What Are the Best Treatments to Lighten Acne Scars?

Acne Scar Treatment

Acne is one of the most frustrating dermatological conditions you can experience. Even after getting acne breakouts under control, you are usually left with an embarrassing reminder of the pimples.

But with the help of the right medical team, there is hope for a smoother and more even complexion.  When asked about the most effective treatments to lighten acne scars, here is what Dr. Joshua Greenwald recommends.


Microneedling uses tiny needles to create microscopic pricks or punctures in the skin. The body responds to these pinpricks by producing more collagen, a protein that is important to smooth, even-looking skin. The gradual increase in collagen improves the appearance of acne scars (it also helps reduce the appearance of oversized pores and other problems with skin tone and texture).

Microneedling can be performed with or without platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP usually makes microneedling more effective because the growth factors and cytokines in the PRP improve the skin’s ability to repair itself.

Chemical Peels

Another reliable way to lighten the appearance of certain acne scars is with a series of chemical peels. A peel involves applying a special chemical solution to the skin that causes the outer layer of damaged skin cells to peel off. As the old skin peels off in the days following treatment, it reveals new, healthy skin cells. As a result, the affected area looks smoother and softer.

Three to four peels may be needed to see the desired results.

Fraxel Dual Laser Treatment

Fraxel dual laser treatment uses fractional laser technology to minimize the appearance of acne scarring (it’s also helpful for other imperfections such as sun damage, fine lines and age spots). Fractional technology creates controlled micro-injuries in a fraction of the skin, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. This stimulates the body’s wound repair response, sending new collagen to the affected area and triggering the growth of new healthy skin cells. Because only a fraction of the skin is injured, the healing process is much faster than it would be with other types of resurfacing lasers.

Usually a series of three to five treatments spaced several weeks apart is recommended for the best results. Results generally start to appear within one to three weeks of the first treatment and improve over time as more collagen and elastin develop.

Dermal Filler Injections

In cases of very deep acne scars, dermal filler injections can be helpful. Fillers like Bellafill plump and fill out the scar, creating a smoother texture.

Contact Us Today

If you are bothered by noticeable facial acne scars, Dr. Greenwald and his team can help. Contact our practice today to request a consultation to discuss your specific needs.

Dr. Joshua Greenwald is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City who studied and trained at prestigious educational institutions including Columbia University, Emory University, and New York University School of Medicine. His keen aesthetic eye and refined surgical techniques have led him to be a top choice for cosmetic face, breast, and body procedures in NYC. His exceptional patient care has earned him the distinction of “Top Doc” by both Westchester Magazine and Castle & Connolly for over 10 years running. Dr. Greenwald is an active member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Medical Association, and the Westchester County Medical Society.