Hello, I have the acne scars and was offered deep chemical peel/s or dermapen.. to resolve the issue permanently. Suggestion?

Doctor Answers 4

Fractional Microneedle Resurfacing With Dermapen Is An Excellent Treatment For Acne Scars

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If by a deep chemical peel, a Baker's Phenol Peel is meant, I would be reluctant. These peels are excellent methods of resurfacing the skin, but for all intents and purposes, they have much the same downtime and risk of scarring as aggressive surgical procedures of the face. In addition, there is a real risk for the development of blotchy pigmentation or even permanent loss of pigmentation.

To treat acne scars, I have routinely been using Dermarollers since they came out ten years ago and Dermapen since it appeared on the market a few years ago, each with gratifying results. Such approaches collectively are referred to as Fractional Medical Microneedle Therapy or Fractional Microneedle Resurfacing, and, in general, between two to four treatments, spaced at six week intervals, are necessary to achieve sufficient aesthetic improvement. Since microneedling promotes new, native collagen synthesis (neocollagenesis), the results tend to be permanent.

If the cheeks are sunken and atrophic, they can first be reinflated with The Nonsurgical 3D Vectoring Facelift, using volumizing fillers, which gives immediate improvement and can be performed within about fifteen minutes with little to no downtime. For more information on this, check out the Realself.com archives.

Unfortunately, as of now, I have not been impressed with fraxel lasers or other light-based devices or radiofrequency devices, all of which appear to be a lot more manufacturer-backed marketing hype and less hard science--not to mention considerably more expensive treatments.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Acne Scars and treatment

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Acne scars can best be treated with either Fraxel or eMatrix depending on your skin type.  I have found both these lasers superior to conventional methods such as chemical peels and they have little down time.  For the best results please consult a board certified dermatologist in your area who has a great deal of experience treating acne scars.


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DermaPen treatments in conjunction with chemical peels is a great way to help acne scarring.  We often do those two procedures as a single treatment.  It will require a series of at least 6 normally but that can depend on the severity of your scarring.  Another treatment option you could look into is the E-Matrix.  For optimal results at our clinic we alternate the chemical peel/DermaPen treatment with E-matrix treatments.  

Kevin Rose, MD
Provo Plastic Surgeon

Acne scars

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There are many good options to improve acne scarring, but the best treatment for you is dependent on many factors such as the type of acne scarring you have (pigmentation, ice pick, rolling or box car scarring), the severity of the scarring, how dark your skin is, how well you heal, and your skin's tendency to hyperpigment after procedures. If you do have mild scarring and dark skin or tend to get darker skin discoloration after there is inflammation in your skin, lighter chemical peels and dermapen may work well for you. You will need multiple treatments with any treatment option. Other known effective options for acne scarring would be Fraxel laser, microneedling with silicone injections, or subablative E Matrix laser. I would get a second opinion with a board certified dermatologist or cosmetic dermatologist who has experience with treating acne scarring with a wide array of options.

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 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.