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Top dermatologist reveals that using filler is the surprising way to get rid of acne scars

Who knew?

09 Aug 2019

Not only are acne scars notoriously difficult to treat, they can also be a painful reminder of the skin troubles of the past, often being as emotionally distressing as the breakouts themselves.

Alongside topical skincare products, including resurfacing treatments and ingredients like retinol, there are a number of clinical options available. Lasers, microdermabrasion and chemicals peels can all help to reduce scars by stimulating the production of collagen within the skin and boosting cell turnover to encourage healthy skin cells to grow. However, they can also take a number of treatments before seeing visible results. For those looking for instant improvements, top skin doctor, Dr. Costas Papageorgiou MD FACS, Medical Director of NYDG London, reveals the surprising treatment that delivers on the same day.

While you may think dermal fillers are only good for plumped lips and adding volume to areas of the face such as cheek bones, Dr Papageorgiou uses the cosmetic treatment to treat acne scars, too. "Hyaluronic acid gel fillers or bio-stimulatory fillers can be used as a volumising and nutrient scaffold to smoothen atrophic scars or depressed scars, which in turn will smoothen the overall skin texture," he explains.

We find out everything you need to know about the revolutionary use of fillers...

Do fillers work on all types of scars?

"Ideally patients with depressed acne or traumatic scars," explains Dr Papageorgiou. "I also use this method with patients with eyelid retraction following aggressive eyelid surgery as it helps with internal scarring as it supports the skin and lifts the retracted lower eyelid – this is called a hyaluronic acid gel stent."

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What type of filler is best?

There are a few different types of fillers but according to Dr Papageorgiou, there's one that offers the best results; "ideally hyaluronic acid gel fillers as they are less inflammatory. I tend to use a hybrid approach with high and medium viscosity hyaluronic acid (Allergan Voluma and Volift) injected within the scar - injecting at different layers."

Are there any complementary treatments?

"I often combine this with laser," says Dr Papageorgiou. "Specifically, I use Laser Genesis 1064nm and Limelight IPL to soften the scar and improve redness. Depending on the patient, I may also incorporate autologous growth factors via biological skin therapies such as Arthrex PRP to boost neocollagenesis."

"Neocollagenesis [the formation of new collagen] occurs in the human body as a natural component of wound repair and is the result to an inflammatory response. It’s this inflammation that then produces increased fibroblast stimulation and collagen deposits."

How long do the results last?

The potential downside with treating scars with filler instead of resurfacing treatments is that the filler will naturally be absorbed by the body after a number of months and the appearance of the scar will return to how it was prior to treatment. "Ideally patients require maintenance sessions every six months or so," recommends Dr Papageorgiou.

If you're thinking of having the treatment, read our ultimate guide to everything you need to know about fillers as well as our top tips to treating acne scars using everything from your skincare regime to your diet.