Does LED Light Treatment Work on Acne Scars?

Saw a brochure at my dermatologists office saying light emitting diodes can get rid of acne scars?  If true, just mild scars or deep pitted acne scars?  LED light colors work differently?

Doctor Answers 6

LED Light Treatment Not Effective in Treating Acne Scars

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I would not recommend LED treatments on scars. It can work on acne but not acne scars. Fractional lasers and Dermarolling have worked very well on patients in my office. These treatments can be combined with peels for even better results.

LED light works to rid bacteria, not acne scars

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LED light works to get rid of bacteria but it has no effect to getting rid of acne scars. 

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

Fraxel For Acne Scars

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Thank you for your question. At my practice, I have gotten excellent results for scarring with Fraxel. This treatment eliminates irregular skin discoloration, and stimulates new collagen production, tightening the skin without prolonged recovery. After a series of 2 to 4 Fraxel treatments, the cumulative cosmetic improvement is near more aggressive lasers, but unlike more aggressive lasers, redness and swelling eliminated within 2 to 4 days after each treatment. Fraxel is outstanding for fine wrinkles, mild skin laxity, irregular pigmentation, acne scars, surgical scars, enlarged pores, stretch marks, age spots and Rosacea. It can be used safely on the face, neck, hands, arms, and chest.

LED lights on acne scars

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LED lights work by targeting the bacteria (P. Acnes) that causes acne. Various LED colors provide different benefits. Several light sources combine both blue and red. They are more effective than using just the blue LED alone. LED treatments are painless treatments and can be used for all skin colors. Comedones and severe acne will not usually respond well. Scarring does not improve. A laser such as the smooth beam is an effective procedure for both severe acne and acne scarring.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

LED will not get rid of acne scars

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LED utilizes light to reduce acne bacteria (blue) and reduce redness from inflammation (red).

There would be no effect on the depth of acne scars. The best improvement would be from a lessening of redness if you acne scars are still retaining color.

To date, Fraxel Retore and similar fractional lasers which are used multiple times are the best way to lessen acne scars. The skin responds to laser by producing new collagen. With multiple laser procedures, you have the advantage of multiple incidences of new collagen stimulation and this is what lessens the depth of scars.

Newer technology that helps prevent hyperpigmentation for darker skin types is eMatrix. eMatrix uses radio frequency instead of laser, so the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is dramatically reduced.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

LED treatment does not work for acne scars.

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LED treatment works best for mild to moderate acne, it has no effect on acne scars. You could consider other options like LASER resurfacing.

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.