Which Laser Treatment is Best for Light Acne Scarring? Fractional CO2?

I am a white female, have had 2 Active FX sessions on scarring, had great results. I am wanting to try something different in hopes to have it gone completely. I have read that Fractional is the way to go, when I look up the different lasers I see so many different types, brands etc....I dont really have many fine line and have only a small amount of scarring left on both cheeks.

Doctor Answers 6

Treating Slight Acne Scars

If your scars are light as you say they are, then they should be responsive to the Fraxel re:store system, which is less of a commitment (financially and in terms of recovery) than the re:pair CO2 that you were referencing. I recommend seeing a physician who offer both options and seeing if it's right for you. 

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Best Laser Treatment for Acne Scarring

Thank you for your question. The Active FX is a fine machine, but there are many fine machines on the market now, and the user or practitioner is the key ingredient.  Experience and expertise plays a big role.  Improvement is progressive, and resolution can take from 2-6 treatments over a 2 year period.  Patience is the key in improving acne scarring.  You should seek the recommendations of a board certified dermatologist or a board certified plastic surgeon who has expertise in acne, scarring, and treating various skin types.  I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Re: Fraxel Dual Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Fraxel lasers would be best for light acne scarring. Fraxel Repair is generally safe for Fitzpatrick skin types I-III (very fair). Fraxel Dual is safe for all skin types.

It is important to understand that acne scars are basically made of collagen fibers- the same ones in the rest of your skin. However the scar tissue is arranged in a very thick and disorderly pattern.

Fraxel lasers work with specific wavelengths that are ideal for helping your skin produce normal forms of collagen fibers. This energy becomes heat that triggers the dermis to create this collagen as a way to heal itself (from the heat).

Here is a patient video you might find helpful. The results she received were actually measured through a VISIA skin analysis.



Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Fractional resurfacing for light acne scarring

You are going to get different opinions on this. It really depends on who you want to listen to. Everybody thinks they know what is best. IMO, fractional resurfacing will give you minimal results. I would do a multi layered approach with co2 laser resurfacing as part of the approach.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Lasers for Acne Scarring Not That Effective

I genuinely do not believe lasers are effective for acne scarring. Most of the improvements you see upfront are related to swelling.  For the amount spent, there are other techniques that may get you better results for less money. 

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews




In our practice the lasers we do is Dot Laser, Profractional C02 laser, micro laser peel and or VI peel for very mild acne scarring. If you go to our website you can read about each procedure and you can kind of determine what would benefit you the best. You have quite a few options for acne scars depending on how deep they are.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 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.