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How to Remove Old Scars on the Face

When the skin is damaged, scars form as a natural part of the healing process. Scars are formed due to a variety of circumstances, including disease, accident and surgery. Scars typically fade over time, minimizing the appearance of impurities. However, when scars are still obvious, there are some medical options available. Treatments available at your dermatologist can target old facial scars and make their appearance less obvious.

Set up an appointment with your dermatologist. A dermatologist has access to some of the most effective treatments. The American Academy of Dermatology offers an online look-up tool to find a doctor in your area 2.

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Use surgical scar revision. A dermatologist will surgically remove old scars from the face. The procedure is best suited for scars that are long or wide in appearance, according to the American Academy of Dermatology 2. Follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions to ensure healing and prevent infection.

Sand away old scars with dermabrasion treatments. This treatment is effective for pockmarks and other minor scarring to the face. Depending on scar severity, several treatments may be required, according to the American Academy of Dermatology 2.

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Improve the appearance of thick scars with soft tissue fillers. The doctor uses your own fat or collagen material to improve the appearance of old scars. The materials are injected into the scar site. This treatment is best for scars with a depressed appearance.

Use punch grafts to remove old scars. Your dermatologist will use a cookie cutter-looking tool to surgically cut out old scarring. He will then graft unscarred skin onto the scar site. As a result, the scar site has a smoother appearance. Your doctor will provide after care instructions for proper healing.

Remove scar tissue with cryosurgery. This involves a dermatologist freezing the top layers of skin. Blisters form, and excess scar tissue is then removed. You may need to avoid the sun during the healing process because skin will be sensitive.


Treatments designed to treat older scars will minimize the size, color and depth of facial scarring. Surgical revision is the procedure that removes the scars most effectively. However, other procedures typically minimize the appearance of scars.


Talk with your doctor about each procedure’s pricing. Health insurance companies rarely cover facial scarring treatments, which are considered cosmetic.