Acne and Acne Scar Treatment

Laser Treatment of Acne Scars

Facial acne scars can be quite noticeable and are often a source of embarrassment. Fortunately, for many patients acne scars can be improved with lasers and other new technology. Treatment varies depending on the nature of the scars and each person’s individual medical status.  The biggest improvement in laser treatment for eligible patients is the fractionated carbon dioxide laser, such as the Cortex. This laser can be used to both smooth and shrink scars.  Other acne scar treatments include erbium resurfacing lasers such as in the Cortex, radiofrequency such as the Pelleve®, nonablative lasers, chemical peels, fillers and/or fat grafts.

After evaluating your acne scars, Dr. Carniol will discuss your treatment options.  Laser procedures are performed in the office using a topical anesthetic which is a cream applied to the skin.  No injections are necessary. Typical recovery after a fractional carbon dioxide laser treatment is 4- 5 days.  The vast majority of patients have minimal discomfort; at most they have taken Tylenol® for pain.

Laser Treatment of Acne

Most acne can be treated with medication. If your acne does not respond well to medication, alternative therapies like chemical peels and lasers can help. Some patients respond to superficial chemical peels while others with more significant acne may consider treatment with lasers or radiofrequency.  Since the FDA has recently placed a “blackbox” warning on isotretinoin, more patients are considering lasers as an alternative treatment for medication-resistant acne.

Before – This young woman has severe acne that did not respond to years of treatment with medications. After – Laser treatments performed in our office with no downtime gave her a significant improvement in her skin.


Acne Scars

This lady had deep acne scars. In order to optimize the improvement of her scars she had a combination of fractional laser, laser resurfacing and fillers. The fractional laser was used to tighten and shrink the scars. An Erbium laser was used to smooth the surface of the scars. Fillers were used to reduce the depth of the scars. With this she had a dramatic improvement in the appearance of her scars. Since every acne scar is different, treatment of acne scars should be custom designed to maximize the improvement.

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