What can I do to fix acne scarring? (Photo)

I've tried everything from chemical peels to fillers. I need help with minimizing poles and filling in scars.

Doctor Answers 3


Fraxel is a laser skin rejuvenation treatment that resurfaces your outer skin, erasing imperfections. It also encourages the production of collagen, a protein found in connective tissue.The result is clearly visible lines, folds and wrinkles. Fraxel laser skin rejuvenation is a non-invasive technique that affects only about 20 percent of the facial skin exposed to it. The most common side effects of Fraxel laser treatment are swelling and skin redness, which should subside within a couple of days. Other temporary side effects may include minor itching, dry skin, peeling or flaking, and a bronzed skin appearance. The risk of infection or scarring is very limited. You should stay out of the sun 2-4 weeks.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Laser treatments for acne scars

Thank you for your question. There are currently two laser treatments that will help for your acne scars. Affirm CO2 Fractional Laser and the PicoSure laser.

The Affirm CO2 Fractional Laser is a micro ablative treatment with a wide-range of settings for “incredible flexibility”. For acne scarring, depending on scar depth, four to six sessions may be necessary, at two to three week intervals. Patients can expect anywhere from 60% to 80% clearance. There is probably two days of downtime with redness and swelling. However, the results are likely permanent.

The PicoSure laser is gentle on your skin, with minimal discomfort or downtime after treatments. PicoSure works by sending ultra-short pulses of laser energy into the outer and inner skin layers. This helps dermatologists effectively treat the outer skin, while the laser also stimulates collagen and elastin production within the inner skin layers. The PicoSure laser can be used to help treat acne scars through the following:

  • Reduce damaged and scarred skin
  • Reduce dark spots
  • Shrink glands that produce oil
  • Encourage collagen and elastin production
To find out which one would be best for you, you have to schedule an in-person consultation with a qualified dermatologist. 

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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

Acne scarring requires a combination approach. 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. I suggest consulting with a board certified dermatologist for further assessment. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 191 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.