Acne Scars

Injectables & Skin Care Doctors Serving Miami, South Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach & Nearby Florida

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Approximately 50 million Americans struggle with acne. As the most common skin condition in the United States, acne is incredibly frustrating. However, when your pimples and blemishes finally fade, a more frustrating cosmetic issue can remain: acne scars.

Acne scars are difficult to cover with makeup. They can cause you to feel self-conscious, affecting your social and emotional wellbeing. What’s worse, they can be very long-lasting.

While acne scars are a stubborn concern, it’s possible to treat them. However, there isn’t one solution to this problem. The best approach is an individualized combination of safe and effective treatments.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Shaun Patel today at 786-618-5039 to learn how he can help fade your acne scars for smoother, more even skin. At Miami Skin & Vein, we happily welcome patients from Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and the surrounding areas of Florida.

Types Of Acne Scars

Typically, acne scars form when a severe breakout damages the surrounding tissue. Sometimes shallow marks can fade on their own. However, deeper injuries often become bumpy and uneven as your skin attempts to repair the area.

There are three main types of acne scars:

  • Ice pick: These scars are very narrow and deep. Characterized by pitted, V-shaped indentations, they are often the most noticeable type of acne scar. Because of their depth, home treatments have little to no effect when it comes to improving ice pick scars.
  • Rolling: These wide, slightly depressed marks have smooth edges. They get their irregular “rolling” appearance due to tissue band development below the surface of the skin.
  • Boxcar: Like rolling scars, boxcar scars tend to be shallow. However, they have sharp vertical edges instead of smooth round ones. They tend to look like small squares or rectangles.

In addition to these depressed or atrophic types of scars, you may be dealing with raised marks known as hypertrophic scars. They stand out from the surface of the skin and are common on the chest and back. Raised scars occur when your body produces too much collagen during the healing process.

young woman’s face with zoomed in view of rolling acne scars on cheek

What's more, acne often results in red and brown pigmentation issues. This stubborn discoloration is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH.

Acne Scar Treatment Options In Coral Gables - Miami Area

There are many ways to improve acne scars. It’s usually necessary to combine several different treatments to get the best results.

Your options for improving acne scars include:


Your Customized Acne Scar Treatment Plan

Your treatment will depend on the type, or types, of acne scars that you have. Dr. Patel will examine your skin and develop a customized plan during your consultation.

Most treatments will require multiple sessions to get the best results. The exception to this is a more aggressive fractionated CO2 treatment, which can produce an optimal outcome from one appointment.

Ice Pick Scars

TCA CROSS is a simple treatment that has become the go-to method of improving ice pick scars. It essentially consists of taking a toothpick, dipping it in a high concentration of trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and putting it in the base of the scar.

This approach causes an inflammatory reaction in the skin that helps fill the depression with new collagen fibers. CROSS stands for the chemical reconstruction of skin scars.

woman after acne scar treatment

Rolling Scars

While rolling scars can be difficult to treat, subcision is usually the first step. Rolling scars are indented because they are tethered down by fibrous bands. By using a special needle to break the tether, the area can become smoother and more even.

Incorporating PRP during the subcision process can further improve the scar. From there, laser treatments, microneedling, and other options can be used to improve the uneven texture of the skin.

Fillers can also help elevate the depressed scar tissue. When administered at the base of the scar, fillers add volume and rejuvenate the area.

Boxcar Scars

TCA CROSS can help with narrow boxcar scars. For wider scars, fractionated CO2 is usually the best approach. Sublative rejuvenation is also an effective treatment for wide boxcar scars.

Red and Brown Pigmentation

If your acne caused red or brown spots, IPL treatments can help. Vascular lasers are also effective.

If you are pursuing CO2 laser treatments to address your acne scars, you will also see your pigmentation concerns improve. However, CO2 lasers are not usually recommended if PIH is your only issue.


Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a substance applied to target areas to help make acne scars less shallow. The TCA is very potent and is typically used for ice pick or boxcar acne scars. However, it is possible for TCA CROSS to help treat dilated pores as well.

Trichloroacetic acid reduces the appearance of acne scars by reacting with the proteins of the skin. As a form of chemical reconstruction, it physically alters the skin structure to reduce scar visibility and restore a smooth complexion.

Results vary by patient. It can take several treatments to begin noticing results, as the scars will initially turn white and scab immediately following the procedure. 

A chemical peel is a facial skin treatment that involves applying an acidic formula to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. This can improve acne scarring by removing the top layers of the skin. 

TCA CROSS is an acne scar treatment that chemically reconstructs the skin. It is also more precise than chemical peels with the ability to individually treat scars rather than the entire face. 

TCA chemical peels are performed at much lower concentrations than TCA CROSS. 

TCA CROSS is one option for effectively removing mild to severe ice pick and boxcar acne scars. Depending on your complexion, the type of acne scars you have, and the severity of scarring, different treatments may be recommended, such as microdermabrasion, lasering, and chemical peels. 

Dr. Patel will suggest the right type of acne scar treatment for you after evaluating your skin during a consultation.

The best acne scar treatment is relative to the type of acne scar and severity. Patients with faint, shallow scarring may benefit from chemical peels or exfoliating procedures. In contrast, patients with more deep, severe scarring can benefit from treatment like TCA CROSS, which restructures the affected area. 

Skin resurfacing treatments like microneedling and lasering can smooth a complexion altered by acne scars. TCA CROSS can also create a smoother complexion by restoring the structure to deep acne scars and making them appear shallower. 

There are no effective at-home treatments for restructuring the skin from indented acne scars. However, a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist can perform various minimally invasive procedures to improve your skin’s texture and tone. 

Learn More About Improving Acne Scars In Miami

There’s hope when it comes to treating acne scars. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Patel today by calling 786-618-5039 . Miami Skin and Vein is located in Coral Gables and serves Miami, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and nearby areas of Florida.




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Miami Skin & Vein is the best place to go if you want natural and excellent results. The staff and Dr. Patel are so nice, love coming back to Miami skin & vein!

–S.M., Actual Patient*


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