely available are not considered permanent. In addition, some are not available in all countries. Here is a list of some of them to get you started in your research:
Isolagen: thread on acne.org -
Fat (harvested from your own body) - See your Dr. for further info
Here is a thread on various types of fillers:
Q: What is the TCA CROSS Method?
For more information, read this thread:
Here is a link to the TCA cross article in full text on Rapaports website:
TCA Localized Peeling:
Q: What is the difference between TCA CROSS and a TCA peel?
TCA CROSS is a method whereby a Dr. or skilled practitioner uses a high percentage of TCA Acid and spot treats each scar. This procedure is especially beneficial for ice pick scarring. TCA CROSS is something that should be done by a skilled practitioner because the risk of damage to your skin can be great. TCA peels are of a much lower percentage than TCA CROSS. TCA peels are done by Dermatologists and Aestheticians and affect hyperpigmentation and more shallow scarring.
Q: What is Punch Excision & Dermal Grafting?
A: Punch Excision is a procedure whereby a Dr. will use a tool to âpunch out the scar and then sew the remaining skin together. Dermal grafting is a procedure whereby a Dr. removes skin from a different part of your body (usually from behind the ear) and places it into the scar. Ice picks are often treated this way.
Q: How can lighting effect the appearance of acne scarring?
A: Lighting can have a tremendous effect on the appearance of acne scarring. For further information, please see this thread:
Q: My scars are raised, not indented. What type of scarring is this and how can it be treated?
A: This is called hypertrophic (aka keloid) scarring and can be treated with silicone sheets (OTC) or cortisone injections (provided by Dermatologist).
Q: Is it okay for me to treat my scars while I am on Accutane?
A: No, it is suggested that you wait at least 6 months to a year to treat your scars after taking Accutane. Some individuals have reported that they seem to scar more easily while taking Accutane.
Q: What is the tape method of exfoliation?
A: This is a method whereby a piece of scotch/gift tape is applied to the surface of the skin and then gently removed. Once the tape is removed there may be pieces of dead skin that remain on the tape. Take care in using harsh topicals when this method is employed, as they will most likely irritate the skin moreso than if tape were not used.
For more information, check out this thread:
Q: What is exoderm and will it help with my scarring?
A: [Edit: Many recent exoderm patients have complained about lack of effectiveness of this treatment with the side effects of more scarring and larger pores] Exoderm is arguably the most extreme form of scar treatment that you can undergo, and consequently, some people that have undergone the procedure have reported tremendous improvement in their scarring, as much as 90%. Other's have said it did not do anything even for their shallow scarring. However, the procedure is extremely intense. Here is a description:
Exoderm Lift is the result of medical research over many years and is composed of 12 components, including phenol, resorcin, citric acid and a variety of natural oils ... The procedure is based on liquefaction of the skin, followed by stimulation of new collagen and elastic fibers growth which creates the "internal lifting". A new lifted skin is generated which gives the patient a 10 year younger appearance.
You may be left with dramatic improvements in your scarring, but you will have to be dilligent with application of sun-block following the procedure as your skin may have lost its ability to tan.
Please look into this procedure very carefully if you are thinking of having it done.
Here is a link to the exoderm website:
and here are links to interesting threads detailing posters' experiences with the procedure:
Q: I have scarring on my body. Can I treat this in the same way as one would treat facial scarring or are there different procedures?
A: Body scarring is typically more difficult to treat than facial scarring, as less research has been carried out into this area. The following thread details some of the procedures and information that may be helpful:
List of helpful acne scar webpages:
Before posting a new thread, please go to the top of this page and try doing a search for the information you need. It's quite possible that the information you want is already on this board. Alternatively, follow the link below and it will take you right to the search facility.
This is the search link: Type in a key word for what you are looking for and it will bring up all the threads here that topic was discussed.
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added difference between ablative/non-ablative lasers, added prescription treatment section to Red Marks).
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