I Have Both Atrophic and Hypertrophic Acne Scars. What Can I Do?

I've suffered acne since i was 13 years old. I had severe cystic acne. I got rid of it when i was 20 years old, but unfortunately i could never take roaccutane/isotretinoin treatment. It has left me with countless scars that completely undermine my self-steem, and huge deformed pores. I've spent countless days researching about scar types, and I think mine are a mix between hypertrophic and atrophic. Is there something i can do to improve my condition? Can i do CO2 laser treatments? Thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Hypertrophic and atrophic scars

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Acne acts on all layers of the skin through the hair follicles that reach deep into the skin and beyond. You need a multilayered approach. We use co2 resurfacing with this unique approach. fractional co2 resurfacing and fraxel will get minimal improvements by themselves.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Yes to fractional CO2 for acne scars

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From the photos that you have provided, it appears that you have quite fair skin and your inflammatory acne has resolved.  My assessment of your pictures leads me to believe that you would do well with fractional C02 treatments (ablative fractional resurfacing).  Treating acne scarring is certainly a process and a single treatment with fractional C02 will not be sufficient.  That said, I believe that a series of 3-5 treatments will absolutely improve your scarring.  Each treatment will result in further dermal remodeling.  This remodeling translates into shallower scars and improved texture of the skin.

Lesley Clark-Loeser, MD
Davie Dermatologic Surgeon

Fraxel For Acne Scars

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Fractional CO2 lasers are an aggressive form of treatment that is safest on fair skinned individuals. It works by creating numerous columns of laser energy in the skin. This vaporizes the tissue and induces the formation of new collagen fibers which override the collagen in the acne scars. 

Fraxel Repair is a fractional CO2 laser. Many patients with your skin type have experienced very positive results with this system, which often requires multiple treatments. 

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 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.