I know there are so many procedures out there for acne scarring but how do I choose the right one? (Photos)

I have had C02 Laser and it helped some but I want to get something else done just afraid to choose wrong... I am tired of seeing these scars everyday! I need improvement. I'm actually posting pictures which is really hard for me to do....Help!! Any advice!!!

Doctor Answers 6

Acne Scar Treatments

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Sorry to hear that you are having difficulty with your skin. Living with acne scarring is not something you have to put up with thanks to the advancement of aesthetic lasers that are equipped to treat a wide variety of skin conditions. 

There are many options to treat acne scarring, so to achieve the best results for your specific case, consult an experienced specialist with a reputable practice. Lasers are a great way to resurface the skin and reduce scars, particularly the Erbium and CO2 lasers. The Erbium laser is a state-of-the-art laser that resurfaces the skin and reduce scars in under an hour. The results are almost instant, and only about 3-4 days of downtime are required. Another option is the CO2 laser. The CO2 laser penetrates the skin deeper than the Erbium; therefore, the results are a little better, but you would need about 7-10 days of downtime. Also, because this laser is more invasive, you do not need multiple treatments like the Erbium. 

At our clinic we often recommend a series of AFT (Advanced Fluorescence Technology) laser treatments for acne scarring as a starting point, it all depends on the patients current skin condition. AFT is an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser technology targets the surface of the skin where prior acne has made the surface uneven and improves the texture, tone, and appearance of skin with minimal downtime.

A consultation with a board certified cosmetic plastic surgeon or a dermatologist would be the first step in treating your scars! I would highly recommend a high quality medical grade skin care routine that contains ingredients that have been developed to treat acne on the face.

Watch the attached link for more info.

See a specialist to target the scar type with a correct method.

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Like others I totally agree that multiple scar revision methods must be practiced according to your scar type, and not just a device like a laser. Acne scar revision is a specialised field. For the best results, one should target the acne scar type with ideal treatments. For example deep ice pick scars, and narrow box car scars can be treated with TCA CROSS peels, mixed scars, rolling, and atrophic scars treated with fractional devices such as Fraxel, fractional lasers, PRP and INFINI radiofrequency. Atrophic scars (depressions) can be treated with either fat grafts, or with HA dermal fillers. Tethered and anchored scars are best treated with surgery.

The majority of patients will have a collection of different scar types, and hence a tailored treatment METHOD will be best. Careful examination, especially under angled lighting with scar mapping will give you an understanding of what are the best options for your scars. Video explains in detail. 

All the best,

Dr Davin Lim.

Laser, surgical & aesthetic dermatologist.

Brisbane, Australia.

There are procedures that work for acne scars

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There is volume loss with many of these scars and that requires volume. The only FDA approved filler for acne scars is Bellafill. This will help with the deeper scars. To improve the fine scars, Infini is helpful. I have tried the CO2 and Fraxel for these and haven't had as good results as Infini. Microneedling is helpful but requires about 8-10 to equal what Infini offers. I think the best single procedure for you is the Bellafill.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

The hammer and the nail

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As you know, those who have a hammer see the world as a nail. The problem is that they have the wrong hammer. 

People, like you, who have broad, deep scars will receive NO benefit from laser, chemical, needling, PRP, or any other treatments that attempts to correct this from above. 

Your problem is a loss of dermis and subcutaneous fat from the time you had the infection.

You can either have many of these EXCISED ( cut out) - by a plastic surgeon who has the technique and understanding for how to place "elective incisions", or by SUBCISION (surgically released from below) and fat/stem cells placed in the space beneath the scar in order to fill it.\

Best wishes to you

Choosing the Right Treatment for Acne Scar

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Hi and thank you for sharing your question here! As you said, there quite a few options for treating acne scars, and each treatment offers some advantages and disadvantages that need to be weighed carefully. To name a few, we commonly consider fractional CO2 lasers, microneedling (with or without PRP), chemical and laser peels, dermabrasion, and even filler injections for acne scars depending on their shape, depth and extent. From the picture that you posted, some of your acne scars appear to be pretty deep and pitted and they might need some help from dermal fillers to fill the depth of the scars. We have verity of choices of fillers from shorter-lasting hyaluronic acid filler such as Juvederm to semi-permanent fillers such as Bellafill that can be considered. For other areas, CO2 laser can be helpful. Please remember that for best results, several laser sessions might be needed. I hope it helps and good luck!


The Acne Scar Saviors--Acne Scars Treatment: Lasers, Fillers, Microneedling/PRP

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A combination approach and a series of treatments is needed to give improvements in acne scarring. I recommend lasers, microneedling/prp, subcision and fillers. I recommend getting a formal consultation with an acne scarring expert.  Intensif microneedling RF may be best for you now.  Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 202 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.