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Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scars

How effective is Laser resurfacing for clearing acne scars? I don't really care about the downtime, but the cosmetic results are very important. What number of treatments do you recommend? I'd prefer if I only have to get it done once.

Doctor Answers (16)

Acne Scars

+1
Unfortunately there is no "miracle" quick fix for acne scars.  Profractional Laser Resurfacing can be a very effective method for minimizing and diminishing acne scars.  This procedure is also safe for most skin types.  It usually requires 5-7 treatments depending on the severity of the scarring and only has 2 - 5 days down time.  The cost is also substantially less than other laser resurfacing such as Co2.

Best,

Dr. Rodgers


Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scars

+1
Laser treatment for acne scarring can be effective in some patients:
  • Acne scarring can vary substantially in severity, and laser resurfacing will generally improve acne scarring however not offer a complete cure
  • Laser resurfacing is only suitable for lighter skin pigmentation, darker ethnicities are not suited to laser resurfacing as there is an increased risk of scarring and darker pigmentation after treatment
  • Additional treatments may be required to improve acne scarring including the use of volumetric fillers to elevate deep scars. In addition deep scars may require undermining, subcision, punch excision or other surgical techniques to give the best results.
Laser resurfacing can be effective in improving the appearance of the skin and it requires a comprehensive assessment to evaluate the type and severity of acne scarring and if additional treatments are required to enhance the results, and a discussion about expectations from treatment. 

Julian De Silva, MD
London Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Lasers for acne scarring

+1

Lasers can be used very effectively for acne scarring, in particular ablative lasers. Patients have told me that I have transformed their lives with acne scar treatments using some of these lasers. Not everyone will always get life changing results but with time and the right procedures almost all scars can be improved and frequently significantly. Some techniques such as fillers / chemical peels/ lasers/ surgery can be used synergistically to create an optimal result.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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Acne scars require customized approach for best results

+1
In my office, Charlotte Skin & Laser, I use a variety of treatments to best treat acme scars - often several different treatment methods in the same patient in either the same or separate sessions. These can include lasers, undermining or subcision, punch excision, TCA to ice pick scars, fillers or injections for raised areas. The most often utilized lasers are the vbeam for red scars and the non-ablative Fraxel restore.

Elizabeth F. Rostan, MD
Charlotte Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Fraxel For Acne Scars

+1

Thank you for your question. At my practice, I have gotten excellent results for scarring with Fraxel. This 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.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Laser Resurfacing effective for Acne Scars

+1

The number of recommended treatments is completely dependent on the severity of your acne scars. We recommend anywhere from 1-6 treatments of Pixel, which is a resurfacing laser that targets skin texture. 

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Laser resurfacing for acne scars

+1

We are treating acne scars with different modalities,

For regular, boxcar acne scars, we use either the traditional CO2 Laser (7-9 days downtime)  or the fractionated CO2 laser (2-3 days downtime).  Usually 2-3 treatments with the fractionated laser are equivalent to one  traditional laser treatment.

For large, deep boxcar scars, we use punch elevation followed by CO2 laser resurfacing (traditional or fractionated).

For ice pick scars, we use Chemical Reduction Of Scars (CROS) with Trichloracetic acid.

For rolling scars we use subcision followed by injection of Sculptra.

In some cases we use a permanent filler such as Artefill

Often we use a combination of these modalities in the same patient.

It is important that you be treated by a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon.

 

Eugene Mandrea, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Laser Resurfacing

+1

Resurfacing is effective for acne scars, but one treatment is sometimes not enough.  Be cautious about trying to do too much with one treatment.  Unless you are very light in skin color, your risks will climb rapidly and you will risk skin discoloration, and either loss of color or increase in pigment color, especially if you have an ethnic background.*

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Acne Scar Treatments

+1

The Most effective treatment that we use is Microfractional Plus. This combines the ability of an Erbium laser to sand down the ridges on the edge of the scars and and the tightening, smoothing and pigment reduction of the Micro fractional Carbon dioxide laser. This can ruduce the appearance of scars up to 90%. We then follow up by raising the remaining depresions with Fillers, such as Restylane

Michael Tomcik, MD
San Ramon Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scars

+1

Your question has some important points: you don't care about downtime; you prefer to have the procedure done only once; you want to get some significant cosmetic results. There are many options available. Best option is to see a dermatologist with laser surgery experience. An ablative laser procedure, such as an erbium YAg laser resurfacing procedure, might be a good alternative.However, first, the doctor needs to evaluate your acne scars, skin type, risk of scarring, pigmentation, etc to deteremine if this is the best option or if another alternative would be better. 

Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.