Dermal Fillers for Acne Scars: Do they work?

Acne scars can have an impact on a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Though numerous treatments are available to treat acne scars, dermal fillers have grown popular in recent years to combat acne scars effectively.

In this blog post, we will venture into the world of dermal fillers(hyaluronic acid, poly l lactic acid, etc.) to understand the effectiveness of these soft tissue fillers in treating acne scars and know their benefits. Also, we will look into the different types of dermal fillers used to treat acne scars.

You will understand the dermal fillers, where they have been commonly used, the process and checking for potential side effects. In the end, it will help you to have a clear understanding of dermal fillers, which one to choose and at the end of the day, make you feel empowered to make that conscious decision.

How Do Dermal fillers help to reduce Acne Scars?

Dermal fillers work (especially for distensible facial acne scars) by injecting them into the skin to raise the depression caused by the acne scar. It makes the skin plump, reducing the unevenness caused by the scar tissue and allowing it to become even with the surrounding skin. It also helps to raise the depressed acne scarring area and helps to treat the acne scars. In some cases, people suffering from severe acne in their younger days and inflammatory acne will present with atrophic acne scars.

For this, the treatment option is subcision in depressed scars. These acne scarring treatments will release the tethering caused by atrophic scars or rolling scars, and hyaluronic acid dermal filler injections should follow it. While injecting the soft tissue fillers for acne scarring treatments, the micro-injury caused by the needle during the dermal filler injections for acne scars triggers the body’s natural immune response. It stimulates collagen production, so the dermal filler for acne scars helps treat the scar tissue by improving the skin’s texture. This new collagen helps to enhance the quality of the skin.

Which is the best Dermal filler to choose for acne scars?

Depending on when they remain in the skin tissue, dermal fillers for acne scars will be divided into three categories. 

The most commonly used one is the hyaluronic acid filler used to treat the different types of acne scars( rolling scars, boxcar scars, atrophic scars, chicken pox scars, depressed scars)

The first two categories of dermal fillers for acne scars are biodegradable, whereas the permanent filler is non-biodegradable.

Temporary Dermal fillers :

These are the most common type of fillers used for acne scarring.

There are three types of temporary fillers used for acne scar correction : Hyaluronic acid-based filler, collagen production-based filler and calcium hydroxylapatite fillers.

These fillers (hyaluronic acid/collagen-producing) will be used to treat acne scarring, typically from 6 months to about 18 months, depending on the type of filler you choose.

Semi-Permanent Dermal filler :

The semi-permanent fillers that treat acne scarring are more dense than temporary fillers. It is the reason for the body to take a longer time to break them down and absorb them. They contain synthetic substances like poly-L-lactic acid & calcium hydroxylapatite fillers. The poly-L-lactic acid works in treating acne scars by collagen stimulator. They may occasionally need a touch-up, but they last for about 12-18 months.


  • Since it’s not permanent, this gives the patient the leverage to try out different types of fillers and choose the appropriate one.

  • If you do not like the results of acne scars, you can always opt to stop the treatment 

  • Soft tissue fillers are a quick treatment option for indented scars with minimal downtime and no pain.


  • The injectable hyaluronic acid filler results are short-lasting, so we must repeat them frequently for maintenance treatments.

  • Possible side effects of injection techniques of hyaluronic acid-based fillers or any other fillers on the overlying skin are bruises, allergic reaction, redness or swelling in the injected area.

  • Skin necrosis is any dermal filler’s most severe side effect ( hyaluronic acid, collagen or permanent). It happens when the filler enters the blood vessel in the human skin and stops the blood supply to that area. This ischemia delays the healing response and causes skin necrosis in the injected area and its surroundings.

Permanent Dermal Fillers :

The permanent dermal filler is the thickest viscous filler. Since it is not biodegradable, the body can not easily break it down. The areas with denser skin tissue, such as nasolabial folds, are indications of permanent fillers. They can last up to 5 years.


  • Since they are permanent, you do not have to repeat the treatment for acne scars every six months.

  • Minimally invasive treatment


  • Limited use because of the product viscosity and non-biodegradable nature of the product 

  • The treatment options for removing the products are available but very complex and challenging to execute.

  • A rare complication is recurrent swelling and infection at the injection site.

  • Since the outcome remains for the long term, there is no guarantee that you may be happy with the results of acne scar treatment.

What is the difference between dermal fillers and collagen-stimulating injections?

Collagen-stimulating fillers comprise bovine collagen and stimulate the body to produce collagen. Dermal fillers add more plumpness to the skin than natural collagen stimulation. The dermal filler has a critical function filling agent for acne scars. The significant advantage of dermal fillers is their predictable outcome in the skin instead of relying on the skin type for collagen formation.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers for acne scars

These are the most popular fillers, and they are easier to use. Different brands range from Allergan Juvederm, Belatero, and Restylane, which can be injected directly into acne scars. They can improve the skin’s contour and reduce the depression caused by acne scars.

How much Dermal filler will I need?

The amount of product required for each person varies with the skin type. It depends on the following factors: The amount of atrophy in the dermal or subcutaneous tissue, the age of the patient and the facial volume loss. It is as simple as the more profound the hole, the more the quantity will be required to even the scars caused by severe acne.

When should I start the treatment of dermal fillers for acne scars?

The first and foremost thing to do before you think about treating your acne scarring with dermal fillers is to have a thorough consultation done with the expert. It helps you understand the exact outcomes so that you will be able to make an informed decision.


Dermal fillers work and treat acne scarring. The dermal filler has revolutionized the treatment options for acne scar treatment. It helps provide individuals with a safe and effective solution that will enable them to regain confidence in their facial appearance. The results vary with the depth of the acne scarring area and the choice of dermal fillers used to treat the acne scars. Other treatments that work on deep scars, pitted skin and help reduce scarring are fractional lasers, and laser skin resurfacing are effective treatments that significantly improve acne scars.

The fractional laser helps to treat acne scars by removing the tissue underneath the spot and the top layer of the skin. By understanding the different types of other fillers, we can make informed decisions when seeking treatment. There is a suitable choice for everyone, with different options available in soft tissue fillers, such as hyaluronic acid and collagen-stimulating fillers. The results of these acne scar treatments vary with different skin types, the type of acne scars and the injectable filler used to treat the acne scars. Some patients may need multiple treatments. The results gradually wear off.

While treating acne scars, the most important thing to remember is minimal downtime in this dermal filler treatment procedure, and you can resume normal activities immediately. As discussed above, a few potential side effects on the skin exist. The experience of the aesthetic doctor executing the treatment of acne scars is a crucial factor in delivering optimal results. Considering all these points, you can embark on a journey towards a smoother, more vibrant complexion and enter a life free from acne scars.

Dr. Anjali

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