Dermatology/Acne & Acne Scarring

We are proud to offer a range of innovative and effective acne treatments delivered by a team of expert medical and surgical consultants

Acne can affect the face, chest and back and is often a painful and uncomfortable condition. Our experts recognise the huge psychological impact that acne and acne scarring has on patients’ confidence and well-being. Acne is not only a condition that affects teenagers but can frequently persist and recur in people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.

At 152 Harley Street, we have experts from a wide range of specialities that are trained and experienced in the treatment and prevention of acne and acne scarring. Our aim is to tailor available treatments to patients’ individual condition, offering an array of cutting-edge and bespoke therapies for inflammatory acne and acne scarring.

We understand that everyone’s skin is different and that acne affects individuals in different ways. The type of acne or acne scarring, which treatments have been tried before, an indivuduals’ skin type, and age, all affect the treatment that is right for you. Therefore, we employ a holistic approach to treatment to ensure that you receive a unique pathway, suited to your individual needs.

Inflammatory acne

Acne, also known as acne vulgaris is a skin condition that occurs when the hair follicles become filled with debris from dead skin cells and excess oil (sebum). These collections within the follicles are knows as comedones. These comedones can be closed (white) comedones and open (black) comedones. Both types of comedones are pre-cursor lesions for acne spots.

The spots appear as red, swollen and sore bumps due to collections of inflammatory cells deep in your skin. There are three types of inflammatory acne spots: pustules, nodules, and cysts. A pustule is a bump raised on the surface of your skin that contains pus – which is a by product of the inflammation. A nodule is a large, hard bump buried beneath your skin. A cyst is a large, soft, fluid-filled bump beneath your skin.

If pimples persist and inflammation is excessive, the contents of the pimples can then spread into your skin, causing your body’s immune system to react by sending white blood cells, which causes a lot more redness, swelling, pus and tenderness that is typical of inflammatory acne.

Therefore, the characteristic lesions of acne include blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, spots, nodules and cysts. Often redness (erythema) after the inflammation, and/or post inflammatory pigmentation and scarring can be left on the skin after the acne clears.

Acne scarring

As a result of acne, some people experience acne scars which may only become apparent after the acne has settled. Acne scarring can have a negative psychological impact on sufferers and therefore at 152 Harley Street, we specialise in improving the appearance of scarring.

Depressed acne scars form when there is loss of dermal collagen due to deep seated acne inflammation. These are called atrophic scars and are the commonest type and are further subdivided into rolling, ice pick and boxcar scars. Raised acne scars form when the body produces too much collagen. Raised acne scars generally occur more often among those with darker skin tones.

When acne scars are treated an individualised approach is best as each type requires a different approach to treatment due to the nature of the scar.

Man touching his face

Ice pick scars 

Ice pick scars tend to be narrow and deep and are best treated with punch excision or localised chemical peeling technique called TCA CROSS. This is a technique in which the individual scar is completely removed surgically or by peeling and the resultant shallow scar is much more amenable to laser treatment afterwards.

Boxcar scars

Boxcar scars tend to be less deep with sharper shoulders and are often rectangular or round in shape. These scars often respond well to CO2 laser resurfacing or small “punch” excisional procedures.

Rolling scars

Rolling scars tend to have the appearance of hills and valleys and can appear as shadows on the skin and can vary in severity. Treatment for severe acne scars often includes an initial procedure called ‘subcision’, in which the scarred tissue underneath is cut, allowing for the release of the tethered scarring. Following this, laser resurfacing is used for optimal results. In some patients, injections with dermal fillers can also help reduce the appearance of the scar and help a little to regenerate the scar.

Acne scarring treatment

The following acne scarring treatments are available, including microneedling, medical grade skin chemical peeling techniques, UltraPulse CO2 laser, Non-ablative fractionated laser (M22), dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, soft tissue fillers, subscision and punch excision.

It is vital that there is no residual inflammatory acne before embarking on scarring treatments, and our dermatologists can help restore your skin prior to recommending scarring treatments.

We pride ourselves on providing personalised plans for our patients, recognising all patients’ personal requirements and delivering a specific pathway to address all your needs individual needs and skin types. The resulting treatments to improve acne scars may be one or a combination of the wide range of treatments we can provide.


Microneedling is a cosmetic skin treatment that has been shown to be highly effective in combating the symptoms of acne. The procedure strategically creates tiny punctures in the skin to stimulate new cell growth, expelling dead cells from the pores and regulating oil production. Microneedling helps to unblock clogged pores and reduce inflammation, both of which are major factors in acne formation.

The small needle pricks may also stimulate your body to produce more collagen in the dermis which helps to smooth out the skin around mild acne scars and heal the small wounds from the needles improving the overall appearance of your scars too. Results are usually subtle, so repeat treatments may be required.

Medical grade skin peels

Medical grade skin peels can also be very effective in treating acne and acne scars. Skin peels are effective treatments used to target acne scarring by applying an acidic solution to the surface of your face, back or chest. These treatments work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that can form an impenetrable barrier over pores, preventing them becoming blocked and generating acne.

More gentle skin peels can help to reduce acne outbreaks and prevent new breakouts from forming whilst stimulating collagen which helps to smooth out the skin around acne scars, improving the overall appearance of your scars. Additionally, skin peels often help encourage cell regeneration and stimulate new skin collagen production.

Chemical peels are considered a very safe treatment for acne scars and come with a wide range of benefits beyond simply minimising the appearance of acne scars, such as improving overall skin tone and texture, reducing lines and wrinkles, and reducing the appearance of blemishes caused by sun damage.

Stronger chemical peels can be helpful in treating small, deep acne scars such as ice pick scars.

At 152 Harley Street there are a variety of skin peels available and during your consultation with one of our expert dermatologists, they will be able to identify the perfect treatment for your individual needs. In addition to our skin peels, at 152 Harley Street, we also offer some medical grade skin care options for deeper scars.

Medical-grade skincare describes products which are not available over the counter. These products are formulated to most effectively treat conditions such as acne and can be prescribed to you by one of our specialists following an in depth consultation allowing them to understand your individual needs and identify the best treatment for you.

UltraPulse CO2 laser

The UltraPulse CO2 laser by Lumenis is considered the ‘gold-standard’ in the treatment of many different conditions, notably the treatment of acne scars. At 152 Harley Street, we offer some of the most advanced treatments in laser skin resurfacing and dermatology.

The laser inflicts a controlled injury to the skin which then encourages the skin to produce more collagen and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The production of collagen leads to the skin surrounding the scars to smooth out, improving the overall appearance of your scars whilst encouraging growth of new skin to create a more even-looking result.

At 152 Harley Street, UltraPulse CO2 laser treatment is performed under local anaesthetic by one of our expert dermatologists. Laser resurfacing treatments generally require multiple treatments over time in order to achieve lasting results but the CO2 laser acne scar treatment has minimal downtime.


Dermabrasion can help to improve acne scars and smooth the skin surface. It is a surgical procedure which removes the top layers of the skin and debris from the pores clearing the way for new healthy skin growth and a smoother, fresher appearance.

Local anaesthetic is administered during this procedure to manage any discomfort. After the treatment your skin is likely to be very sensitive but this should begin to heal a few days after the treatment and it may take around three months for your skin tone to go back to its original colour.


Microdermabrasion is similar to dermabrasion however it is more gentle. A hand held device is guided over the skin to provide light and gentle abrasion. Microdermabrasion is less intensive than dermabrasion and only removes superficial dead or dying skin cells, while dermabrasion goes deeper and removes some of the layers of the skin that are still viable (alive).

Soft tissue fillers

Soft tissue fillers can help improve the appearance of indented scars by injecting hyaluronic acid or fat, or other substances under the skin. The goal is to make the scars less noticeable, and results are usually temporary, meaning that repeat treatments may be needed to maintain the effect.


Subcision is a minor surgical procedure to improve the appearance of acne scars. It works best for rolling scars and involves the insertion of a hypodermic needle underneath the scar. During this process, the scar tissue underneath is disconnected from the scar lifting the scar and improving the appearance of the scars on the skin surface. In addition to lifting the scar, the needle also leads to increased collagen production as the body tries to heal the area which smooths the skin out, improving the appearance of the scars further.

Punch Excision

Punch Excision is a surgical procedure to treat acne scars and works best for ice pick scars. A specific tool (punch biopsy tool) is used which reflects the size of the scar. The tool is used to excise the scar and completely remove it from the skin. Following this, the wound is closed with sutures and allowed time to heal. This can lead to another scar on the skin surface; however, this is much finer and can be improved with laser treatment.

The primary motivation to have acne or acne scarring treatment to improve the appearance of the skin and remove the pain and uncomfortable feeling being experienced. Treating acne and acne scars can also improve self-confidence and overall well-being.

Acne and acne scars differ greatly between each person. There are many treatments available, from creams to laser treatment under local anaesthetic. We deploy a holistic approach to treatment in order to ensure that you receive a unique treatment pathway that is perfectly suited to your individual needs types of acne scars and therefore there are a variety of treatments available to best treat each one.

At 152 Harley Street, we pride ourselves on being able to offer the highest quality personalised plans which are carefully formulated to best treat your personal needs and achieve the best results for your concerns.

Contrary to common belief, acne is not caused by a poor diet or hygiene. Rather, genetics (if your parents or other relatives have had acne) and hormones are behind most forms of acne. In most cases, it is normal levels of hormones that contribute to acne.

Acne occurs when hair follicles in the skin become blocked by sebum, a substance produced by the sebaceous glands. If the pores are only partially blocked, they will appear as blackheads; if they are completely blocked, they will appear as whiteheads.

Both blackheads and whiteheads can become inflamed and turn into pimples. There is an interaction with bacteria that are normally found on the skin and often the bacteria worsen the inflammation. In some cases, the inflammation is excessive and involving the deeper parts of the follicles and the pimples can progress into nodules.

Inflammatory acne is a skin condition that causes red, swollen and sore bumps due to pimples deep in your skin. There are three types of inflammatory acne spots: pustules, nodules, and cysts. A pustule is a bump raised on the surface of your skin that contains pus – which is a by product of the inflammation. A nodule is a large, hard bump buried beneath your skin. A cyst is a large, soft, fluid-filled bump beneath your skin.

If pimples persist and continue to put pressure on the follicles in the skin, the walls may break. The contents of the pimples can then spread into your skin, causing your body’s immune system to react by sending white blood cells, which causes a lot more redness, swelling, pus and tenderness that is typical of inflammatory acne.

The scarring that acne leaves on the skin is a by product of the large amount of tissue damage that occurs as a result of the inflammatory acne.

This is why is it vital to switch off and treat inflammatory acne early with effective medical treatments.

There are a variety of treatments available some which can be uncomfortable. The majority of treatments offered at 152 Harley Street are carried out under local anaesthetic to limit the pain and discomfort.

The cost of your acne / acne scar treatment will depend on which treatments you have and the severity of the area being treated. Following your initial consultation with one of our skin specialists, you will receive a quotation which is valid for 60 days and includes aftercare.

Procedure Overview 

  • Acne and acne scarring can have a significant impact on both physical and mental well-being
  • Cutting-edge treatments available at 152 Harley Street delivered by trained and experienced consultant who are experts in their fields
  • Unique treatment pathway tailored to an individual’s specific needs including laser based and surgical treatments, prescription topicals and skin care creams
  • The cost of treatment may vary for each patient
  • Initial consultation with an expert consultant will help to determine the best options for you as an individual

"Experience was positive from start to finish. The staff were professional and caring. I felt that I was in excellent hands."

"Nurses were kind, supportive and able to answer questions; surgeon inspired confidence; appointment was on time; instructions were clear and easy to follow."


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