Which Types of Lasers are best for Acne Scars?

Regarding laser treatments for acne scars I am confused about the various types of lasers: - SmartXide, Active FX, fractional and ebrium, I am not sure which ones are brand names. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Lasers and Acne Scars

You mention nothing about your age, Nor any treatment you may already have had.  Also for this type of question, a picture is very helpful. With that said, I have treated many very difficult scarring cases with some very nice results. I personally like the Sciton Joule Laser with tunable resurfacing technology. The best treatment with that laser is Profactional treatment for a very good reason. The doctor administering the treatment cant drill very deep holes within the scar, These channels then fill in with new healthy collagen thereby lessening the scars.  Another thought is to add some of your own fat underneath the scarring, these fat cells carry stem cells that will help transform this area into a healthier skin. Good Luck.

Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews


There is a few options for acne scars. You can get profractional laser with micro laser peel that in it self will get rid of a lot of your scars but not 100%. If you want 100% you can do a mini facelift that would be stretching the skin and getting rid of the deeper scars.Good luck.The best would be to see a PS to see you and know exactly what would benefit you the best.

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

Best laser for Acne

It depends on your situation. Basically lasers can work at different levels of the skin. co2 laser and erbium work from the surface down due to their high attraction to water. The other lasers vary in terms of how deep they go while avoiding more superficial lasers. In my opinion, the best lasers for acne are the co2 and erbium and if I had one choice it would be the co2 laser. Acne is mainly a surface disease process and resurfacing works best. I like the multilayered approach.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Lasers for Acne Scar Treatment

SmartXide and Active FX are both CO2 lasers, thus you’re comparing 3 types of lasers: CO2, fractional, and erbium. These are all very different types of lasers with different properties, operating on varying wavelengths. The pros and cons of each will vary and the choice depends on several factors, including your age, skin type, type of scarring, depth of scarring, etc. There is also a variance of risk and downtime. For example, a fractional laser like the Fraxel Restore, which is an erbium yag laser, requires more treatments than a Fraxel Repair which is a CO2 laser, but has less downtime and is generally safer. A more important query to look into is choice of DOCTOR. Many physicians have and use lasers, but laser technology is very powerful. I advise that you really do your research on different doctors and seek out consultations with those who are recommended and can show proven results.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Correct laser choice depends on patient and type of acne scar

There is no one correct laser for acne scar treatment.  Choice of laser depends on many factors, including type of your acne scar, color of your skin, etc... In addition, best results, in my experience, are obtained when a combination approach is used when treating acne scars. 

Chang Son, MD
Englewood Dermatologist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sciton Profractional works great for Acne Scars

In general fractional lasers are best for moderate to severe acne scars of most types.  They are able to get deeper into your skin where the scars reside and reorganize the collagen in your scars to make them a bit better.  You'll likely need a series of treatments and results will take time and vary based on your skin type and scar problems. 

Don't get bogged down by the names of the different lasers.  As long as it is fractional you are generally ahead of the curve.  Then there are differing opinions on the brand and type of laser used.  I personally prefer the Sciton Profractional treatments as they are a bit less injurious to your skin which leads to less down time than traditional CO2 type fraxel (fractional) lasers that have received a lot of commercial advertising.  I've obtained some phenomenal results for my patients with all types of acne scarring using the Sciton's Profractional treatments and traditional laser treatments.  Your results will really be laser user dependent so research your final choice well.

Nikesh K. Patel, MD
Freehold Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.