Acne Scarring: Treatment Options from NYC's Leading Cosmetic Dermatogolist
Explore Cosmetic Treatments to Restore the Beauty of Your Natural Skin
Your skin represents your own unique history and story, and acne scars may be a painful reminder of past acne issues and the heightened self-consciousness associated with them. While makeup can cover up some acne scars, the skin’s uneven texture can still be apparent under certain overhead lighting. In the bright lights and big city of NYC, you may decide that acne scar treatment by an expertly trained dermatologist aimed at long-term reduction of your acne scarring is right for you.
The results of an acne scar treatment heavily depend on whom you choose for diagnosis and treatment and their expertise and experience with specific treatments and skin types. It also depends on your physician’s aesthetic attention to detail.
At Wall Street Dermatology, acne scar removal is one of the most common cosmetic services we provide. We consider ourselves one of the leading dermatologists in Manhattan across many different varieties of acne scar treatments, as seen in our before-and-after photos and satisfied patient reviews.
About Acne Scar Treatment Procedures
What Causes Acne Scars?
Acne scars occur when damage from acne breakouts spans from the deeper dermis to the surface of the skin. This damage can come from various sources, from picking at acne to the point where it can’t properly heal to certain types of acne, such as cystic acne, that are inherently more likely to cause acne scarring. Even after the acne itself has resolved, the discoloration, contour, and textural irregularities of the skin remain.
Types of Acne Scars
Acne scars can take many forms, each of them clinically categorized by severity to make identification and treatment direction simple. The types of acne scars that can form on the skin are as follows:
- Acne erythema: Red discoloration from early-stage acne scarring
- Hypertrophic (or raised) scars: Firm, pink scars that often feel bumpy
- Rolling scars: Scars with a sweeping, depressed contour
- Boxcar scars: Scars with an abrupt dropoff depression
- Icepick scars: Sharp indentations that go deep into the skin
Dermatologist Dr. Julia Tzu on Acne Scar Treatment
“Acne scarring is one of the most satisfying treatments that I provide to my patients. It makes a huge difference in the way they look at themselves and the self-confidence they are able to finally project to the world. People often do not realize that there are so many treatments that can safely and effectively improve the appearance of acne scars.”- Dr. Julia Tzu, MD, FAAD
Acne Scar Treatment Before & After
Acne Scar Treatment Options
Just as there are many types of acne scars, there are multiple treatments to reduce their appearance and achieve smooth, clear skin. Dr. Tzu, a board-certified dermatologist in NYC at Wall Street Dermatology, is trained in multiple forms of acne scar treatment so you can get help no matter your type of acne scar.
Below are the cosmetic acne scar removal treatments available.
Laser Acne Scar Treatment
Laser acne scar treatments can reduce discoloration and the appearance of mild superficial scarring. This treatment uses focused light to remove excessive fine blood vessels that make acne scars red, and stimulate collagen remodeling. Laser treatments are often used to correct discoloration from dark or red scar tissue.
At Wall Street Dermatology, we’ll administer treatments with our Q-switched laser or pulsed dye laser to give your skin a smooth, youthful appearance.
Laser Acne Scar Treatment Procedure
There is no topical or injectable anesthesia required for the laser procedures we perform for acne scarring. Our dermatologist simply delivers pulses of light using a pen-like laser handpiece, sweeping over your skin to remove discoloration, smooth the skin, and stimulate collagen and elastin production.
How Much Does Laser Acne Scar Treatment Cost?
The cost of Laser acne scar treatment in NYC can have a wide range, going as low as $600 and as high as $3,500, depending on which type of laser is used, the number of pulses that needs to be delivered, and the size of the treatment area.
How Long is Recovery After Laser Acne Scar Treatment?
After your procedure, it’s normal to experience some redness, bruising, swelling, and tenderness. Our dermatologist can prescribe you treatments to help alleviate discomfort. The after-effects may take up to 14 days to fade, and you’ll need to avoid prolonged sun exposure for 4 to 8 weeks. If you do go out in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen beforehand and wear sun protective clothing and hats.
Acne Scar Subcision
Acne scar subcision is a cosmetic procedure that addresses skin indentation and will often be combined with dermal fillers to create smoother skin. It’s most often used to revise rolling and boxcar scars.
Acne Scar Subcision Procedure
Rolling and boxcar scars cause depressions in the skin because they’re tightly tethered to the lower layers of skin. After numbing the area with topical anesthesia for an hour, our dermatologist will insert a needle beneath the scar and move it in a fanlike motion to release the tethered tissue and allow it to rise.
Some patients combine this procedure with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers to help fill in the gap after the skin is lifted from its initial bound-down state.
How Much Does Acne Scar Subcision Cost?
The cost of an acne scar subcision in NYC depends on the size of the treatment area and the extent of the scarring. In general, the procedure costs between $1,500 and $2,700 per appointment.
How Long is Recovery After Acne Scar Subcision?
Acne scar subcision should be done multiple times over multiple procedures depending on the severity of the acne scars. Recovery after each procedure typically takes between 1 and 2 weeks. Our dermatologist will likely prescribe you oral antibiotics to aid your recovery.
Microneedling is a treatment that addresses mild superficial scarring and textural irregularities on the skin. It is often combined with subcision to resurface the top layer of skin as subcision is remodeling the deeper portion of the skin.
Prior to your microneedling procedure, Dr. Tzu will apply topical anesthesia for an hour to reduce any discomfort during the procedure. She’ll then use a pen-like device to poke tiny needles into the skin. This causes “micro” wounds, which stimulate your body to produce collagen and elastin in order to heal the acne scars. In the months following your procedure, your skin will continuously become smoother and more youthful looking.
How Much Does Microneedling Cost?
The average microneedling session in New York City costs between $700 and $1300. The exact cost of your procedure depends on the size of the area being treated and the skin condition that is being treated..
How Long is Recovery After Microneedling?
Recovery from microneedling is minimal—the initial redness or swelling should only take four to five days to fade. You’ll also be sent home with topical ointment and instructions for caring for your skin as it heals.
Punch excision is a procedure that is ideal for icepick scarring, but can also be used for more prominent boxcar scars. Icepick scars form as small, round scars that sharply dent the skin. They’re usually caused by cystic acne and other deep pimples. As these kinds of acne heal, the skin may not produce enough collagen to fill in the area, resulting in a scar.
Punch Excision Procedure
During a punch excision procedure, our dermatologist will first use a local anesthetic to numb the area. They’ll then use a cylindrical punch tool to excise the wound from your skin. Punch tools look a little like small cookie cutters with a long, wandlike handle. They come in different sizes to accommodate different sizes of scars.
Once the scar has been excised, our dermatologist will use a very fine suturing thread to neatly close the wound. Lastly, they’ll dress the area with a bandage to protect it.
How Much Does Punch Excision Cost?
On average, punch excisions cost about $600 to $1000 per scar removal. Cosmetic procedures are not usually covered by insurance.
How Long is Recovery After Punch Excision?
The excision area should be kept clean and dry for 24 hours following the procedure—avoid wearing makeup or applying skin products to the area, and keep your face dry while bathing for the first 24-48 hours.
Our dermatologist will remove the sutures after about a week, and it will take about six months for the wound to heal completely. However, you should be able to resume normal activity two weeks after the sutures are removed.
Acne Scar Removal Cost in NYC
In general, the cost of acne scar revision in NYC typically ranges from $600-$2,600 per session. Acne scar treatment costs vary depending on the specific procedure performed, the surface area treated, and the severity of acne scarring. Multiple sessions are usually required for optimum outcomes.
Actual Reviews From Our Acne Scar Treatment NYC Patients
Dr Tzu is truly an acne scar treatment specialist. I received a subscision with filler treatment on the moderate rolling scars and overall bad texture on both cheeks and sides of my chin. I have combined this treatment with regular derma rolling and TCA peels and have results I never in a million years would have dreamed possible.
Real Self, 2017
If you are suffering from acne scars please look no further!!
After being fed up with the noticeable rolling scars on both my cheeks from a bad cystic acne breakout, I made a consultation. Dr. Tzu was extremely thorough and explained all my options to me, why certain options would work better than others, how much improvement I should expect, etc. I decided to go with one round of pulse dye laser to treat my discoloration, followed by subcision.
I had an immediate, noticeable improvement in the look of my acne scars from just one round of subcision. Even my partner commented how much better my skin looked! I will need a few more rounds to achieve optimal results, but I’m really optimistic given how my skin looks just after one.
I also had a round of microneedling done to smooth out my skin and it was a completely painless and pleasant experience overall.
Office is professional and clean and everyone is very friendly. They take every COVID-19 precaution so I feel safe. Very easy to make an appointment.
Yelp, November 2021
I was referred to Dr. Tzu by my dermatologist and cannot be happier with the service and results. I have significant acne scarring and have tried everything from chemical peels to laser treatment, but none of these approaches have been effective. I had subcision with fillers with Dr. Tzu yesterday, and I’m so happy with the results already. Even more, Dr. Tzu took time to get to know me and my concerns and answer questions. I feel she is emphatic and genuinely cares about my well being. I’m looking forward to my follow-up appointments and continuing with her practice. Dr. Tzu is really the best of the best, and I highly recommend her.
Yelp, Sept. 2020
Dr Tzu is the best! I struggled with severe cystic acne for over 10 years with no results. It tried many topicals accutane- the works- and still struggled. Dr Tzu listened to my concerned and history and came up with a treatment plan of laser and topicals. I now have clear skin and couldn’t be happier! She’s kind and caring. She’s truly the best dermatologist!
Yelp, Jan 2022
Get Acne Scar Treatment From a Triple Board-Certified Dermatologist
As the founder and Medical Director of Wall Street Dermatology, Dr. Julia Tzu is a triple-board certified dermatologist specializing in surgical and cosmetic dermatology. She has trained at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, New York University Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and the University of Miami Hospital, completing all educational programs with some of the highest scores nationwide.
Dr. Tzu has spent the last 15 years providing comprehensive skin treatment to hundreds of patients. She understands the psychological weight acne scars have on patients and tailors each patient’s treatment to their unique skin type needs. Her goal is to use the latest minimally invasive techniques to revise your acne scars so you can feel confident in your skin again.
Acne Scar Treatment FAQ
The best way to determine which acne scar treatment is right for you is to have a thorough conversation with a dermatologist about your specific concerns, medical history, past acne scar treatments, and any possible limitations. Superficial acne scars can be treated with microneedling, acne erythema often can be treated with laser acne scar treatment, while deeper scars are better treated via multiple modalities that include subcision, microneedling, or sometimes surgical excision. A full cosmetic consultation is the first step towards getting the treatment that best suits your needs.
The healing process for acne scar treatment is not extensive, taking between 4 and 14 days on average. During this time, an individual should avoid wearing makeup, using irritating skin care, engaging in activities that might cause skin irritation, and sun exposure.
Acne scar treatment can be an effective solution to scarring and dermal irregularities. Aside from hyaluronic acid filler injections to treat acne scars, most treatments yield permanent results in the sense that it is inducing natural collagen production by the body. However, it is important to keep in mind that our body’s own collagen also naturally degrades with time, so occasional touch-ups over time may be required. All of these procedures, with the exception of punch excision, typically require multiple treatments for significant scarring to fade.
Extra care should be taken with punch excision as some light scarring may remain as a result of the initial scar removal process.
If you are seeking acne scar treatment, it’s best to completely treat existing acne breakouts before starting acne scar treatments. While acne scar treatment can reduce the appearance of pre-existing scars, future scarring cannot be prevented if your acne is still active. However, there are some laser treatments that can be performed to treat both acne breakouts and acne scarring at the same time.
Generally speaking, the earlier you treat acne scarring, the easier it is to reverse the appearance of the scars. Older acne scars are more stubborn to treatment and require many more treatment sessions compared to early stage acne scars. Also, as people continue to age, acne scarring becomes more noticeable. Early intervention to treat acne scars will prevent the scars from becoming more visible with time.
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision that is heavily influenced by the expected outcome. Acne scar treatment can be an effective way to eliminate the appearance of discoloration, superficial scarring, and irregularities of the skin. If you’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to reduce the appearance of your acne scars, acne scar treatment can provide the relief you’ve been seeking and the beautiful complexion you desire. Most medical skin procedures are part of investing in the appearance, health, and longevity of your skin, and how you feel about yourself. Most of our patients not only believe it’s worth it, but wonder what took them so long to make the decision.