Are Acne Scars Permanent?

Apr 12, 2022 | Health & Wellness

When we are very young, we typically have smooth, nearly perfect skin for a short amount of time until we hit puberty. This begins the era of most of our acne journeys to start navigating how to deal with pimples, blackheads, and red spots, all the things that made us feel embarrassed as budding teenagers. Sometimes, acne doesn’t even start until you’ve reached adulthood. If you have experienced or are currently suffering from acne, as a teen or an adult, and you have developed scars at some point, you may be wondering: are acne scars permanent?

How Acne Scarring Starts

Acne occurs when your pores get clogged with things like oils, dead skin, and bacteria. These cause the pores to become inflamed, which triggers the scarring to start from the swelling that results in the breaking down of pore walls. Sometimes, the scarring is actually a sign that the body is doing what it is supposed to do, as surface scars occur from the body producing collagen to help heal the blemishes.

There are many different types of acne, and depending on the type and the severity is what leads to more permanent scarring. The four main types of acne are:

  • Papules: Bumps that are from pink to red that may slightly hurt when you touch them.
  • Pustules: These are lesions filled with pus. They are generally red at the base with a whitehead.
  • Nodules: These solid lesions are larger than papules and pustules. They tend to extend much deeper into the layers of skin.
  • Cysts: Cysts form deep in the skin. They can be very painful and are filled with pus.

Are Acne Scars Permanent?

Not all the time. Mild acne, the kind that mostly just affects the top layers of the skin, like Papules and Pustules, will generally heal quickly and fade over time. However, inflammatory acne and deep acne scars, the ones caused by Nodules and Cysts, are likely to be permanent if they are not treated. The more severe the acne, the more likely it is to cause scarring, because it has most likely crept deep into the lower layers of the skin, causing deep tissue damage.

Now, not every breakout is going to lead to permanent scarring, but when it does, it can be incredibly damaging not just your overall skin health and care, but also to your self-confidence. The untreated blemishes caused by deep acne scars can have real and lasting psychological effects.

Acne Scar Treatment

Have no fear, though. Although acne scars can be permanent, there are many treatment options to beat the scars before they stay forever.

Radiofrequency and Micro-needling

Micro-needling is the process of puncturing the skin with tiny needles, creating micro-wounds that stimulate the production of collagen to heal the skin and make it appear smooth and young again. Your skin naturally does this when any wounding occurs, so micro-needling provides the skin more opportunities to heal with collagen without creating gigantic, unmanageable wounds. Working in conjunction with micro-needling, radiofrequency treatments reach the deeper levels of your skin, triggering a healing response that boosts the production of more collagen.

The Morpheus8 by InMode is a fantastic modern piece of dermatological technology that can be a big help in getting rid of those obnoxious acne scars using a combination of micro-needling and radiofrequency. This technology is minimally invasive, only leaving the skin slightly red and sensitive for a few days after treatment, but it is largely painless and much less intensive than surgery.

The results from this treatment will be noticeable within days. These treatments will boost collagen production at such a rate that you will see improved, smoother, tighter skin with less discoloration and a vastly improved skin texture.

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy involves the use of a heated laser that removes the top layer of skin. It will reduce the appearance of your scar and will encourage the growth of new skin cells, but the acne scarring will not be completely removed. The average cost of Laser Therapy is around $2,000, though there is no downtime for recovery.


Filler Acne Scar Treatment is when dermal fillers are injected into the skin to raise the scarred area and produce collagen. The most popular kinds of fillers include Juvederm, Radiesse, and Restylane, which can range from around $650 per injection to over $2000. This treatment has a fairly small amount of downtime but may need to be repeated every 6 months to 2 years.


There is a surgical option, known as punch excision, where layers of scarred skin are cut out. This is the most invasive method, requires up to a month to heal, and can lead to scarring and infection. While it may get the job done, choosing surgery as a treatment option for acne scarring is definitely a big decision. When there are numerous minimally to non-invasive treatments available, surgery typically gets put on the backburner.

Acne-Focused Facials

Facials can be a great way to help with acne scarring. By exfoliating the skin, dead skin cells and oils are removed, promoting healthier skin, lessening scars, and also de-wrinkling the skin. Specialty facials like Acne Oxygenating Treatment or Procell Microchanneling give incredible results for anyone with acne scarring or acne-prone skin by improving the vitality of your skin.

At Resplendent Day Spa, we offer a range of facials as well as micro-needling and radiofrequency using the state-of-the-art Morpheus8 by InMode to help heal your skin from acne scarring. The moment you step out of our spa, you will instantly feel more confident and refreshed, with your skin looking more nourished, smooth, and younger than ever. Request a free consultation today through our online form or call us at (562) 685-8120 to begin your journey to healthy skin today.


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