Treatment for early acne scars?

Is fraxel restore, eMatrix, or dermarolling best for early acne scars (i.e., indented, hyper pigmented acne scars that have been present for only several months)?

Doctor Answers 8

Treatment for early acne scars?

Thank you for your question.Early acne scars can be offten handled with non invasive treatments depending on the severity of the scars. Before investing in expensive treatments that you may not need consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeons office for treatment options.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Treatment for acne scars

For more superficial acne scars and dark marks, chemical peels or prescription medications such as tretinoin, azeleic acid or hydroquinone may be sufficient. The 1550nm Fraxel laser or eMatrix is suited for moderate acne scarring. For extensive acne scarring, a fractional ablative laser may be needed. These treatments are tailored to each patient individually and your dermatologist will be able to provide you with a customized regimen after evaluating you.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Acne Scars – Combination of Treatments Needed

The best treatment for acne scars depends upon an individual’s skin type, age, ethnicity, sun exposure, overall health and most importantly, the type of acne scars present (ice pick scars, boxcar scars, rolling scars, hypertrophic scars and variable degrees of hyperpigmentation). In order to give you an accurate treatment plan, a consultation is required to properly assess your skin.

An important step for all skin types is sun protection including the use of daily sunscreen, sun hats and sunglasses, all of which help prevent aging and sunburns. 

When it comes to acne scar treatments, a combination of treatments are available including cosmeceuticals (medical grade skin care products specific for acne including ZO® Skin Health or ZO® Medical, Skinceuticals® or Glo-Minerals®), advanced laser resurfacing procedures (CO2 laser, Er:YAG laser, Fraxel DUAL®, PicoSure® FOCUS Lens Array), chemical peels (light, medium, deep including the blue peel), dermabrasion, augmentation/fillers, excision and/or subcision, punch techniques, microneedling/rolling, injections (corticosteroids, interferon, 5-FU), cryosurgery, electrodesiccation and microdermabrasion. 

These are advanced techniques so be sure to get an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon consultation for recommendations and treatment options.

Alim R. Devani, MD, FRCPC
Calgary Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Treatment for early acne scars?

While all of those methods work well for smoothing indented acne scars, Fraxel® laser may be able to improve hyperpigmentation as well. As this is an advanced Fraxel® technique, please consult a board certified aesthetic dermatologist for a consultation.

Manjula Jegasothy, MD
Miami Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


Fraxel is a laser skin rejuvenation treatment that resurfaces your outer skin, erasing imperfections. It also encourages the production of collagen, a protein found in connective tissue.The result is clearly visible lines, folds and wrinkles. Fraxel laser skin rejuvenation is a non-invasive technique that affects only about 20 percent of the facial skin exposed to it. The most common side effects of Fraxel laser treatment are swelling and skin redness, which should subside within a couple of days. Other temporary side effects may include minor itching, dry skin, peeling or flaking, and a bronzed skin appearance. The risk of infection or scarring is very limited.

Elliot M. Heller, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

FRAXEL or eMatrix is my preferred option

Great! You have early scars, as these are the easiest to remodel. For early scarring (rolling and atrophic), I like the eMatrix as this has less downtime compared to Fraxel. For late scars that are deeper, I like Fraxel 1550 or the CO2 Fractional. 

The ideal treatment depends on your scar type, skin type, downtime and maturity of your scars. For a more detailed explanation on scar revision, have a look at my before and afters. 

All the best

Dr Davin Lim
Laser Dermatologist

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Early Acne Scars

Acne scars can best be treated with a variety of methods.  Very superficial scars may be treated with chemical peels and topical tretinoins.  Deeper scars require lasers such as Fraxel or eMatrix.  A photo can best help to answer your individual question.  For the best dance scar treatments please consult a board certified dermatologist with experience with these lasers and acne treatment.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Early acne scars treat with Retin A, hydroquinone, possible Infini

You need to see a doc for this. My recommendations are good topicals like Retin A and hydroquinone and using the Infini. If there is redness, a VBeam or Excel V laser is also needed. Acne scars seem to respond better to Infini than Fraxel in my practice.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 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.