What is the Best Treatment for my Acne Scars? I Have Tried Alot of Different Things with No Results (photo)

Can someone please offer me expert advice as to whats the best treatment to improve my scars? In the past Ive tried multiple treatments including Smoothbeam, a series of chemical peels, and two treatments of Fraxel restore. After seeing two different doctors that have reputations for being the best in the city I was told do CO2 and fillers after and told by the other do a Yag laser . Can someone please review my photos and give me their honest opinion, thanks. I'm nervous to spend with no result

Doctor Answers 7

Treat acne then treat acne scars

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Based on the photos it appears that you still have active acne. it is important to address the acne first especially as it is severe enough to cause scarring. You might be an excellent candidate for Accutane (isotretinoin) which potentially cures acne. You can better determine what to do with the scars after the acne is under control. Good luck!

New York Dermatologist


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For acne scars we have a few options for you. We have Profractional laser treatment and micro laser peel. If you are looking for wow results you can also do a mini face lift. Its sounds a little extreme but if you think about it, It is stretching your skin and helping with the deep scars that the laser’s do not touch.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

How to Treat Acne and Acne Scars

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Based on the photos you have posted, I would recommend treatment for both the active acne and the acne scars.  Effective treatments for acne include prescription medications and in-office treatments, such as Photodynamic Therapy and the Isolaz laser.  If the scarring bothers you more than the active acne, it is okay to begin treatment for scarring while you still have active acne - but you should not neglect to treat the active acne.

There are many options for the treatment of erythematous (red) and atrophic (pitted) acne scars.  The most effective treatments for the type of scarring that I see in the photos is fractional laser resurfacing (such as the Fraxel restore.)  Fractional CO2 lasers can produce a more dramatic result than the Fraxel restore, so you may explore this option with your dermatologist if you have not seen improvement after your Fraxel restore treatments.

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Acne and Acne Scar Treatments

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Based on the photos, it appears you still have a lot of active acne. I suggest you focus more right now on treating the acne aggressively so as to avoid additional scarring.  Once your skin is cleared up and there is less inflammation, then move on to treating the acne scars.  Nothing replaces an in-office consultation and so giving advice on best treatments for your acne scarring based on poor pictures is difficult. I can say that in our practice we use mostly injectable fillers, electrosurgery, punch excision and chemical peeling to treat all types of acne scars on all types of skin with great results. I think lasers are completely overrated when it comes to improving acne scars. 

Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Acne scars

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Acne scars can be difficult to deal with. Sometimes lasers like a Thermascan can treat the acne as well as build up the collagen in the cheeks. LaViv also can be used to inject your own fibroblasts as an off-label use to restore the soft tissue loss under the acne scars.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Acne scars

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Thank you for the photos.  When addressing acne scars we need to control the active disease first before we tackle the scarring.  You have very active disease and need to get this under control.  Treatment is not cosmetic at this point, so don't let them take you there at this point in time.   Traditional therapy with systemic antibiotics, active topical agents, intralesional injection of swollen cyts

OCPs specific for acne prone skin in women, spironolactone and even the possible need for Accutance should be addressed in the proper order. You may be pleasantly surprised that very little may be necessary for scars once active disease has settled down.

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Combination Therapy Most Effective For Acne

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Thank you for your question and for sharing your photos.  As you are aware, acne can be a very debilitating condition and definitive treatments are hard to come by.  Your photos show that your acne is still active.  The first step of treatment would be to get the active component under control.  A series of levulan with blue light and 1319 nm laser treatments would get the active component under control.  This is often combined with topical medicines.  The scar component is best treated with fractional resurfacing.  Given your skin type, I would recommend erbium fractional resurfacing such as Sciton's Profractional.  You will need a series or treatments to get the best results.  This can be combined with fat transfer or fillers for depressed scars.  Good luck with your search!

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.