We dermatologists see acne scars commonly in people who pick, squeeze or manipulate acne lesions. That type of trauma to the skin causes inflammation and activation of collagen-producing cells called fibroblasts, and sometimes that scar tissue pulls down on the overlying skin causing depressed scars.
It’s best to see a dermatologist when acne is mild, and not allow it to get to a point with more widespread inflammatory lesions or cystic lesions. Dermatologists can offer a wide array prescription of topical treatments, oral treatments, as well as procedures to minimize acne flares and keep acne lesions under control.
Once patients have acne scars, we divide the treatment into helping redness (post-inflammatory erythema) and some thickness to the skin — where we use BBL or pulse dye laser to help minimize over a series of no downtime treatment sessions. For patients that have depressed “rolling scars,” fractional ablative resurfacing with Pro Fractional or CO2RE can lead to significant improvement with each treatment session but takes about 7-9 days to heal. If patients don’t have that long of downtime, Halo hybrid fractional can be helpful for less deep scars in combination with some discoloration (postinflammatory pigmentation and erythema) with about 3-5 days of a mild sunburn — but more treatment sessions will be needed compared to Pro Fractional/CO2RE.