Years after outgrowing adolescent acne, the aftermath of acne scars persists. Acne scars often continue long after acne has been healed and controlled permanently, often leaving behind facial “craters” that can’t be corrected using topical treatments or cover-up.  These acne scars are often the results of deep acne pustules and intense infections that caused permanent, deep skin damage.

Thankfully, due to advances in dermatology treatments, there are many cosmetic treatments that can help minimize the appearance of acne scars.  At the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana, we offer proven treatments for acne scars that can remove the damaged skin, stimulate skin cell turnover and replace it with fresh, youthful skin that’s never been touched by acne.

Acne Scar Repair Options in Indianapolis at the LASSI

Acne scar repair can be achieved using the following treatment options in our Indiana dermatology practice:


Dermabrasion, not to be confused with microdermabrasion, is a method of flattening skin surface irregularities by abrading the skin with a rotary instrument. Prior to treatment, the skin is numbed with a local anesthesic. The high-speed rotary instrument is precise enough to remove only the desired amount of skin. Treatment time and after care are similar to laser resurfacing, and should only be administered by a board-certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon.

Dermabrasion is ideal for acne scar repair as it allows the physician to precisely target only scar tissue for treatment.  It’s also intense enough that it requires fewer treatments for it to effectively reduce the appearance of scars.


Subcision is an undermining technique that is utilized to elevate very deep, depressed acne scars. A dermatologist will administer a local anesthetic.  Once the patient is numb and comfortable, he will then insert a fine gauge needle underneath each acne scar individually.  He will then use the needle to break up the scar tissue, releasing the thick scar bands and allowing the depressed acne scar to elevate for a smoother surface.   After repeated treatments, the depth of the acne scar will decrease over time.

Subcision is idea for depressed scars, sometimes called “ice pick” scars.  Sometimes, these subsicion treatments are complemented with injectable dermal fillers that will help raise the area temporarily for a smooth, even skin surface.

After subsicion, laser skin resurfacing is often recommended to finish smoothing the skin’s surface and stimulate healing collagen production.

Punch Replacement Grafts

In addition to subsicion, ice pick type scars can also be removed with a small biopsy punch. After administering anesthesia, you dermatologic surgeon will remove the scar and replace it with a graft from behind your ear or close the opening with a suture. He will then apply a narrow piece of tape to the punch replacement graft to hold it in place for four days.  Sometimes laser resurfacing or dermabrasion is required several months later to flatten the tiny grafts and stimulate collagen production.

Before & After Treatment Photos

acne scar repairSevere Acne Scarring

acne scars before and afterScarring / Mature Skin

Individual results may vary from person to person.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing uses ablative laser technology to remove damaged surface skin, speeding up skin cell turnover, youthful collagen production and brand new, smooth skin.  After administering anesthesia to the patient, a dermatologic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon will use a CO2 laser to burn away damaged surface skin and acne scars.  After a few weeks, fresh new skin will grow back in its place.  One laser skin treatment is usually all it takes to achieve amazing results and is often performed following a dermabrasion, subsicion and/or punch replacement graft treatment for acne scar repair.