Is acne scarring removable by skin buffing?

Hi, I am in NY. I have had acne pitting for most of my life. I have done subsision and undermining together with fraxial laser treatments which I had no positive results and got burns on my cheekbones. I would like to know if skin buffing will correct my acne pitting scars in one treatment and what is the approx healing time. Thanks. My acne scars do not show in pictures, that I am happy about.

Doctor Answers 3

Best Treatment for Acne Scars

Acne scars are difficult to treat.  Since there is no photo I will answer this question in a general way.  Fraxel laser is usually quite effective.  Since I do not know what settings were used I can't comment on why it may not have worked or had side effects.  I would consider eMatrix RF.  eMatrix is my "go to" laser for darker skin types and particularly for acne scars.  Please find a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience in acne scars for the best results.

New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Acne Scar Treatment

I specialize in acne scar treatment among other dermatologic surgeries in my cosmetic practice.  I have had the most success with treating even the most severe pitted acne scars with a one-time combination treatment of the scars with subcision, punch excision of some select deeper pits, followed by strong laser-resurfacing (if you are Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2, fair) of the entire scarred area.  Dermabrasion carries a greater risk of depigmentation than today's modern fractionated CO2 and Erbium lasers, so I would not recommend dermabrasion which is an antequated and risky approach. We perfected and invented a subcision tool at our office that is more effective than what most dermatologic surgeons use, and we pair it with one of these strong fractionated laser resurfacing devices depending on your skin type.  Another step I do differently is we use tumescent anesthesia in the face, which assists in treating the stubborn scars by temporarily lifting the dermis from the underlying structures while I am subcising. There is still no perfect cure for pitted acne scars, but we achieve a minimum of 60% up to 100% improvement with our technique.  Some patients who have more stubborn scars, I will follow up their treatment with either hyaluronic acid fillers and/or Ematrix fractionated radiofrequency treatment or dermal needling.

Karen Stolman, MD
Sandy Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Skin Buffing or Dermabrasion

Thank you for your question. It is difficult to give meaningful information without pictures or a consultation.

Dermabrasion can be helpful for acne scarring as can laser resurfacing. Note:  Not a lasers are created equal.  We prefer an Erbium:YAG laser for treating acne scars with laser.  Both full resurfacing and Profractional resurfacing can be helpful.

To be sure, see two or more board certified and experienced plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 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.