IPL Laser Acne Scars Treatment

Doctor Answers 7

IPL only helps the discoloration

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IPL only helps acne scars by evening out the discoloration. It is not smoothing out the scar or decreasing its depth, only making it less visible.

Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

IPL is not helpful to reverse acne scarring-- Look into Infini

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IPL is best for treating brown spots and red spots. If you have some hyperpigmentation or redness in your acne scars then IPL can help diminish that. If you are looking to reverse the divets in your skin that we see after years of battling acne, Infini has been shown to give the best results. Infini combines microneedling and RF, and is safe on any skin type. 

Katherine Dee, MD
Seattle Physician

It may help but it may not be the best choice - Fraxel would probably help better

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IPL will help for the discoloration from the scars. If the scars look brown or red they will lighten and look less noticeable after the IPL. However, IPL won’t help with the indented scars and won’t improve the texture of the skin. In that case Fraxel laser will be a better option for the acne scars. Most patients need to do 5 treatments every 6 weeks for the best results.

IPL may marginally reduce scar redness.

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IPL may marginally reduce scar redness, but does not work in improving texture or in actually lifting the scars. 

IPL treatment for acne scars

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Not everyone wants to undergo invasive acne surgery. IPL is an excellent option for some acne scars as it improves the following:

  1. Redness
  2. Discoloration

I use the IPL treatment alongside the MelaPeel chemical peel.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

IPL treatment is not effective for acne scars

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Thank you for your question.

IPL treatment is not effective for acne scars. IPL is a superficial treatment that targets blood vessels and pigment, but will do nothing to raise, erase, or diminish acne scars. In order to improve acne scars with a laser, you will need a resurfacing laser. In regards to the best resurfacing lasers for acne scars, fractional ablative lasers such as the CO2 and Erbium laser are excellent choices, while Fraxel and other fractional nonablative lasers are also good options.

Hope this helps!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

Minimally effectve

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IPL is only minimally effective treatment for acne scars. The gold standard for acne scar treatment remains CO2 blation therapy. Howeever, less and less physicians, even some very experienced laser physicians are using this treatment due to the aggrevation over post-treatment care and potential liability concerns.

Fractionaled laser treatment ( Fraxel, SmartXide Dot, etc.) have become increasingly popular. Fraxel Repair is a CO2 fractiionated laser and hence goes a bit deeper and is more effective than Fraxel ReStore. I would hop around this site to see what its contributing physicians and patient members think of any of these devices used for acne scars.

However, all acne scars ( such as the ice-pick scars) are not eliminated with any laser treatment.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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.