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Acne, is Surgery my Only Option? (photo)

I have tried all sorts of prescribed gels, creams and tablets from the dermatologists and it has not worked! I have also tried simple, clinique, Zenmed, Neutragena, clearsil and proactive products but nothing has worked! I have had this problem since I was 14. I do suffer from PCOS and I am wandering if surgery is my only option? I also have chicken pox scars on face and was wandering if theres any treatment available for them?

Doctor Answers 8

2 problems to deal with

You have 2 completely different problems. 
Firstly, you need your acne treated by a Specialist. Your PCOS may have a contributing role in acne, bottom line- see a Dermatologist for effective treatment. 

Secondly, you have chick pox scars, my suggestion is a filler as there is no downtime, and will not scar. Most chicken pox scars are saucer scars and atrophic, so subscion will not work. Once again, consult either a Derm or Plastics for this. 

Hope this helps

Dr Davin Lim
Laser Dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Treating active acne and acne and chicken pox scars

Thank you for your question.
  • You need to be a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon interested in acne for a complete evaluation.
  • There is no miracle treatment - you need a long term step-by-step plan.
  • First, control of the PCOS will help.
  • Treating active acne is next - and may take antibiotics as well as other products.
  • Treating sunken scars may take filler and/or surgery.
  • Resurfacing with laser or peels is next - the specific laser or peel depending on your budget, your goals and your skin response.
  • Best wishes.

Acne and Acne Scarring? Is surgery the only treatment

The lighting in the picture is low and hard to tell if the acne is active or a long standing thing. That would make me approach this differently. Medical treatment would be my choice for active acne and surgery for long standing acne and acne scarring.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Treatment options for acne and acne scarring

Thank you for your inquiry.  I believe you have 2 separate and related issues.  The first issue is acne which may well be related to your underlying PCOS.  This most likely should be treated medically.  The second issue is your acne scarring.  There are no topical treatments such as creams, lotions, ointments that will make your scarring better. .Without examining you, it is difficult to make firm recommendations for treatment options.  Based on the photographs you supplied, it appears that a combination of laser and subcision may be appropriate.  However, I will emphasize that an actual treatment plan cannot be made without examining you.  Good luck!

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Acne and PCOS

If you have PCOS there may be hormonal options like Sprinolactone or Birth Control Pills.  The current acne scars can best be treated with lasers, either Fraxel or Ematrix.  If you are type IV or darker complexion I would definitely recommend Ematrix.  If you have a lighter skin type I would have Fraxel performed for the scars.  Be certain to find a board certified dermatologist with experience in cosmetics and medical dermatology for the best results.

Acne Scarring

Thank you for your question. Fraxel treatment eliminates irregular skin discoloration, and stimulates new collagen production, tightening the skin without prolonged recovery. After a series of 2 to 4 Fraxel treatments, the cumulative cosmetic improvement is near more aggressive lasers, but unlike more aggressive lasers, redness and swelling eliminated within 2 to 4 days after each treatment.
Fraxel is outstanding for fine wrinkles, mild skin laxity, irregular pigmentation, acne scars, surgical scars, enlarged pores, stretch marks, age spots and Rosacea. It can be used safely on the face, neck, hands, arms, and chest. Fraxel is a great first option before resorting to more intensive options.

Acne Scars

Presently, there are no topical home remedies to remove acne scarring. Acne scarring can be improved by laser resurfacing , surgical dermabrasion and fractional radio-frequency treatments. It is recommended to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Treatment for acne scars.

Lasers can go a great job by making tiny little holes through the skin to the dermis.  The area heals in hopes that the collagen redistributes and "fills in" the look of the depression or scar.  Surgical treatment may involve cutting (circular) out the depression and replacing it with a graft of skin (usually from behind the ear) that is cut a little larger than the first opening.  The grafted skin heals beautifully with little evidence that anything was ever there and the donor skin has a linear scar.



Cheryl Lee Eberting, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 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.