Effective and efficient treatment for acne scars? (Photo)

Hello, I'm looking for the most effective and efficient treatment for my acne scars. I've been to a few consultations and had varying suggestions. I was hoping to find a more general consensus.

Doctor Answers 5

Multistep approach to acne scars

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A combination approach is the best way to address acne scars.  You will need treatments to help with the red in addition to lasers and fillers to help fill atrophic or depressed scars.  Some scars may never respond appropriately to lasers and fillers and removing those scars is the best approach.  Good luck

Charlotte Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Acne Scar Options

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Hello ILTB.  It looks like you have two types of acne scars.  At our practice, we offer fractional laser resurfacing for the indentations (textured scars).   We use pulsed dye lasers for red scars.

It looks like you need a combination of treatments if you want both of these addressed.

As with most medical procedures, there is not one way to achieve an outcome.  There are different lasers and techniques used to improve your appearance.  One key would be to have the practice show you before and after photos of skin types and acne scars like yours to indicate that they can actually deliver on the expectations.  

To see our before and after photos for Los Angeles acne scar patients, click on the link below.  

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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

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This can be treated with a combination approach of lasers (Fractional Laser Resurfacing), peels, skin care and microneedling and fillers. I suggest consulting with an experienced cosmetic dermatologist who can evaluate your skin type and type of scarring for optimal treatment and results. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Acne scars

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Acne scars are treated differently depending on their appearance and structure. Sometimes there is no actual scar at all, but just a dark spot from inflammation. These spots usually improve on their own if you protect them and keep them out of the sun. In the meantime, to control the inflammation and acne breakouts, topical retin-a cream with intermittent salicylic acid peels can dramatically improve your skin tone and frequency of breakouts. Once the acne is controlled and you continue to do have remaining scars due to permanent dermal injury from acne, a variety of treatments can be performed to remodel the scar from energy-based lasers and radiofrequency devices to mechanical disruption of the scar with microneedling. Deep wide scars can be released and filled in with subcision and fillers and ice-pick (thin, deep) scars are best treated by excising them completely. For the best treatment options, it is important to visit an expert for an in-person examination. Hope this helps!

Johnson C. Lee MD
Plastic Surgery

Johnson C. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Acne scars

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Thanks for your question-
Your condition will require more than one intervention.
Starting with topical/homecare-You would do very well to combine the ZO Medical Kit referenced below along with use of Retin-A at night, starting with only 3 nights per week. There are prescription components in the system so you will need to find a doctor's office that carries this line. You can go to the ZO Skinhealth Website and use the Find a Doctor feature to see who near you carries the products. The non prescription ones can be obtained online but you really need the Melamix, Melamin and Retin A and those are Rx only.
Next- indented scars- consider going to an experienced injector who does Bellafill for acne scarring. Laser is also an option but since your screenname says "i love the sun" and since you are a darker skin type who is at higher risk for hyperpigmentation from laser, this would be tricky and I certainly wouldn't do it unless your skin was pre-treated with hydroquinone for 6 weeks prior and you could avoid the sun for that time, as well as minimum 2 weeks post treatment.
Another useful treatment over time could be microneedling with platelet rich plasma/PRP- the so called Vampire Facial- to stimulate collagen remodelling in the skin.

Lisa Vuich, MD

ZO® Multi-Therapy Hydroquinone System - RX
An all-encompassing system formulated to help treat hyperpigmentation, severe texture damage, sun damage and general skin health restoration.
Melamin™ Skin Bleaching & Correcting Crème – Net Wt. 32 g / 1.12 Oz.
Glycogent™ Exfoliationg Accelerator, 10% Concentration – 30 mL / 1 Fl. Oz.
Melamix™ Skin Lightener & Blending Crème – Net Wt. 32 g / 1.12 Oz.
Ossential® Daily Power Defense – 30 mL / 1 Fl. Oz.
Oclipse-C™ Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 – Net Wt. 60 g / 2 Oz.
  • Treats moderate to severe hyperpigmentation, especially melasma
  • Treats severely dry, dull, rough and leathery textured skin to help restore a smooth, healthy glow
  • Great to use as pre/post procedure skin conditioning to help maintain results longer
  • Helps improve overall appearance and quality of skin

Lisa Vuich, MD
Nashua Physician
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 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.