I have several areas on the cheeks and temples with pink to brown atrophic acne scarring. Lasers: The risks, and the recovery time associated with them are scary. Dermabrasion: Painful. In addition, I have extremely fair, sensitive skin to the point where even retinoids irritate it. Could I see gradual improvement (over months) using a combination of mild chemical peels and microdermabrasion? I also looked at Fraxel non-ablative but the results seem questionable to me. Any other options?
What Treatments Do You Recommend for Atrophic Acne Scarring?
Doctor Answers 3
Fraxel or fractional CO2 is the best treatment
Fraxel or fractional CO2 is the best treatment for acne scars. Acne scars are very deep so the other procedures you mentioned will only work if you scars are very superficial. Fraxel or any brand name of fractional CO2 laser would be my recommendation.
Acne scar treatment
Acne scars come in many shapes and sizes. Very deep acne scars are best treated with subcision or excision. Smaller, less deep acne scars often respond to laser treatment. Lasers that have proven to be helpful range from those with a short downtime, to more aggressive procedures that may take weeks to recuperate from. These include: Smoothbeam, Fraxel, Fractionated Erbium (Pixel), Fractionated CO2, and even combo Fractionated and full CO2 resurfacing. Find a dermatology office in your area that has expertise in various lasers and have a consult with the physician. Do not expect 100% improvement. With acne scarring, this is almost impossible to achieve. With many of these procedures, multiple treatments are necessary. Weigh cost, down time, discomfort and expected improvements, and be prepared to wear a hat and sunscreen outside for the foreseeable future.
Hope that helps.
Madeline Krauss, M.D.
Subcision is often the best treatment for atrophic facial scars
Subcision is often the best treatment for atrophic facial scars. This can often be followed with fractional laser resurfacing for best results.