What treatment to use for acne scars/hyperpigmentation? (photos)

I've had really bad acne for years and it's starting to calm down now but I still have all these marks on my face leftover from past breakouts and it looks really bad. I really want to get rid of this, what do I use? Chemical peel? If so what kind? Is there another, better treatment for this?

Doctor Answers 4

Red acne scars

I would treat this with the Excel V or VBeam several times. It should greatly improve. I also like the Gold Toning handpiece for the Spectra Laser. Retin A should also be incorporated. After the redness fades and there is more underlying scarring, try the Infini. The link explains all this.


Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Acne Scar Treatment Follows Acne Control

Your acne is in need of control and this is a 1st step. Only by preventing future acne can you stop this cycle of scarring.

Severe acne can be indicative of a hormonal imbalance, so I would encourage you to see a specialist (endocrinologist will be able to help greatly in this area). Also, some medications can cause acne, so be sure your physician is aware of any prescription medications you may be taking.

Acne control of this severity can usually be controlled with isotrenioin (Accutane name reference). Photodynamic therapy could be an alternate option if you are considering pregnancy. Short term use of oral antibiotics as well as a topical RX can be used in achieving calmer skin. 

Once your acne is controlled, you may see some relief of redness with pulsed dye lasers which seal expanded and broken capillaries. Skin smoothing systems such as Fraxel or Fractora or other fractional devices are helpful in treating depressed scars, but I would wait until your acne is fully controlled and the redness has been treated.

Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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

Acne needs to be treated first and in your case with isotretinoin.  you can combine with aerolase laser, peels, microneedling and skin care. Once better, lasers can begin to give scarring improvement along with TCA cross, subcision or fillers if needed.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

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Acne Scars/Hyperpigmentation

First I would get your acne under better control.  I would consult a dermatologist who specializes in acne and scars to find out if your acne is hormonally based or is it from other reasons.  Then after your acne issue is addressed you should have your scars treated with a combination of modalities.  Fraxel, V-Beam, eMatrix, and PRP with microneedling all are effective depending on the scars.  Pigmentation is best addressed with topical creams and chemical peels.  Please consult an expert.  Best, Dr. Green

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