CO2 Laser for Large Amount of Acne Scars?

I am 18 years old and considering having CO2 Laser resurfacing treatment. About two years ago, I was prescribed Zoloft by a doctor, and I started to break out in areas I never thought acne would never show, as I have very light acne problems. I became scared and stressed that I began scratching at them off so now I have scars all over my body. I am not able to wear shorts or bathing suits or enjoy showing my skin. I want them gone. Is CO2 Laser resurfacing right for me? And how much would it cost to get at least my legs done?

Doctor Answers 6

CO2 laser treatment for acne scarring

CO2 laser treatment for acne scarring is very effective for the face. However, it has limited utility for the rest of the body. The problem with treating the extremities is that they lack what is called pilosebaceous units (sweat glands) and will not heal well after they are treated with the CO2 laser. The face on the other hand and occasionally parts of the neck respond very well and the CO2 laser has become the treatment of choice for moderate to severe scarring of the face.

Other options for treating acne scarring of the extremities include fraxel lasers (limited degree of improvement) and pulsed dye lasers have been shown to have some utility there as well.

Sometimes mild dermabrasion of extremity scars can be done but this requires extreme caution as well.

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of effective treatments for acne scarring of the body that can be done with a single treatment. Sometimes they can also be excised.

Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Non-ablative fractional laser is best for acne scars

CO2 laser resurfacing can help very superficial acne scars but most are deep.

Improvement in deep acne scars requires deep treatment to produce new collagen to plump the scars.

The best laser for deep treatment of scars is the non-ablative fractional Erbium laser-treatments do not require the same down time as the CO2.

Ablative lasers for acne scarring

Acne scarring can be tackled by using many different modalities. CO2 lasers, erbium lasers, or fractional lasers can be used to soften acne scars. Other lasers that tighten skin or treat the deep collagen can help improve acne scarring as well. As for areas off of the face, I would not use these ablative lasers. There many be other forms of scar revision that could be beneficial.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Fraxel or CO2 Fractional lasers will help

They have shown some very nice results with acne scarring on the back with the Fraxel Restore.  Any Fractional laser can also be used on other body parts than the face.  I would seek out a physician who has experience with treating acne scarring with the Fraxel equipment.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

CO2 laser for leg scars

The real questions is, are you trying to treat a contour deformity or color mismatch?

The other problem is for me to make a suggestion I would need to see your concerns. In general, standard CO2 resurfacing for legs is not normally done. It can be but it is techniques sensitive. Erbium wavelength may be a better option and a micro-ablative delivery pathway is even safer. If it's a color mismatch,the photorejuvenation maybe a safer pathway.

Good Luck!

Michael Kulick, MD, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Co2 laser resurfacing is not generally performed on legs

Laser resurfacing is generally reserved for the face and rarely if ever performed on the legs. There are greater risks of scarring due to diminished blood supply as well as difficulties in wound care.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.