Before a licensed esthetician begins to address the scarring that can be left behind from acne, any active acne will need to be addressed first. While estheticians can’t treat severe acne, they can certainly care for your clients’ skin and perform professional treatments that help minimize the active acne and help with scarring.

In the case of severe acne, like cystic acne, you should guide your clients to see a medical professional (if they aren’t already doing so) to see if they are suitable candidates for either a prescribed topical medication or pill that works on minimizing the acne internally. Once the severe acne is under control, estheticians can be the ideal partners in minimizing the scars and any hyperpigmentation associated with them.

It is important that estheticians do a thorough client consultation to get as much information about the client including lifestyle, medical history, pre-existing conditions, or genetic conditions before any treatments are performed. A skin care analysis with magnification will give your estheticians further information about the client’s skin like how much oil is present, hydration, pigmentation depth, skin thickness, vascularity, sun damage, and Fitzpatrick skin type so that they can select the most appropriate treatment for your clients’ skin type.

What Is Acne Scarring?

When acne occurs, the body kicks off a natural wound healing response by producing collagen and elastin fibers in an attempt to repair the skin. How the body responds to acne will determine if scarring will take place or not. When the body produces too much collagen, raised scars are the result. In contrast, when the body doesn’t produce enough collagen, pitted scars can occur. Regardless of the type of scar left behind, it is indicative of an abnormal inflammatory response that is a sign of poor wound healing.

Are Acne Scars Permanent?

If you have clients who suffer from acne scars, they will probably ask you how long it takes for them to go away. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple one. It really depends on the type of scar and the treatment. Just keep in mind that not all scars go away permanently and just because your clients have acne doesn’t mean they will experience scarring.

What Services Can Estheticians Offer Their Clients To Minimize Acne Scars?

Once the acne is under control, there are a variety of non-invasive skin treatments that estheticians can perform to minimize your clients’ acne scarring. Below are just a few.

  • Microdermabrasion manually exfoliates the outermost layer of the skin with the help of a handpiece with a diamond tip. Because the dead skin cells are immediately suctioned away, this treatment can help with improving the appearance of acne scars. Microdermabrasion also helps with congested pores and skin texture.

  • Chemical peels use an array of acids at various strengths to help assist with cell turnover, kill acne bacteria, and help reduce the discoloration and scarring often left behind from acne. Depending on the depth of the peel, chemical peels have minimal downtime and deliver lasting results

  • Microneedling utilizes fine needles that penetrate the skin to create tiny wounds that initiate collagen production naturally in order for the skin to heal itself. Acne medication can be applied prior to the treatment to drive the topical solution further into the skin. Microneedling is effective at reducing pore size, improving texture, and to plump up deep, indented scars.

  • Plason is a clinically proven, non-invasive skin treatment that utilizes plasma to help ionize the skin. It creates controlled thermal damage in the treatment area and helps to reduce the bacteria responsible for acne, improve the skin’s texture and tone, and stimulate new collagen and elastin, which is why this treatment option can help minimize scars from acne.


While licensed estheticians may not be able to treat acne due to the scope of their license, they are ideal partners to help your clients achieve healthy skin to minimize acne and any scarring that should happen as a result. In addition to being able to perform a variety of professional treatments, estheticians can also suggest a skincare regimen that will help your clients achieve their skin goals.