Acne Scars. Have Used the Jessner and TCA, But Want Faster Results?

I have suffered with acne since I was a young teen and had cystic acne as well. Now I have deep scars and have tried different over the counter creams to get rid of the acne scars. I recently have used both jessners peel and then the TCA 15% peel but have had some results but am trying to get faster results which is my goal. Is it ok to use TCA peel of 21-30% to get better results?

Doctor Answers 7


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In each practice the treatments vary. In our practice for acne scars we do Profractional laser, Micro laser peel, DOT co2 laser or even a mini face lift to pull the skin and help remove get rid of the deep holes caused by acne.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Treatment of atrophic or pigmented acne scars

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Acne scars can be improved with laser, topical creams such as Melaquin, and chemical peels.  The best treatment for acne scars depends on whether you have pigmented or atrophic acne scars.

Acne Scars: what to do for best results?

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This is a good question and a rather common one that we deal with. Depending on the severity of your acne scars the best treatment can range from individual subcision (small cuts to remove the pitting scars) to full face CO2 laser treatments and sometimes even a combination of the two.

The best procedure for you should be discussed with a board certified plastic surgeon and your specific treatment regimen should be individually prepared for you.  Unfortunately, the treatments you have already had (weak TCA peels) will not do the trick. Good luck.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Treating Acne Scars

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Rather than take matters into your own hands, I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon experienced in treating acne scars. There are many different types of acne scars and different treatment modalities.  The treatment of combination of treatments often depends on the type of scars being treated and the skin type of the patient. In our practice we use mostly injectable silicone (a permanent and precise filler), electrosurgery and punch excision. Click on the link below for before and after photos of treated acne scars. 

Acne Scars and using chemical peels

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Chemical peels are just like laser resurfacing and other resurfacing techniques. They will help with the surface end. But you need a multilayered approach with co2 laser resurfacing.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Acne scars

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Hopefully you are not considering using a TCA peel yourself.  Depending on your skin type, a fractional non-ablative laser such as the Fraxel Re:store or a fractional ablative laser such as the SmartXide DOT would give much better results than a peel and more quickly.  Subcision and perhaps excision of deeper scars may also be options.  You should consult an experienced laser specialist who is either a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

In my hands the best treatment for most acne scars is a combination of subcision and Fraxel Repair Laser

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Acne scars are difficult to treat.  The most common type of scars are depressed scars on the cheeks and temples.  IN MY HANDS the best treatment for acne scars of this type is a combination of subcision and Fraxel Repair Laser.   Chemical peels do not corrected the depressions.  Hypertrophic and keloidal acne scars respond best to Fraxel re;store or Repair Laser treatments in combination with cortisone injections.   Box and pitted scars often require surgery and Fraxel Repair or Fraxel re:store Laser treatments. 

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 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.