A Patient's Guide to Acne
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Acne Treatment Options:

Surgical/Laser Treatment


Microdermabrasion is the least invasive of these treatments, and can help improve skin tone and the appearance of mild acne scarring. In this procedure, fine crystals are used to abrade the skin gently, damaging the skin in a controlled manner. This promotes new collagen growth which improves skin texture and quality, and reduces the appearance of the scars. This procedure has little recovery time, but multiple treatments are often required to have the desired effect.


  • Little pain and discomfort
  • Little recovery time
  • Safe with very little side-effects
  • Low cost compared to many other procedures


  • Multiple treatments may be required for it to take full effect
  • The procedure is only effective for relatively minor scarring

IPL Photorejuvenation

IPL (Intense pulsed light) rejuvenation can be used to treat minor acne scars. The mechanism of the treatment is similar to chemical peels and microdermabrasion. The skin is damaged in a controlled manner using IPL, and is repeated every few weeks.


  • Little recovery time
  • Safe with few side-effects


  • Some minor pain during procedure
  • Multiple treatments may be required
  • Cost may be comparatively high

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a procedure that combines CO2 laser and Erbium: YAG laser to remove the skin by layers. This removes the uppermost layer of the scarred skin. It also has a smoothing effect on the skin similar to that of dermabrasion and chemical peels from the production of collagen in response to the damage.


  • Significant improvement in acne scars
  • Ability to treat moderate to severe scarring
  • Can be used in conjunction with other therapies for better results


  • Longer recovery time
  • Cost may be comparatively high

Scar Revision Surgery

Ice pick scars and boxcar scars cannot be treated with traditional methods of dermabrasion. Surgery can excise these unwanted scars by means of a punch. Sometimes subcision is used instead.


  • Treats icepick and boxcar scars
  • A single treatment is sufficient most of the time
  • This can be combined with laser resurfacing to smooth the skin out and appear natural


  • The procedure can be costly
  • Excision will require sutures, which will need to be removed after about a week

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