Which type of laser would be best to treat acne scars?

Ive had acne since I was 13 and now im about to turn 21. Birth control, exercise, and time really helped it calm down, but I still break out very often. When Im on my period I get these pimple that dont have white heads but look like a ball under my skin. I have minimal scaring but I still break out even when Im not on my period. I was wondering if laser is only for scaring or will it also stop future break outs? Also what type of laser should I do?

Doctor Answers 6

Acne Scars – Combination of Treatments Needed

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The best treatment for acne scars depends upon an individual’s skin type, age, ethnicity, sun exposure, overall health and most importantly, the type of acne scars present (ice pick scars, boxcar scars, rolling scars, hypertrophic scars and variable degrees of hyperpigmentation). In order to give you an accurate treatment plan, a consultation is required to properly assess your skin. An important step for all skin types is sun protection including the use of daily sunscreen, sun hats and sunglasses, all of which help prevent aging and sunburns.  When it comes to acne scar treatments, a combination of treatments are available including cosmeceuticals (medical grade skin care products specific for acne including ZO® Skin Health or ZO® Medical, Skinceuticals® or Glo-Minerals®), advanced laser resurfacing procedures (CO2 laser, Er:YAG laser, Fraxel DUAL®, PicoSure® FOCUS Lens Array), chemical peels (light, medium, deep including the blue peel), dermabrasion, augmentation/fillers, excision and/or subcision, punch techniques, microneedling/rolling, injections (corticosteroids, 5-FU), cryosurgery, electrodesiccation and microdermabrasion.  These are advanced techniques so be sure to get an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon consultation for recommendations and treatment options.

Calgary Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Laser and acne scars= see video for full explanation

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The best method of scar revision is actually to find out the best METHOD, rather than the brand of laser.
For example deep ice pick scars, and narrow box car scars can be treated with TCA CROSS peels, mixed scars, rolling, and atrophic scars treated with fractional devices such as Fraxel, fractional lasers, and INFINI radiofrequency. Atrophic scars (depressions) can be treated with either fat grafts, or with HA dermal fillers. Tethered and anchored scars are best treated with surgery.

The majority of patients will have a collection of different scar types, and hence a tailored treatment METHOD will be best. Careful examination, especially under angled lighting with scar mapping will give you an understanding of what are the best options for your scars.
All the best,
Dr Davin Lim
Laser, surgical & aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia


Acne Scars

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A combination of microneedling or Ematrix or Fraxel with fillers are the best treatments for these types scars.  Please consult an expert.  Best, Dr. Green

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

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I suggest posting photos and seeing an expert.  A combination of treatments is needed to get the best outcomes.  Dr. Emer.

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

Laser for breakouts? ENGLEWOOD Cliffs NJ

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In my opinion, the lasers that are best to treat breakouts are not the same lasers that are used to treat acne scars. IPL (non laser), pulsed Dye Laser, and 1064 yag are good for breakouts. Radio frequency heating (non laser) has also been reported to assist in active acne. Lasers that are used for treating acne scars are fractionated erbium  and fractionated CO2 lasers. In addition microneedle radio frequency (infini) is excellent for deeper contoured scars.
An acne scar expert would be valuable to help you navigate through treating as well as repairing your scars. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Jeffrey Rapaport, MD
Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Laser for acne

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I believe what Dr Rappaport is recommend is sound advice. I'll add that I use the Gold toning handpiece of my Spectra laser for active acne with great success as well as the Excel V. Early acne scars are best treated the same as acne. Late scars need fractional lasers or the Infini. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.