The management of postacne scarring

Dermatol Surg. 2007 Oct;33(10):1175-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2007.33252.x.


Background: Therapeutic intervention for postacne scarring has historically been limited by the considerable morbidity of most treatments for only marginal disease improvement. Within the past decade, however, a greater understanding of the pathogenesis of acne scarring has led to the development of techniques that offer more favorable risk-benefit profiles.

Objective: The aims of this article are to highlight a number of newer techniques and to assign their appropriateness to particular grades of acne scarring.

Materials and methods: Current modalities are discussed as they relate to disease process and specific acne scar types. Techniques are presented in order of most effectual therapeutic interventions for defined grades of acne scarring. Acne scarring grades have been described previously in terms of disease load, severity, and lesion morphologies.

Results: A comprehensive discussion of updated therapeutic techniques and their biologic rationales in the treatment of acne scarring is presented. These include targeted interventions of inflammatory and postinflammatory processes, angiogenesis, immunologic processes, dermal and subcutaneous fibrosis, hypertrophy, and keloid scarring.

Discussion: A requirement for developing successful treatments for postacne scarring is a greater understanding of its pathogenesis, variability among afflicted individuals, and the inflammatory mediators and immunology of the scarring process. Many innovative techniques introduced in the past decade attempt to counteract these pathologic processes while keeping the procedural and postoperative risks to a minimum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications*
  • Cicatrix / complications
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Face / pathology
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Scalp / pathology
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Keratolytic Agents