Best Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scars for my Case? (photo)

Hello! I just wanted a feedback from the some experts in the community regarding my case. Skin: - Asian skin (naturally tan) - scars: box and iced picked scars I went for a consultation for skin resurfacing. She did not recommend fraxel because of the depth of my scars. Instead she recommended CO2(SmartSkin CO2) resurfacing + hydroquinone a week before the procedure. My question: - Is the recommended procedure best for my case? - Alternatives? - Does the brand of laser machine matter?

Doctor Answers (2)

Best Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scars


After reviewing your photos, I agree that the Fractional CO2 resurfacing laser would be the most effective laser resurfacing option.  Your dermatologist recommended pre-treatment with hydroquinone to prevent a phenomenon called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (or increased pigmentation on the skin after inflammation caused by the laser treatment.  

The best alternative to Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing would be the Fraxel re:Store laser, an erbium glass laser.  This treatment is not as aggressive or effective as the Fractional CO2 laser, but a series of 4 treatments can deliver results similar to a single Fractional CO2 resurfacing treatment.  The Fraxel requires only 3 days of downtime after each treatment, while the Fractional CO2 laser requires 5-7 days of downtime after the treatment.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Acne Scarring


In my opinion, you could use either Fraxel (non-ablative) or fractionated CO2 or YSGG (Pearl Fractional) which are both ablative.  The differences are these:  more downtime with the ablative lasers but fewer treatments to achieve results, more risk of hyperpigmentation with the ablative lasers.  Either way, acne scarring like this is going to be a "work in progress" and how you go about it depends as much on your feelings about the downtime and the risks as anything.  Ultimately, I think you can achieve similar results with either laser system.  Good Luck.

Peter J. Jenkin, MD, FAAD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon

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