Treatment of acne scarring

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Post-acne scarring remains a common entity despite advances in the treatment of acne. This represents limitations in our quality of therapy and a failure of public education. The level of severe scarring remains as much an ongoing challenge to prevent as well as manage. Methods: This review will concentrate on the methods by which acne scarring may be improved and the available evidence for their utility. It will also rely on a grading scale of disease burden to classify patients and their ideal therapy. New therapies allowing treatment of scarring in areas other than the face will also be highlighted. Results: Tabulated treatment planning will present algorithms summarizing best practice in the treatment of post-acne scarring. Conclusion: Post-acne scarring is being better managed. Grade 1 scars with flat red, white, or brown marks are best treated with topical therapies, fractionated and pigment or vascular-specific lasers and, occasionally, pigment transfer techniques. Grade 2 mild scarring as seen primarily in the mirror is now the territory of non-ablative fractionated and non-fractionated lasers as well as skin rolling techniques. Grade 3 scarring, visible at conversational distance but distensible, is best managed by traditional resurfacing techniques or with fractional non-ablative or ablative devices, sometimes including preparatory surgical procedures. Grade 4 scarring, where the scarring is at its most severe and non-distensible, is most in need of a combined approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1194
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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