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Fillers for Acne Scars

The most effective and longest-lasting treatment for atrophic acne scars (or “pitted” scars) is fractional laser resurfacing.  There are two main types of fractional laser resurfacing performed at the Boston Cosmetic Specialists for acne scars: Fraxel Re:pair, fractional CO2 and Fraxel Dual laser resurfacing.  These treatments each use different type of laser energy with different utility and indications, but they work in a simular fashion.  Both resurfacing lasers poke microscopic holes in the skin to stimulate the production of collagen, to fill in the pitted scars.  This collagen improvement is permanent, though it can takes months to fully present.


Some patients, for whatever reason (wedding, interview, etc) need immediate improvement.  They might plan to do a more permanent fractional resurfacing treatment in the future, but for now, they need quick results.  These patients often have great success with dermal fillers for the treatment of their acne scars.


Dr. Ishoo explains that, “Dermal fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm, can be injected  directly into the scar to attempt to even out the texture of the skin especially in combination with scar subcision.  Results are seen immediately after the treatment, though some swelling may persist for a few days.  Dermal fillers last approximately six to nine months in the skin.


What is the Best Filler for Acne Scars?


Acne scars form as the skin repairs itself from the insult of inflammatory acne bumps.  These atrophic (“pitted”) spots on the face can be quite frustrating, as they can’t be covered with makeup and don’t resolve on their own.  Many treatment options exist for improving the appearance of acne scars.  One immediate and dramatic improvement is the release of the depressed scars with subcision followed by elevation and leveling of skin surface with injection of fillers or autologous fat. The optimal result is achieved when the skin is then resurfaced 2-3 months later with ablative or non-ablative fractional Fraxel LASERS. Dr. Ishoo has developed this highly effective staged approach to erasing significant acne scars over many years and hundreds of patients with excellent cosmetic results.


Many patients like that the results are instantly noticeable and frequently long-lasting.  Fillers for acne scar treatment last between 6-12 months and wear off slowly and may require reinjection.  The most popular fillers used for acne scars are Hyaluronic Acids: Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane.  Radiesse, a Calcium Hydroxyapetite gel, is also sometimes used to fill in deep acne scars.  


Bellafill® is a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) collagen filler, previously known as Artifill, is the only dermal filler on the market approved for the correction of moderate to severe, atrophic, distensible facial acne scars on the cheek in patients over the age of 21 years.

Benefits are:

  • See visible correction with the very first treatment.

  • The collagen provides immediate volume below pitted acne scars to lift them to the level of the surrounding skin. 

  • The PMMA microspheres create a matrix that supports your body’s own collagen production.

  • The collagen in Bellafill® provides immediate volume and lift while the PMMA microspheres remain in place and create a matrix that supports collagen production in your skin for lasting improvement.

  • Bellafill® requires a skin test to identify patients who may be allergic to the lidocaine or bovine collagen in Bellafill®

  • It has a proven safety profile.

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