Are these considered acne scars? (Photo)

If not, what would you classify them as? And, is there other treatment to be done besides for laser or the likes? Sometimes they get better, other times they get worse. They never seem to go completely way. They are smooth, and once in a while contain active acne--most of the time there is no active acne there. Or, are they PIE? Thanks so much!!!

Doctor Answers 4

Treat The Active Acne First; Then Treat The Acne Scars

Although there is no substitute for an in-personal visual and palpation examination of the skin, it does appear from the photos that you do have acne scars, as well as some areas of PIE and PIH. Having said that, I would suggest a consultation with a board certified dermatologist to prescribe a proper treatment regimen for you to control your acne, since it is far better to initiate the treatment of scars AFTER acne breakouts have been suppressed for at least a few months, since active breakouts can impair and interfere with scar treatment wound healing. Once the acne is completely controlled, since you appear to have the usual range of acne scar types, you would likely profit from a combination of several techniques. One relatively inexpensive approach would be subcision lifting combined with the use of a biostimulatory filler to raise up the bases of the depressed scars in order to make them more flush with the surrounding skin. Subsequently, if so desired, microneedling (aka dermal rolling, skin needling, fractiional microneedle resurfacing), another relatively inexpensive modality, may be used to help the surface tone and texture of the treated regions blend better with the surrounding normal skin. Vis-a-vis lasers, I would suggest forgetting the powerful marketing hype that makes lasers, particularly fraxels, come to mind for treating just about everything these days.  In a recent lecture entitled, “Will Microneedling Replace Lasers?” at the 2016 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) annual meeting in New Orleans. a leading laser expert herself reported that "microneedling is already replacing fractionated lasers..." for use in treating " various scars (from acne, trauma, surgery)." For more information on any of these techniques, I suggest you check out the archives of RealSelf.com. Be sure you consult with a board certified aesthetic physician before proceeding. Best of luck. 


New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Red, discolored acne scars

I would treat these acne scars with the Excel V laser. Retin A and hydroquinone will also help. If the scars are deep, Bellafill or Infini will be helpful as well.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Acne scars

You have some active acne and a combination of red scars and PIH.  A combination of peels and lasers such as the V-Beam laser would be best for you.  In addition, you need to consult a dermatologist to better control your acne to prevent further breakouts and scars.  Please consult an expert in acne scars.  Best, Dr. Green

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Acne & Scar Solutions--Peels, Lasers, microneedling/prp, skin care

Yes, you appear to have some acne scarring.  I suggest you get a formal evaluation with a cosmetic dermatologist who can give you a plan for both acne and scarring. There are many combination of treatments that can be used such as lasers, microneedling/PRP, fillers. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
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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.