Long-term Improvement of Acne Scars?

I have a lot of depressed acne scars and pock marks along with a horrible skin texture. I have had dermabrasion, chemical peels, and most recently, Total FX and Restylane injections. The Restylane makes a difference, and I will continue with it, but there are so many depressed scars that it is hard to get to them all, and the improvement is so temporary. Can I ever really have a long-term improvement my acne scars?

Doctor Answers 2

Long term improvement in acne scars is possible

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You can have long term improvement in some acne scars. For depressed scars, a strong chemical peel using a toothpick can help raise the depressed scars/pock marks. Also, this can be done with the co2 laser.

The other way to improve those scars is just to incise them and remove the scars and carry out a reclosure. This new incision can then be resurfaced with a chemical peel or laser to improve the appearance of the new incision. This can be done all throughout your face. It takes a lot of work but it can be done and a noticeable improvement can be accomplished.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Long-term improvement of acne scars

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I would have expected Total FX to give you some noticeable improvement in your skin texture and acne scarring. It may be that you may need to wait a few months for the full effect of that treatment to take effect.

In my experience, durable (indefinite) improvement can be achieved with a combination of subcision and the TCA cross method (though I prefer to use a modified phenol solution rather than TCA). A series of treatments at 4 week intervals is recommended. The main side effect with the subcision procedure is bruising (resolves by 2 weeks). Depending on your skin tone, the Cross method (application of a strong chemical peel solution to scars to promote new collagen growth) can cause temporary red or brown spots that gradually fade over time. With these methods, patience is a virtue, as improvement can continue to be seen 1 year or longer after treatment.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego 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.