Should I Have a Laser Treatment or Scar Excision for Acne Scars?

I have some acne scars that arent very deep. Most are icepick but i also have one icepick and one boxcar scar on my cheeks. Would a scar excision followed by dermabrasion fix these or would a laser be better? If a laser, which type of laser would be best?

Doctor Answers 7

Acne scar treatment with lasers or excisions first

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would always do excisions before lasering. co2 lasering is for polishing and I usually do that last after all the other treatments. I would do a multilayered approach with some co2 laser resurfacing and some dermabrasion at the end.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

What to do for acne scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Many treatment modalities are available to improve acne scars. Your choices are going to be determined by several variables. Tethered scars can be released and injected with tissue filler. Larger scars may do well with excision. Laser resurfacing can also cause improvement. Chemical peels may help color and texture. Many if these treatments could be combined for greatest benefit. With appropriate combinations of treatments you will get the best result. I recommend you seek the council of a skilled dermatologist to help you design your unique treatment plan,

Pamela Carr, MD
Sugar Land Dermatologic Surgeon

Treatment for acne scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Whether you do fractional laser resurfacing or excision and dermabrasion or filler for acne scars depends on how many there are and where they are located.  If there are a number of scars, i would recommend fractional erbium laser resurfacing.  That would give the skin a more uniform and smoother appearance than dealing with individual scars.

If you only have 1-2 scars, then I would consider subscission and filler or excision and resurfacing (dermabrasion or laser peel).

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Fillers for Acne Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There have already been some good answers to the question you posted!  I have been very happy using fillers and subscision for acne scars.  It is quick, straightforward, and involves little downtime or post-procedure care.  The best advice I can give is to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who can give you an individualized plan of care.  As a patient who has had this done, I think it works very well!  Best of luck to you!  

You need to see a cosmetic dermatologist

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

it is quite difficult to answer this question without examining you and feeling the scars.....if they are depressed they need to be "released" first with subscision.  Then you can see what needs to be done next.  You may need to see a more "experienced" physician who has been practicing 20 years+ since this was one of the few procedures we had before lasers dominated the market - it's an old tried and true procedures which many have forgotten about!

Laura E. Skellchock, MD (in memoriam)
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon

Acne scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Sometimes lasers and sometimes chemical peels can help with acne scars.  Fillers can help raise them as well. LaViv althougth "off-label" using your own fibroblasts looks very promising in improving these scars.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Acne Scar Treatments

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I'd suggest you see a board-certified dermatologist with cosmetic experience for a consultation. Although photos would help here, in general, I would recommend eMatrix for acne scarring, usually 3-5 treatments. For more superficial scarring, it (often combined with Cutera Laser Genesis for the redness) will help clear up a majority of the acne scarring. For the deeper scars I would recommend small amounts of filler be injected into these sites. I don't normally recommend scar excisions for acne scarring on the face, those I more reserve for old scars on the body typically. Otherwise, you could end up with a different type scar, although smaller, that still needs an additional type of treatment. Dermabrasion, although somewhat effective, has a much longer recovery than the newer eMatrix or Fraxel type laser treatments.

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.