What is the Best Treatment Option for Acne Scaring That's Not a Laser?

I've been using the Obagi system for 3 mos, I'm Still breaking out. I just had a VI peel with ok results. Im opposed to laser due to having done it before with no results, the cost and fear of further scaring. (olive tone, scar very easily) My scar pigmentation issues are nearly resolved, my scars are 'rolling' and moderate. Not too deep. Would a series of VI peels or NEO glycolic peels in conjunction with microdermabrasion be beneficial to me? Or should I opt for a filler at this point?

Doctor Answers 4

Best non laser options for acne scar treatment

Without seeing your picture or examining you, it is difficult to advise. From your description, it sounds like there are 3 issues: 1- your acne is not under control. As long as you continue to breakout, you will still get the blemishes and scars. you should consider Accutane. 2- Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. As you have "olive" skin, you will get blemishes when you get acne. Get your acne under control. 3- true acne scars. It sounds like you have severe enough acne that it leaves little hole. Again, get the acne under control. To treat the scars you have without laser, consider a series of modified Jessners peels or a TCA peel. It sounds like you need to see a board certified dermatologist. Good luck!

New York Dermatologist
3.3 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Ultherapy 1.5mm, the new non-laser based Acne scar treatment

While Fractional co2 laser resurfacing and nonablative Nd:Yag laser such as GenesisPlus are mainstay treatments of acne scar treatment, if you are looking for non-laser based modality, there is one new option besides microdermabrasion, filler, and chemical peels. Ultherapy utilizing new 1.5mm transducer has been shown to be effective for softening acne scars though multiple treatments may be required. Ultherapy, safe for all skin types without risk of pigmentation or significant downtime, utilizes proprietary ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen, shrink pore size and remodel scar tissues.  

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews



It is very hard to advice what kind of treatment would benefit you the best without seeing you. In our practice we give our patients all the options you have, starting with laser, Profractional laser with micro laser peel. If you want more lasting results and bigger results we also recommend a mini facelift, stretching out the skin will help with the deep scars.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Acne Scarring

It's difficult to know what to recommend for your scarring without a picture-but your first priority has to be to stop your acne breaking out.  You need to stop the cause of the scarring before you go after the scarring.  I recommend you see a board certified Dermatologist and get your acne under control as soon as you can.  It will make treating your scarring easier and you'll get better, longer lasting results no matter what you do.  I hope this helps - good luck.

Peter J. Jenkin, MD, FAAD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.