Recommended Treatment for Indented Scars on Cheek - (Los Angeles Area)? (photo)

What treatment would be best for the two indented acne scars on my cheek (see pic)? No significant additional acne scars nor active acne now, these two scars arose from minor acne a year ago that became a staph infection (not MRSA, just stubborn and took 3 courses of antibiotics to treat). I've had 5 laser genesis treatments with no effect. The office I saw recommended Fraxel (said they use "Fraxel Reliant" but can't find any info on it- what is it?) and I've already paid...was this a mistake?

Doctor Answers 3

Improving atrophic cheek scars

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There are many techniques to improve these cheek scars, including scar subcision, fractional co2 laser skin resurfacing, and dermabrasion.  Depending on your skin type, you may need pretreatment with Melarase creams prior to ablative laser treatment. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Treatment for Indented Acne Scars

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The Fraxel laser is a fractionated resurfacing laser, which works by stimulating your skin's own healthy collagen production.  This type of laser is excellent for treatment of the atrophic (pitted) scars that are seen in your photo. Fractional resurfacing lasers, particularly Fractional CO2 resurfacing lasers, can produce a dramatic improvement of atrophic scars.  One strong treatment will likely improve these scars for 50-70%, and the improvement will continue to get better as your collagen regenerates for up to six months following the treatment.  

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Treatment of individual depressed or atrophic acne scars

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The acne scar shown in the photo is a challenge because it is on the convex surface of the cheek, however there are some methods that are likely to help improve the appearance of the scar:

  • subcission with addition of a filler underneath to stimulate new collagen production
  • fractional erbium laser resurfacing
  • punch elevation
  • focal dermabrasion

Please consult a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with proper training and experience in performing these procedures.  Active acne should be under control prior to any cosmetic procedures to improve acne scar appearance.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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.