NHS Acne scar Treatments

NHS Acne scar Treatments

Most people can expect to be affected by acne at some point in their lives; however, some people will suffer from it more serious than others. Acne is triggered by a change in hormones that happens during puberty although on some occasions it can affect men and women in their 30’s and 40’s. The signs of the condition generally appear on the face, neck, chest and back and can have a huge adverse effect on a person’s self-esteem and cause social problems.

Acne sufferers will also suffer from the after-effects of acne which is the scarring. Scars can develop when there is a complication with the large acne spots, nodules and cysts; these can burst and become infected causing scars.

Treatments are available to help reduce and eliminate scarring although the type of treatment given to each person will depend on the type of scarring and how serious the scars are. NHS acne scar treatments are available for people in the UK and can be done free of charge, however, it is only given in certain circumstances.

Receiving acne scar treatment on the NHS

NHS acne scar treatments are considered to be cosmetic surgical procedures and therefore classed as elective and not essential. Non-essential surgery is something that is reserved for private clinics and hospitals and not carried out through the NHS, but despite this there are some occasions when NHS acne scar treatments can be done.

Exceptions to the rule may be made for people suffering from acne scars that have led to severe psychological and social problems. Treatment will usually be done through referral from a GP so it is important to visit your local GP about your condition.

The GP will be able to discuss your situation, determine the type of scarring and how serious the scarring is. Your GP will also be able to give you the information on the likelihood of receiving treatment on the NHS; the expectations of surgery will also be explained.

Using cosmetic surgery to reduce acne scarring can be extremely effective although patients should be aware that scars may not altogether disappear.

Acne scar procedures on the NHS

If you have been deemed eligible for NHS acne scar treatments then there are a number of options available, the best type of procedure will be decided upon during a consultation with a surgeon. Some of the treatments available include:


  • Dermabrasion
  • Laser treatment
  • Punch techniques

Dermabrasion involves removing the top layer of skin in a way similar to sanding; this is done through the use of laser of a specially made wire brush.

Laser treatment is general reserved for mild scarring and will have little effect on deep scars; there are two types of laser treatment:


  • Ablative laser
  • Non-ablative laser

Ablative laser treatment involves removing the skin around the scar and non-ablative laser treatment works to stimulate the growth of collagen which can improve appearance.

Punch techniques are used on deep scars and involves using a tool to surgically remove the scar.