How can I diminish the look of acne scars and get smoother skin? (photos)

I had really bad, inflamatory acne for about 6 years. After trying everything, I finally used Acutane. Now my face is virtually clear. I get a few pimples here and there but they aren't ever inflamed and usually go away quickly. Now I have some deep set scars on my face and I really want to get rid of them. They really dont have much color in them some red pigment but mostly they are white. Is there anything I can do for myself or is it necessary for me to go to a dermatologist?

Doctor Answers 6

Acne Scarring | Pigmentation

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Thank you for your question.  After reviewing your pictures, it appears you have some deeper areas of scarring.  More aggressive treatment would likely provide you with the most cosmetic improvement in your skin.  Choosing from one of the following treatments or a multi-treatment approach would be most beneficial:

  • Micro-needling
  • Micro Laser Peel
  • Fractional Laser
To be sure, see two or more board-certified providers in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have treatment.

I hope this helps.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Combination treatments agreed- laser, filler, subcsion

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Have a read of my review article on acne scarring. You will require someone who does acne scar revision day in day out as you will require multiple sessions of different treatments including fractional laser, surgical subcision and most importantly filler for atrophic scars. 

Think of this as a project that will take 6-12 months to complete. Combination treatments will give you at a least a 60% improvement. 

All the best, 

Dr Davin Lim 
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
BRISBANE, Australia. 

Acne Scarring -- Requires a Combination of Fractional Laser Resurfacing, Fillers Like Bellafill, Subcision and Eclipse Micropen

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You need a cosmetic dermatologist who specializes in acne scarring/pigmentation and does a combination of treatments including: surgery, subcision, or TCA cross for deep or pitted "ice pick" scars; fillers like Bellafill or Sculptra or Radiesse for broad "boxcar" or "rolling" scars; Eclipse Micropen for all types of scars and improvement in texture and tone; lasers such as co2 laser resurfacing or Fraxel/Clear+Brilliant or radiofrequency such as Venus Viva to improve the scars and give long term collagen production. There are many options but you want someone who can customize a regimen for your short and long term goals based on your individual situation. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

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Treatment for Acne Scarring

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Currently our most popular treatment for acne scarring is microneedling using SkinPen.  We recommend starting with a series of five sessions.  There are also many lasers available which can be helpful but again, multiple treatment sessions are required for best results.  

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Acne Scars and Best Treatment

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A combination of fillers or Sculptra to increase collagen production and lasers such as Fraxel and eMatrix are the best combination to help improve these scars.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise with these lasers.  Best, Dr. Green

Acne scars

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Acne scars are very difficult to improve.  Most treatment center around stimulating collagen remodeling.  I believe finding a treatment that can be repeated periodically is important.  I like microneedling treatment repeated every 6 to 8 weeks for a series of 5 or 10 treatments.

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 57 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.