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Leading Acne Scar Reduction Protocols with Gold Standard Results

Experience the very best in acne scar reduction treatment protocols with industry leading Cosmetic Doctors.

Contour Clinics have the most comprehensive range of acne scar reduction treatment modalities in the business. We use a variety of treatments including lasers, chemical peels, fillers, subcision and excision. Not all scarring is the same, and as such no treatment regimen is the same. All treatments at contour are individualised to suit YOUR unique scars.


All consultations with our Cosmetic Doctors/nurses/dermal therapists are complimentary and obligation free.

Can’t get into the clinic? Send us a photograph and let one of our Cosmetic Physicians provide you with a complimentary treatment plan suited to your specific scarring.

The gold standard in acne scarring skin resurfacing treatments.

This modality is slightly less aggressive than the fraxel laser, requiring more treatments to get similar results. This is the perfect option for those who cannot tolerate more than 1-2 days redness post treatment. Excellent results possible from 3-5 sessions in total spaced 1 month apart.

This is the only real treatment modality to release deep tethered scar tissue causing pitted/rolling/boxcar or punched out acne scars.

All TCA cross sessions are performed by our expert cosmetic doctors, who are experienced and highly trained in the TCA cross method.

Severe acne scarring can often cause atrophy (shrinking) of the underlying fat. This can cause significant depressions in the skin. Fortunately, this volume loss can be easily replaced with dermal filler.

All review appointments are complimentary and can be done in person or electronically via photographic assessment.


Before and After Acne Scar Treatments

Before and after acne scarring treatments using the Contour Clinics acne scarring reduction protocol of subcison/laser

Before and After Acne Scar Treatments

Before and after acne scarring treatments using the Contour Clinics acne scarring reduction protocol of subcison/laser

Before and After Acne Scar Treatments

Before and after acne scarring treatments using the Contour Clinics acne scarring reduction protocol of subcison/laser

Before and After Acne Scar Treatments

Before and after acne scarring treatments using the Contour Clinics acne scarring reduction protocol of subcison/laser

Before and After Acne Scar Treatments

Before and after acne scarring treatments using the Contour Clinics acne scarring reduction protocol of subcison/laser

Before and After

Significant improvement in acne scarring seen after 3 treatments with fractional non-ablative laser.

The gold standard protocol in acne scar reduction Acne Scar Combination Treatments

Acne scars are almost always best suited to a combination of treatments. These treatments many include any or all of the following:

  • Skin resurfacing laser
    • This erases the redness from your scarring, while smoothing and resurfacing damaged skin. Fraxel is the industry leader in scar resurfacing treatments and is a mainstay modality at Contour Clinics.
  • Subcision 
    • Releases deep dermal attachments which are the root cause of tethered down acne scars. Read more about subcision by clicking here.
  • Radiofrequency skin needling
    • One of our more aggressive scarring treatments, providing amazing improvements in scarring as well as improvements in skin quality and tightness
  • TCA Cross
    • The gold standard in treating deep icepick and boxcar scars. Read our FAQs below for more information.
  • LED light therapy
    • Speeds the healing process and reduces bruising post subcision. Recommended for every subcision session.
  • Dermal fillers
    • Often, scarring causes atrophy and shrinkage of fat underlying the skin surface. This can contribute to acne scar depressions. Replacing this volume with dermal filler can be the answer, smoothing and revolumising the skin back to its pre-acne state.

Understanding Acne Scarring What are the different types of Acne Scars?

Acne scarring can be classified in to the following types:

  • Icepick scars – These are narrow, deep scars extending deep into the subcutaneous tissue.
  • Rolling scars- Shallow undulating scars caused by fibrous scar tissue anchoring the upper layers of the skin to the subcutaneous tissue. There is often a component of fat atrophy causing skin depressions, which can be improved with dermal fillers.
  • Boxcar scars- These are round to square depressions with punched out margins
  • Hypertrophic scars- Raised red scars occur secondary to an overproduction of collagen in response to trauma.

Achieve a crystal clear complexion Treating skin colour changes post acne scarring

Whilst acne may be in your rear vision mirror, redness, pigmentation and uneven skin tone usually always persist. Fortunately, these can be treated safely and very effectively with our comprehensive range of laser technologies.

Post inflammatory erythema (Redness)

  • This is a common condition affecting almost anyone who has suffered from acne. Inflammation from active acne often leaves a redness that can persist for many months post acne. It is most common in lighter skin types.
  • Treatments are focused around removing redness with a vascular laser. Depending on your skin type this may be pulse dye laser, intense pulsed light or 1064 Nd:YAG.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (Pigmentation)

  • Darkened areas of pigmentation in areas of previous active acne is very common, especially in those with darker skin types. Without intervention, this usually takes months if not years to completely resolve.
  • With a combination of prescription lightening creams and q-switch laser our experts can smooth away uneven pigmentation with minimal downtime in just a few short sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of lasers/energy based devices do we use to treat acne scarring?

This will depend on your comprehensive assessment and specific acne scar type. Lasers we use at Contour Clinics include:

  • Fraxel laser- this is one of our favourite lasers for acne scarring, providing excellent results that are suitable for most scars in all skin types.
  • Icon Max G intense pulsed light– this is perfect for lighter skin types who are experiencing redness from post inflammatory erythema (PIE) common to most in the early years following resolution of acne.
  • 1064 Nd:YAG laser for reducing acne scarring redness in darker skin types. This also stimulates collagen giving your skin a healthy glow.
  • Revlite q-switch laser- this is perfect for collagen stimulation to aid in acne scar remodelling as well as post inflammatory pigmentation common in darker skin types with acne.
  • Morpheus Radiofrequency Skin Needling– It’s insulated tips mean its energy is concentrated to the deeper layers of the dermis where its needed. It is perfect for atrophic and rolling scars.
  • Icon 1540 fractional non-ablative laser– this works in a similar way to Fraxel, but is slightly less aggressive for those who don’t have the same downtime available. It is safe in all skin types provided the skin has been appropriately prepared for treatment.

How do fractional laser scar treatments work?

Scar tissue is resurfaced with our fractional non-ablative technology. Specialist laser beams are passed in tiny columns through the outer layers of the skin where they treat a fraction of the skins surface. These lasers produce thousands of microscopic ablation zones within the treatment areas and extend deep into the dermis, where acne scars lie. Healthy skin is left around these ablation zones, allowing faster regeneration of the surrounding treated skin.

Our expert cosmetic professionals control the laser depth, energy and number of passes dependent on your specific acne scarring. This stimulates collagen production, causing renewal remodelling and tightening of scarring. The ‘fractional’ nature of laser columns means less downtime, with results comparable to the more ablative laser therapies. Different types of laser treatment may be selected depending on whether scarring is red, pigmented or your baseline skin colour.

Will laser acne scar treatments hurt?

This treatment is minimally uncomfortable. Topical anaesthetic creams can be used if required. Cold compresses are used throughout the treatment to reduce the hot sensation one may feel during laser treatments. Some patients describe a sunburn sensation once anaesthetic creams have worn off. This should subside in 6-24 hours.

What are the risks of laser resurfacing?

Risks associated with laser resurfacing are rare in the hands of expert medical practitioners.

Redness and a sunburn sensation are common post treatment. Your cosmetic professional will prescribe a post laser cream to soothe any redness that may result. Occasionally, you may experience blistering, which will heal without issue. Rarely, patients with darker skin may experience hyperpigmentation in the treatment area. A lightening cream may be prescribed prior to treatment if you are at risk. Scarring does not occur with non-ablative laser resurfacing.

What is the downtime associated with laser scar treatments?

This depends on the type of laser and energy selected to deliver the treatment. Recovery times can be tailored for each patient but are usually 2-7 days of redness and a sunburn-like sensation.

More aggressive treatments/treatment settings deliver better results, but longer downtimes. You may choose to have less aggressive treatments to reduce your social downtime, but more of them to arrive at the same final result at the end of your treatment plan.

How many fractional laser treatments will I need for my acne scars?

This will depend on the treatment modality used. As a general guide you can expect to have 3-5 sessions spaced 1-2 months apart.

The choice of treatment modality depends on your skin type, severity of acne scarring and tolerance of downtime.

How does Radiofrequency Skin Needling work for Acne scars?

Radiofrequency skin needling uses insulated micro needles to deliver concentrated energy to the skins deeper layers, while leaving the outer layers of the skin unharmed. RF Needling allows the operator to deliver energy at pre-specified depths to target the exact level of acne scar tissue.

This is the most effective treatment for severe acne scarring, with results exceeding those that can be expected from fractional laser.

Will Radiofrequency skin needling for acne scarring treatments hurt?

This treatment has minimal discomfort when numbing cream is used for 15-20 minutes pre-treatment. We also have the option of happy gas (nitrous oxide) and cold compresses to reduce discomfort during your procedure.

What is the downtime from radiofrequency skin needling for acne scarring?

You can expect 1-2 days redness and mild swelling post radiofrequency skin needling. This is significantly less than expected for fractional (3-5 days) or fully ablative lasers (2 weeks).

How many treatments of radiofrequency skin needling for acne scarring will I need?

We suggest 3 sessions of radiofrequency skin needling for full results. This is often combined with other therapies for best results.

Does Subcision work for acne scarring?

Yes. Subcision is the only treatment modality proven to release the deep dermal scar tissue attachments that are known to cause depressed acne and general scars.

It works by bluntly cutting through these attachments, allowing the skin to lift back to its natural position, creating far less obvious depressions. This smooths the overlying skin, significantly improving the appearance of your scarring.

See our subcision page for more information on subcision for acne scars.

Who can perform subcision?

Subcision is usually performed by doctors experienced in dermatology, plastic surgery or cosmetic medicine.

The doctors at Contour Clinics are all extensively trained and experienced in the art of subcision and scar removal.

How is subcision performed?

Your subcision starts with careful assessment of the areas requiring treatment. Local anaesthetic is then placed around the areas to be treated to ensure complete comfort throughout your subcision procedure.

A blunt cannula is then inserted under the skin and deep dermal scar attachments are released, allowing the overlying skin to lift back up to its natural place, now untethered by scar tissue. This smooths the overlying skin, significantly reducing the appearance of scar depressions.

Is subcision painful?

No. Once the local anaethetic is placed in the treatment area subcision is completely painless.

How many subcision sessions will I need?

That all depends on the severity of your scarring. Most scarring can be treated with one session. Moderate to severe scar depressions may need 2-3 sessions.

Does subcision break up scar tissue?

Yes. Subcision cuts through deep dermal tethered attachments thus allowing scar depressions to raise back to their pre-scar positions. This smooths skin texture and improves the overall skin aesthetic.

How long does it take to see results from subcision?

You will start to notice results usually 2-4 weeks post procedure, however full results are seen 3 months after your last subcision session.

What is TCA cross?

TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid. It comes in percentages ranging from 70-100% with higher concentrations being used for deep ice pick acne scars.

TCA is only applied to the scar, not the surrounding skin. Once applied, the TCA breaks down acne scar tissue, causing new collagen to fill the scar. This collagen takes 3-4 weeks to form and shows final results in 3-4 months.

What types of acne scarring can be treated by TCA cross?

TCA cross is best suited to deep ice pick or boxcar scars. The deeper the scar, the better TCA cross works. Other treatment modalities are often used in combination on the same day for best results.

TCA is also excellent for treating enlarged pores.

What is the recovery time for TCA cross?

You can expect redness to persist for 3-5 days post TCA cross.

Is TCA cross painful?

No. This treatment is very well tolerated, usually with no need for anaesthetic numbing cream.

How is TCA cross performed?

TCA cross is performed by placing a tiny drop of TCA into the depths of an acne scar. This can be done either with syringe or tooth pick dipped in TCA.

Your procedure starts with a thorough marking out of your acne scars followed by a cleanse of the skin. TCA is delivered to each individual scar causing a mild stinging that is experienced for a minute or two. The skin then turns red and stays this way for 2-3 days. Post procedure we apply an antiseptic soothing gel to prevent infection and speed healing.

How long does TCA cross take to perform?

TCA cross takes 5-10 minutes depending on the degree of acne scarring.

How many TCA cross sessions will I need?

Most patients require 2-3 sessions in total 8 weeks apart. We suggest more sessions in those with darker skin types secondary to a weaker strength to reduce the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation in this group.

What degree of improvement can I expect from my TCA cross treatment?

Usually, we expect a 20-30% improvement with each session. Most patients with severe icepick scars can expect 60-70% improvement after a full treatment course is completed.

Can TCA cross be used on asian and dark skin types?

Yes. TCA cross is suitable for all skin types. You will however experience pigmentation in the treatment area. This is expected, will fade in 2-3 months and can be reduced by a protocol of sunscreen, sun avoidance, skin lightening creams and pigment inhibitors that will be prescribed by a Contour cosmetic professional at the time of your consultation.

You may choose to speed the resolution of pigmentation changes by undergoing our Q-switch Revlite laser, which can smooth any residual pigmentation.

Those with ligher skin types rarely experience pigmentation post TCA cross

Treatments to Compliment

LED Light Therapy

LED phototherapy is a non-invasive treatment for facial rejuvenation, with varying wavelengths to address multiple concerns.


Remove deep pitted acne scars with Subcision, the next level in acne scar treatment. Deep scar tissue is treated to smooth overlying skin, erasing pits, rolling depressions and punched out scarring.

Laser Skin Treatments

Revitalise any skin complaint with our cutting-edge technology including Fraxel laser, IPL (intense pulsed light), Revlite Q-Switch and non-ablative fractional laser.

Morpheus8 Radio-Frequency Skin Needling

Treat yourself to the ultimate in collagen stimulation. The Morpheus 8 is second to none when it comes to skin tightening, acne scarring, pore reduction, and rejuvenation of skin tone and texture.

What causes acne scarring?

Acne scarring is the result of abnormal collagen production and organisation during the acne healing process. It is often worsened by ‘popping’ pimples and can take on many different forms including rolling, ice-pick and boxcar scarring. Each response is unique to the different treatment modalities. Contour Clinics have the most comprehensive range of acne scar reduction treatment modalities in the business. In this video, Dr Josh discusses the many types of acne scars and the best treatment options for each.

Ask for an opinion

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As seen on

Contour Clinics on Ten
Contour Clinics on Cosmechix
Contour Clinics on OK! Mag
ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Contour Clinics on Stay At Home Mum
Contour Clinics on Triple J Hack
Contour Clinics on Costhetics
Contour Clinics on Phalloboards
Contour Clinics on Mums of the Shire

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Not ready to book? Still have questions? Leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

or call us on 1300 233 803


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