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Acne Surgery for Brown Skin

I have acne scars (kind of bulges) all over my nose and on my chin. I got the pimples when I was in my teenage and they stayed for ever on my nose leaving as bulges. It is making me looking worse. What kind of surgery helps me to remove these bulges and have a clean nose. I an 25 years old Female Asian origin. Will laser surgery help me to remove the acne scars or bulges. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Doctor Answers 11

Acne and acne scar treatments

It is unclear from your photo whether these are scars or still active acne on your nose.  So we will approach the question in two parts:  In both parts, I am presuming you have no health conditions that would prevent you from getting these treatments and that you are not pregnant or trying to become pregnant.  To determine whether these are scars or still active acne, I recommend you see a board-certified dermatologist for an evaluation.

1. Cystic acne treatments:

  • Stop all milk and dairy products.  Milk and milk products, regardless whether organic or not, contain hormones, like growth hormone, anabolic steroids, androgens, etc, all of which will contribute to cystic acne.
  • Tell your doctor about your family history of acne and your personal history of menstrual irregularities or other health problems.
  • Medications that may improve cystic acne are oral antibiotics, anti-androgens, like spironolactone, and isotretinoin (Accutane). 

2. Acne scar treatments: 

  • Atrophic acne scars can be treated with fractional laser resurfacing with excellent improvement.  Usually that is done after the active acne is under control. 
  • If a person takes Accutane to treat acne, fractional laser resurfacing of acne scars should be done no earlier than 24 months after Accutane treatment is completed, as Accutane may contribute to excessive scarring within the first 24 months after treatment.
  • Usually a fading cream and broad-spectrum sunscreen need to be used for one month before and one month after the procedure to minimize hyperpigmentation after the procedure.
  • Strict sun avoidance and sun protection must be practiced daily.
  • For individual depressed acne scars, dermal fillers may be used for correction.
  • For hypertrophic or keloidal acne scars, injections of intralesional Kenalog (a corticosteroid anti inflammatory medication) can help smooth out the scars.


Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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Laser can help... read more.

This is a very common condition that we come across, the lumps and bumps are soft right? This is due to a lack of collagen in the area and leads to hernation of the skin- causing bulges. Conditions like acne and granulomatous rosacea can lead to this. 

Laser resurfacing can help. I would consider CO2 Fractional at max settings BUT conservative coverage. You will need at least 4-5 sessions. This should improve things by 50-70%, depending on how much collagen we can stimulate. 


Dr Davin Lim 
Laser and cosmetic dermatologist
BRISBANE, Australia

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Treatment of acne scars on brown skin

If you truly have acne scars, the treatments options would mostly likely include chemical or laser peels (based on your photo).  Make sure that you have gotten your acne under control so that you don't start getting new scars.  The best option is to find a board-certified dermatologist.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist
3.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Treating Acne on Brown Skin

I would suggest the Elos Laser Acne treatment for your acne. This treatment works by combining Bi-Polar Radiofrequency and Blue Light energies to penetrate the skin to precisely target and destroy active acne-causing bacteria, while simultaneously slowing excessive sebaceous oil production. Treatments help to reduce active acne and speeds up healing time. Elos Laser Acne treatment is effective in all skin types and the number of treatments depends upon the severity of acne. Treatments are made comfortable by the placement of topical numbing creme, with further comfort provided by cooling the skin surface. There is no associated down time with treatments, and normal activities can be started immediately the procedure is performed.

The picture looks like active acne still!

The bumps on the nose appear like active acne papules / rosacea. LASER would be a good choice, as also ablative radiofrequency. You can also consider a TCA peel. A course of Isotretinoin may also be considered if you keep getting these bumps. Make sure to use a non comedogenic sunscreen, and a salicylic acid based facewash would be helpful. If you have dandruff, that needs to be treated as well. 

Treating Acne Scars on Darker Skin Types

Without a picture it is difficult to know exactly what you mean by "bulges" related to prior acne.  Typically acne scarring comes in the form of depressions in the skin, not bulges; however, you can occasionally get hypertrophic (raised, thickened) scarring from acne.  There are many excellent treatments for acne scarring which include injectable fillers, chemical peeling, laser resurfacing, punch excision, punch grafting, and/or light electrosurgery.  The treatments selected depends on the nature of the scars and the skin type and color.  But it is very possible to safely and effectively treat acne scarring in darker skin types. I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist experienced in treating acne scars. Click on the link below to look at before and after photos of patients with acne scars treated with injectable fillers and some resurfacing with light electrosurgery.

Scars, acne, acne scars, acne scars in brown skin

This is a real tough question. Without a high quality picture, it is impossible to tell which treatment is best

Lasers are often the best answer

Barry Lycka, MD
Edmonton Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Acne surgery for brown skin

I agree that laser surgery, chemical peels, and dermabrasion may all be of benefit to you.  But I think you should know that while acne surgery will help a lot, the goal of treatment would be improvement, not a perfect, “clean” nose.  But don’t despair.  Certainly, there is help for your condition.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Buldges / Acne scars on nose

I would try shaving one off to send for pathology to get a diagnosis - acne vs. scar or something else.  

Further treatment would be directed by the pathology results.

This shave removal procedure also serves as a test treatment of sorts.  If the outcome is satisfactory, then more shave removals could be performed.  Laser resurfacing may useful also.

We likewise have a wide variety of treatment options available to treat such bumps depending upon diagnosis.


Robert Strimling, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Acne scar improvement in brown skin

There are many options for your acne scarring, best to be assessed in person by a skin expert, a dermatologist. Your options include laser resurfacing and chemical peels, among other options like punch excisions, subcision, etc. Most importantly, any active acne must be treated and cleared up.  Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Benjamin Barankin, MD
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.