What type of laser treatment is the BEST one for Acne scarring and smoothness?

Hi, there are so many treatments for acne scars, I want some expert advice on which one is better. My local clinics offer Fraxel Repair, Fraxel Dual 1550/1927 and Sciton Profractional laser. I know that the expertise/skill of the dermatologist is more important and I know that the downtime will vary for each one, but out of these 3 treatments which one is the best in terms of best results after a single treatment? (assuming the skills of the dermatologists are uniform) Thank you.

Doctor Answers 5

Acne scar treatments in Los Angeles

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There is no one best treatment for acne scars; and that is why in our office we use a combination protocol including sublative treatments, ablative laser, non ablative laser, chemical peels, skin resurfacing, and topical therapy. 

Dr. Karamanoukian 

Acne Scars and Lasers

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As you have already acknowledged the expertise and experience of the Doctor treating the scars is of paramount importance.  Treatment of scars is a high level intervention requiring substantial training and medical and surgical proficiency.  The lasers used by the real physician expert is less important than thorough explanation of realistic expectations from treatment including recovery and side effect risks.  The expert will use the "tools" and techniques that he/ she knows will allow the patient to get the best results possible.  By analogy a saw can cut wood for the fireplace and also be used to sculpt artwork.  Not everyone handling a saw can do both.

Laser Treatments for Acne Scarring

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Your doctor offers 3 very good laser procedures and I always tell people it is important, although confusing at times, to know which is best for your scars. All of these work on scars, but the ablative ones – the Repair and the Profractional – have the best chances of minimizing your acne scars in one treatment. The Dual will require a series of treatments and is not as efficacious on scars as the other ones. The best treatment for you will be determined based on the depth of the acne scars and the type of acne scars – and this can best be determined by your dermatologist that you are seeing and that is offering a choice of therapies.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Depends on the scars, always find a solution ... and laser may not be the only answer

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My view on acne scaring is to treat the scar. This means scar mapping, and scar typing. Each type of acne scar will have an 'ideal' treatment, and it may not necessarily be laser. I will give you a few examples-

Ice pick scars- deep acne scars= TCA CROSS, or punch excision

Extreme atrophic scars- filler or fat transfer

Tethered or anchored scars- subscion followed by filler. 

Scars such as rolling and mixed scars can be treated with Fractional or fully ablative laser. 

Box car scars do best with fully ablative laser - either CO2 or Erbium. 

The type of laser, the power, passes etc... will also depend on your skin type (colour) and downtime. 

A good dermatologist will factor all of the above and come up with an individualised treatment plan for YOUR scars. 


Dr Davin LIM
Laser and cosmetic dermatologist

Best Laser for Acne Scars

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You answered your own question!  I now the Fraxel, Sciton, and eMatrix for treating acne scars and other indications.  You have to match the best laser for the individual patient because it depends not only on the scars but also on the skin type.  If you have a darker complexion then I would suggest the eMatrix for your scars and if you are lighter then the Fraxel laser would be my preference.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience with lasers and scar treatments for the best cosmetic results.

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.