How to smoothen out my face? Mostly acne scars on cheeks and forehead. Lasers, chemical peels, dermabrasion? (Photo)

I do still have some pimples here and there but not as horrible as it was before with painful huge cysts all over. I mostly get severe pimples on my cheeks and forehead. My main question is how to smoothen out my face mostly these acne scars on my cheeks and forehead. Please help I'm not sure what exactly would be my best options for my skin type and face. Not sure what type of care my skin needs to help smoothen out these scars. Mainly my cheeks and forehead. Please help! Thanks.

Doctor Answers 6

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

You need a cosmetic dermatologist who specializes in acne scarring/pigmentation and does a combination of treatments including: surgery, subcision, or TCA cross for deep or pitted "ice pick" scars; fillers like Bellafill or Sculptra or Radiesse for broad "boxcar" or "rolling" scars; Eclipse Micropen for all types of scars and improvement in texture and tone; lasers such as co2 laser resurfacing or Fraxel/Clear+Brilliant or radiofrequency such as Sublative or Viva to improve the scars and give long term collagen production. There are many options but you want someone who can customize a regimen for your short and long term goals based on your individual situation. Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

How to smooth face and reduce scars

To reduce pigmented and mildly pitted scars microdermabrasion and chemical peels can help. If the scars are deeper, it may require a resurfacing laser such as Fraxel or Pixel.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Acne scars

I have had great results with dermabrasion.  There are multiple treatments that I use depending on type of scar.  A consultation would be necessary to determine the treatment needed.  

Afshin Farzadmehr, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Acne scars in a darker skin type

I prefer the Infini for acne scarring, particularly in dark skin types. It is very safe and effective, with minimal downtime. After 3 or 4 treatments, the deeper rolling scars can be filled with Bellafill. See the link.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Acne Scars – Combination of Treatments Needed

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, interferon, 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.

Alim R. Devani, MD, FRCPC
Calgary Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Multiple treatment methods = Best results

Yes, first of all, treat your acne- this will  give you the best results, otherwise active acne may result in further scarring. 

OK, scar revision depends on your skin type, scar type and downtime. Looks like you have a mixture of scars including rolling, atrophic and possibly some box car scars. 

Lately in darker skin patients with early atrophic and rolling scars I have been using the Picosure Focus laser - fractional mode. OK results, but the huge advantage of this laser is that it does not have any downtime. I often combine this with focal filling for a true 'no downtime- instant scar revision' result. 

The other option is with fractional devices. Overall I prefer my CO2 CORE over Fraxel and Profractional devices for this types of scarring. If you have box car scars (hard to see on the photos), I like a diluted concentration of TCA CROSS- 70-80%. 

All the best, 

Dr Davin Lim 
Laser Dermatologist

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 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.