What Are the Treatments for Rolling Acne Scars?

Rolling acne scars occur when bands of tissue develop in deeper structures of the skin’s surface and between the surfaces of the skin 4. The bands pull at the skin, creating a visible “rolling” effect. These scars can also become more noticeable as we age. Luckily there are treatments for rolling scars that can be performed by dermatologists to restore the skin’s smooth surface.


Subcutaneous incision is a surgery used to treat rolling acne scars 4. According to the Skin Care Physicians website, a surgical probe is used to separate the scar tissue from the skin 2. Blood will form under the scar and help to raise it up to the skin’s surface to even it out. Multiple treatments may be required, and bruising may be evident for a week or two following the surgery. Subcutaneous incision is often combined with resurfacing treatments.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing using ablative lasers removes the top layers of skin while heating the sub-layers. New skin then forms in its place. This treatment leaves visible wounds that require downtime to allow for healing. Skin Care Physicians report people have seen continuous improvements over time following the treatment for up to 18 months 2. Multiple treatments may be required, and your dermatologist may combine laser resurfacing with another treatment.

Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are another form of resurfacing. A chemical, typically some form of acid, is applied to the skin area, and different chemicals will provide different levels of treatment into the skin. Following the treatment, your skin will peel and new skin will appear in up to 14 days. Downtime may be required for deeper peels. Follow-up care is important with a chemical peel and your dermatologist will instruct you with appropriate steps to follow.


Dermabrasion is also a form of resurfacing and is often performed in a surgical center. An electrical instrument with rotating wire brushes will scrape away at the skin’s surface. A wound is left to enable new skin to grow in its place. Up to two weeks of downtime may be required, and results will continue to show over several months. Redness and swelling may be present during this time.


Augmentation is the injection of fillers under the scar to raise it to the skin’s surface. Fillers are typically made of various forms of collagen or fat from the patient. Augmentation is a temporary solution that often requires treatments every six months or longer. New fillers are being tested all the time for increased length of effect.