Acne blemishes can go deeper than what you see on the outside of your skin. When a blemish is large or you disturb it via picking or popping, your skin can be permanently damaged, leaving an acne scar that can be pitted or raised. While acne scarring can be difficult to treat, one option is to use injectable fillers, including those that have hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally present in skin, with the highest concentrations found in skin tissue like cartilage. The acid is referred to as a "filler" because it works to inflate the space between collagen and elastin fibers in skin. The acid also naturally attracts water, which can make sunken areas of skin appear more plump and voluminous. While hyaluronic acid injections have been used for many years in the treatment of conditions like arthritis, its application as an injectable filler for the skin for cosmetic purposes has expanded in recent years.
Hyaluronic acid's properties as a filler make it a candidate for reducing the noticeability of certain types of acne scars. Hyaluronic acid fillers are best suited for acne scars that are smaller and saucer shaped. The filler can have a plumping effect, helping the scar to look more even with the rest of your skin. In addition to its application in treating acne scars, hyaluronic acid also is injected to treat frown lines between eyebrows and deep smile lines.
Hyaluronic acid injections for acne scars are performed as an outpatient medical procedure. A physician or nurse will examine and cleanse your skin. In some instances, local anesthetic may be used to numb the area. A physician then uses a very fine needle to inject hyaluronic acid into the scar. The area may appear red or slightly swollen for up to the seven days after the injection is given. However, because hyaluronic acid is a natural substance within the body, it is not associated with a high risk of allergic reaction. You may require one to two additional injections for the acne scar to fill sufficiently to blend with your surrounding skin.
Hyaluronic acid is not a permanent solution to treating acne scars. The acid begins to break down for absorption into the body. Results can depend upon the body's reaction but typically last between three and nine months.