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Can A Facelift Help With Acne Scars?

woman holding hair and looking forward

With a facelift, as with all cosmetic surgery procedures, there are a number of areas of concern that can be addressed, including (but not limited to) a loss of volume and wrinkles.

Acne scarring, which is scarring due to the inflammation caused by pimples, can be unsightly, resulting in low self-esteem, depression, and insecurity for those who have visible acne scars on their face, which can become more prominent with age. Here, we will address how acne scars are formed, look at the different types of acne scarring, and discuss whether a facelift can help reduce the appearance of acne scarring.

What Is A Facelift?

“Facelift” is an umbrella term that can refer to a wide variety of facial plastic surgery procedures. In general, a facelift is a type of plastic surgery that addresses signs of facial aging, which results from the loss in facial volume and tissue elasticity that happens naturally as we get older. When we age, we experience the “3Ds” of growing old: deflation, descent, and deterioration. A facelift reverses the 3Ds to restore a youthful, rested, and natural appearance to the face.

A facelift can include micro-facelifts, vampire facelifts, suture suspension facelifts, and thread lifts. All procedures under the umbrella term are designed to improve the look of the face, including the cheeks, jowls, and neck. During the procedure, a surgeon will remove excess skin, smooth out wrinkles, eliminate age spots, and restore missing volume. At SpaMedica, a facelift involves creating hidden incisions behind the ear and hairline to re-suspend droopy fat tissues, remove loose skin, and avoid visible scars.

Facelift procedures may be paired with other cosmetic procedures, such as a nose job, neck lift, dermal fillers, botox injection, or energy-based skin rejuvenation devices, to achieve a patient’s desired results. SpaMedica’s plastic surgeons can provide details regarding any of these options during your consultation.

What’s The Purpose Of A Facelift?

The purpose of a facelift is to restore a youthful look to the face by reversing the signs of aging. Anyone who has sagging cheeks, soft tissue volume, hanging neck skin, and early jowls may wish to have a facelift done. There is no perfect candidate for a facelift, and patients can get a facelift done at any age (though patients must be at least 18 years old) to combat the signs of premature aging.

What Are Acne Scars?

Acne scars result from the inflammation of acne blemishes. A pore affected by acne bacteria swells, which causes a breakdown in the pore wall. In some cases, scars are hollow and heal quickly; however, larger blemishes can cause deeper, long-lasting scars. Acne scars take two main forms: either a scar develops due to a loss of tissue, which causes an indentation, or a raised scar develops on the skin’s surface. Acne scars can occur anywhere on the body where an individual has acne or blemishes, including the face.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne scars occur when your body produces new collagen to repair the inflammation caused by acne. If your body produces excess collagen, raised scars can occur. In other cases, inflammation and damage caused by acne can result in a loss of skin tissue, which creates pitted or indented scars.

woman with short hair smiling

Types Of Acne Scars

Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars are pitted or indented scars. There are three types of atrophic scars:

Ice pick scar: This type of acne scar looks like the tool after which it is named. It is an indentation wider at the top and narrows to a point deeper within the skin. They are most commonly found on the forehead and upper cheeks.

Rolling scar: These scars have sloping edges that result in an uneven appearance to the skin. They are often found on the jaw and lower cheeks.

Boxcar scar: Boxcar scars are indents that have sharp edges that extend deep into the skin. They often occur on the jaw and lower cheeks.

Hypertrophic & Keloid Scars

Keloid and hypertrophic scars are raised off the skin. They are usually found on the chest, back and shoulders, and jawline. Those with hypertrophic or keloid scars may find them painful or itchy.

Do Facelifts Help Remove Acne Scars?

Facelift procedures can help lessen the appearance of acne scars, but these procedures will not remove acne scars completely. This is because, during a facelift, underlying tissues — not the skin itself — are tightened, which can help improve the appearance of scarring. However, the scarring will remain. More severe acne scarring is less likely to be significantly affected by a facelift procedure.

Other Methods For Treating Acne Scars

While facelift procedures may not be appropriate for treating acne scars, there are a number of other plastic surgery options that may help address acne scarring.


Microneedling is a non-surgical procedure that uses small needles to create tiny holes in the skin. The dermis then produces collagen in response to these small injuries, which stimulates healthy skin growth and reduces the appearance of scarring on the skin.


Dermal fillers are injected under the skin. The result is a more plump appearance, and this plumpness also helps smooth out scars and reduce their appearance. Juvederm and Restylane are two types of fillers that are offered by SpaMedica.


Dermabrasion and dermaplaning can refinish the skin’s top layers through surgical scraping, which gives the epidermis a smoother appearance. These procedures are commonly used to treat deep scarring, such as acne scarring. You may also wish to consider a chemical peel or microdermabrasion, which are less invasive skin resurfacing procedures, and can help to reduce the appearance of scarring.

Discover Your Options With SpaMedica

Whether you are considering a facelift, dermal filler, or a dermabrasion procedure, the surgeons at SpaMedica are available to discuss which option is right for you to achieve your desired result. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Thomas Bell | SpaMedica

by Dr. Thomas Bell

Dr. Tom Bell, with over 25 years of practice experience dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery, pioneered Avenue Road and Yorkville as Toronto’s Beverly Hills of plastic surgery with his first surgical center in Yorkville’s Avenue road corridor back in 1986. Named as Canada’s best plastic surgeon by W magazine and one of the world’s best, Dr. Bell returns home to join the SpaMedica Plastic Surgery team as the reigning King of Plastic Surgery.
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