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Acne scars

acne vulgaris, or acne, is the most common skin condition. More than 80% of women and 90% of men are affected by acne before the age of 21. According to the estonian health insurance fund, 14,294 people were diagnosed with acne in estonia in 2017. 35% of them were young people aged 15-19.


Who develops post-acne scars?

In 2022, approximately 650 million people in the world suffered from acne. This is equivalent to the population of almost five hundred countries the size of ours.

The condition usually begins in early puberty, lasts from 5 to 10 years and generally resolves before the age of 30. Acne can also only appear for the first time in later adulthood.

Acne is less common in adulthood, but at the age of 20-30, it occurs in almost half of those affected. After the end of the active phase, the inflammatory elements of acne can leave unsightly scars on the face and body. Such acne scars can significantly affect people's self-esteem and quality of life.

What are acne scars?

Acne scars can vary in shape and depth, and their treatment depends on the type of scar and the individual patient. There are three main types of acne scars: ice pick or deep scar, boxscar or angular scar and rolling or wavy scar.

Main types of acne scars Dr Alexander Uskov
Which methods are used to treat acne scars?


There are a number of medical methods that can improve the appearance of acne scars. Most of them are traumatic because in order to affect the scar we must first destroy it in a controlled way.


  1. Laser therapy: this is a generally accepted method of choice for post-acne treatment. A range of different lasers are used to reduce acne scars, stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. Depending on the specific characteristics of the scars, many types and wavelengths of lasers can be used.

  2. Microneedling: compared to laser treatment, this is a more superficial but also less expensive procedure that treats the surface of the skin using a special device with small needles. Microneedling stimulates the skin's natural healing and regeneration.

  3. Chemical peels: these are cosmetic procedures that involve the application of various types of acids to the skin (mostly acids found in fruit and other natural sources) to help remove the top layer of the skin, thereby stimulating its regeneration. Chemical peels can be effective for shallow superficial scars.

  4. Injections: injecting fillers such as hyaluronic acid can help even out the scars and improve the skin's texture. It has also been found that using synthetic corticosteroids such as kenalog in scar treatment reduces inflammation and improves the appearance of active hypertrophic and keloid post-acne scars.

  5. Surgical techniques: in the case of deep acne scarring, surgery may be necessary. Procedures such as dermabrasion, subcision or surgical removal of scars can significantly improve their appearance.

It is important to note that the effectiveness and outcome of the treatment of acne scars may vary depending on the individual patient and the characteristics of the scar. This is why it is necessary to consult an experienced specialist before starting treatment in order to determine the most suitable and effective method of treatment.

Removing acne scars. Video
Fresh acne scars

Treating fresh acne scars is radically different from treating old acne scars. The sooner we start treatment, the fewer procedures and less aggressive treatment protocols are needed. Usually, the presence of active acne elements is not a contraindication to starting treatment.

For young patients, we combine drugs with non-traumatic or minimally traumatic laser procedures. In such cases, the recovery period is short, and this is convenient for young patients as they are able to resume their normal lifestyle.

Individual approach to the treatment of acne scars

In most cases, the procedures involve a recovery period and certain limitations that depend on the characteristics of the patient's skin, the number and type of scars and their localisation, etc. In other words, a quick outcome in treating post-acne scars is very rare. A good outcome is defined as a significant visual improvement of the scars, rather than their complete removal.

Post-acne treatment is often a time-consuming process and getting to the final outcome requires patience.

Dr Alexander Uskov



Dr Alexander Uskov MD PhD

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