Profractional or co2 lasers for acne scars?

Hi I was considering getting laser treatment. I have rolling, box car, ice picks scars and uneven texture. Which laser would be best? Profractional or co2? What is downtime like?

Doctor Answers 3

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

acne scarring requires a combination approach of lasers, microneedling/PRP, fillers, subcision, TCA cross etc.  Please see an expert for an evaluation.  Best, Dr. Emer.


Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Acne scarring laser treatment

There are multiple laser modalities that can be used with excellent results to treat acne scarring. These are often part of an approach that utilizes multiple treatments to maximize the benefits of each and achieve the best results. 
Just as you mentioned, the types of acne scarring that you have are a large determinant of which treatments will be best for you. For example, ice pick scarring requires very deep treatments that are best addressed with a fractional CO2 laser. The pro fractional that you mention is just a brand-name for an erbium laser, which is also ablative, but does not achieve the depth of penetration as well as a CO2 does.
Your best bet is to seek consultation with a fellowship trained laser position who regularly treats acne scarring with different modalities. 
To ensure you are receiving the highest level of care, seek out a modernly trained, new-school dermatologic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in one of these "core four" cosmetic specialties.
Cameron Chesnut
#realself500 Physician

Cameron Chesnut, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Spokane Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Acne scars

Thank you for your question lady45788. Pro Fractional Therapy and fractional CO2 lasers can work well for acne scars. For my patients with darker skin types I recommend Pro Fractional, as there is less of a risk for PIH. It does require more treatments. CO2 requires fewer treatments but has a longer recovery time. These are the major considerations I discuss with patients when deciding on a treatment plan for acne scars. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.