Which treatment for acne scars has the best tradeoff between downtime and effectiveness? (photo)

Doctor's Answers 2

The main gold standard for acne scars has still been fractional CO2 laser for the longest time. This is generally agreed upon by many doctors. We have tried many treatments for acne scars and general. The downtime is about 2-4 days of redness and another 2-3 days of fine scabbing.

I am not supposed to say that microneedling helps acne scars because there is supposed to be no clear medical evidence that it works but in the past when microneedling was not regulated, I do see results although it depends on the needle depth and the number of treatments. My personal view on it is for the same downtime and pain, fractional CO2 laser still has better results as it has the extra laser heat to produce more collagen remodelling.

There is no place for deep chemical peel for acne scars now for Asians unless they are not suitable for fractional CO2 laser. Other viable treatment for acne scars for people who do not want long downtime can be dermal fillers. But this treatment is not permanent. A good typical dermal fillers like vobella (Juvederm range) last about a year plus.

Subcision can be employed together with fractional CO2 laser for better results on very fibrotic stubborn scars but the downtime can be 2-4 weeks and should be used as a second resort to fractional CO2 laser.

Hope that helps.

A short answer to your questions is

- I think you could still consider stabilising your skin further before doing fractional laser (which would be great for you) as lasers being heat-based therapies in my experience does incite some acne outbreaks.. not great if you are still battling the condition.

I think subcision with Radiesse is great- virtually minimal downtime and helps plump up your depressed scars/indentations. my favourite procedure actually.


Similar Questions

How can I get the best results for my acne scars and large pores? (photo)

For acne scars and large pores, there are various treatments than can be used including chemical peels and laser treatments. The fractional laser is good treatment option for depressed scars. Usually 3 to 4 sessions may be required and the expected improvement is estimated at about 30 to 50%. There may be a downtime of 3 to 7 days with this treatment. In some cases, this can be combined with subcision for some of deeper acne scars. It will be good for you to consult your doctor for a proper examination to advice you on the most suitable treatment options for you.

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Answered By

Dr Colin Theng


Can acne scar treatments be combined in the same session?

Subcision can be combined safely with any of the more superficial treatments, be it Co2 fractional laser, Intracel/microneedling rF and TCA Cross. However I would be concerned if you do too many treatments on the surface (TCA + Intracel) as healing may potentially be impaired. Further more, TCA Cross downtime (socially) can be as long as 2 weeks or more. you may find that unacceptable as well.

Photo of Dr Winston  Lee

Answered By

Dr Winston Lee


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