Acne Laser Treatments

Acne scarring can be treated in a number of ways, including chemical peels, surgery and lasers. Our specialist dermatologists  will tailor a personalised treatment plan for the best results according to the depth and severity of acne scars, your skin type and other important factors.


Cutis Clinic can help you achieve your best results

Contact us for a FREE Consultation with our Nurses and Therapists

Our acne laser treatments for acne scarring rarely depend on a single treatment method. Using a combination of highly-efficient treatments achieves optimal results. Our available combinations might include TCA Cross,  Fraxel (1550nm), fully ablative lasers (erbium, CO2) and fractional lasers (erbium, CO2).

Cutis Clinic dermatologists and trained cosmetic nurses are also proud to offer their expertise in a range of new non-laser treatments for early acne scarring, such as Infini (radiofrequency needling), Dermapen needling and eMatrix (radiofrequency).

  • Specialist dermatologists select the most suitable combination of treatments for your skin
  • Optimal results with tailored treatment based upon individual factors, skin type and severity of scarring
  • Fractional laser treatment is the latest proven technology for acne scar revision
  • Our acne scarring treatment combinations can reduce scar visibility by up to 80%
  • 2-4 treatments are often required for the best results
  • Fractional laser resurfacing with Fraxel, erbium and CO2
  • Non-laser fractional devices available including Infini, eMatrix and Dermapen
  • We implement full resurfacing for deep acne scars or combine fractional lasers with other laser types during a single session for the best results
  • Laser treatments for acne scarring can be safely performed on all skin types, colours and tones
  • Laser treatment for acne scars is well tolerated at Cutis Clinic; we provide topical and local pain relief
  • For complex scar procedures, different pain-relief options will be discussed during your consultation with your specialist dermatologist.

Acne scarring is the result of injury to the deeper dermal layers of the skin. Acne scars most commonly occur as a result of intense inflammation such as rupture of the pilosebaceous unit or oil glands. Such inflammation disrupts the ordered structure of collagen and results in acne scarring.

To repair acne scars, old collagen must be remodeled and new collagen rebuilt to restore the skin’s even structure.

Acne scars affect the deeper skin layers. Superficial treatments such as microdermabrasion are unable to reach the depths required for the reduction of acne scarring.  To effectively cure acne scars, we must treat the dermis and remodel the collagen network.

Laser reduces scarring through a collagen or dermal remodelling process. This  involves breaking down old collagen fibres and encouraging new collagen growth.

Fractionated skin resurfacing physically breaks down old collagen and also denatures collagen scars in and around the treatment area through controlled heating technology. It is the ability to control the heat source that differentiates lasers from skin needling (Dermapen) techniques.

As the name suggests, fully ablative lasers allow for controlled and precise contact with the upper layers of the skin, peeling away acne scars layer by layer. This technique works best for superficial or shallow acne scars and is most commonly used once deeper scars have risen closer to the surface by way of a technique called subscision.

The best method for acne scar revision is not necessarily laser treatment. As specialist Dermatologists we are taught to revise scars based upon acne scar type, skin type and downtime of the patient.

Here are some examples of other techniques that are used ahead of lasers for acne scars:

  • Deep or ice pick scars should always be raised before laser treatment. Procedures such as punch excision and TCA-CROSS are far more superior compared to Fraxel or even fully ablative lasers.
  • Puckered or tethered anchored scars should be treated with a specialised technique called subscision.
  • Deep depressions and atrophic scars are best treated with a combination of lasers and dermal fillers.
  • Lumpy scars, most common on the back, chest, shoulders and jawline are best treated with a series of corticosteroid injections.

Laser however can be the best method for treating box-car scars, mild atrophic scars, and raised ice pick scars. Most patients will have a mixture of acne scars, and hence why laser is just another method in our tool kit for getting the job done. 90% of the time, it’s the experience of the operator, and not just the tools!

Finding a specialist skilled in all aspects of acne scar revision will give you the very best results possible.

Specialist dermatologists will select the appropriate laser(s) based upon your acne scar type, your available downtime and your skin type.

Cutis Clinic boasts one of Australia’s largest selections of laser machines. This means all of our patients have access to the best laser procedure, and the most effective laser procedure, for their scars. We have the knowledge, the experience and the equipment to consistently tailor our skin-care programs based upon individual factors.

Fraxel 1927

  • Best for: very early superficial acne scars; for sun damage and hyperpigmentation
  • Downtime: 4-6 days; 2-4 treatments required
  • Skin type: safe for all skin types

Fraxel 1550

  • Best for: box scars and mixed rolling acne scars; a great all-rounder for non-tailored scar revision.
  • Downtime: 5-8 days; 4-6 treatments advised
  • Skin type: safe for all skin types

Pro-fractional Erbium

  • Best for: medium to deep acne scars
  • Downtime: 3-6 days; 3-5 treatments for optimal results
  • Skin type: safe for all skin types

CO2 Core Fractionated

  • Best for: deep rolling, mixed acne scars, severe scars
  • Downtime: 5-9 days; 2-4 treatments advised
  • Skin type: safe for skin types 1-4

Fully ablative CO2 and or Erbium

  • Best for: shallow box car scars, mixed scars, treated ice pick scars
  • Downtime: 6-14 days; only 1-2 treatments
  • Skin type: safe for skin types 1-3

Vascular V Beam – Alex lasers

  • Best for: very early scars, red scars, hypertrophic or keloid (lumpy) scars
  • Downtime: 0- 72 hours; 2- 4 treatments
  • Skin type: safe for all skin types

eMatrix: RadioFrequency Fractional Sublative (non-laser device)

  • Best for: very early scars, Roaccutane users, compound remodeling
  • Downtime: 0- 12 hours; 2- 5 treatments
  • Skin type: safe for all skin types

Dermapen: Skin Needling (non-laser device)

  • Best for: some scars, not nearly as good as laser (no controlled heat); best for budget scar revision, early and mild acne scars
  • Downtime: 2-6 days; 4 -6 treatments advised
  • Skin type: safe for all skin types

Fractionated laser treatments (Fraxel, ProFractional, CO2, eMatrix (radio frequency)) produce hundreds of tiny but deep micro-columns of energy into the scarred areas of the dermis. Each column is the diameter of a hair shaft. Laser ablates (erodes) the scar tissue and old, damaged collagen fibres without blemishing or damaging the surface layers.

This fractionated treatment allows your skin to heal much more quickly, giving the body time to heal these deep micro-wounds and replace them with new tissue.

The advantage of this type of skin treatment is the absence of downtime and treatment-associated blemishing in combination with significant acne scar improvement that begins in the deeper skin layers. This method of scar treatment is safe for all skin types and tones, including Asian skin.

CO2 lasers can be used as a form of fractionated laser resurfacing in cases of deep scarring. With this technique, more heat is injected into the dermis, stimulating increased collagen regrowth. The extra heat produced does, however, increase downtime to approximately 7-10 days.

Your specialist dermatologist will select a fractionated device based upon your skin type, scar type, and available downtime.

Laser procedures are performed at the Cutis Clinic accredited Brisbane laser theatre

We conduct all laser procedures at a SPECIALIST MEDICAL LEVEL, much like minor in-patient procedures. This ensures the highest level of safety, comfort and sterility for every patient.

Your laser experience will be arranged as follows:

  • Patients are required to arrive 60 minutes prior to their procedure time.
  • During the 60 minutes prior to treatment, further planning will be performed, medications will be prescribed and a topical anaesthetic applied.
  • Then it’s off to the laser operating theatre.
  • The treatment area is thoroughly cleansed and full eye protection is ensured.
  • The procedure takes 15 to 60 minutes.  Your treating dermatologist may elect to use 2-3 different laser types on specific scar types.
  • Depending on the administered medication you may be required to remain in the clinic for up to 60 minutes following treatment.
  • We encourage our patients to arrange a relative or friend to transport you back home.

At Cutis Clinic, your laser session is conducted in accordance with the highest specialist medical and operational standards.

The procedure is well tolerated; we ensure you remain comfortable both during and after the procedure. We always use a topical anaesthetic cream, administered to the to-be-treated area at least 60 minutes prior to the procedure. Some patients may require a nerve block using local anaesthetic. We provide additional pain relief for severe scar revision.

As a guide, most patients rate laser revision of scars as 2/10 on the pain scale, which translates as minor and well tolerated discomfort. After the procedure, the pain may mimic that of sunburn.

Immediately following the procedure you may experience mild to moderate redness and a sensation resembling sunburn.

Your recovery process depends on various factors including:

  • The intensity of your laser procedure
  • The type of laser used
  • Your personal healing process
  • Your medical history

Your treating dermatologist will advise you on specific after-care recommendations and instructions. This may include analgesics and the application of a healing ointment to keep the skin moist.

Depending on laser treatment intensity, we may arrange for post–laser follow-ups to ensure your healing process proceeds as expected.

Recovery time will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.

As a guide to expected recovery times:

  • Mild scarring, shallow, small areas: 3-4 days
  • Moderate scarring, medium depth, medium surface area: 5-6 days
  • Extensive scarring, extensive areas:  9- 11 days

Your recovery will depend on the type of lasers used. Downtime alsos depend on various factors, including the depth of scarring, the type of acne scars and your skin type.

Your recovery time will be discussed in detail well before the procedure. Your laser dermatologist will inform you of the ideal balance between results and down time.

Noticeable results can be obtained in just a single treatment. Although the number of treatments varies between patients.  Some patients seek the minimal downtime advantages of very conservative treatments and choose to extend their therapy over several sessions.  Others desire more rapid results and are able to tolerate longer downtime, and thus pursue a more aggressive treatment program.

The number of treatments you need depends on your scar type and skin type. Patients with severe acne scarring may need a higher number treatments when compared to those with mild to moderate acne scars.

Your treating dermatologist will give you a guide as to the number of treatments best suited for your scarring type.

As a rough guide, we recommend 2-4 laser treatments for optimal results.

Treatments should be spaced at intervals of between 4-10 weeks and no less; results are best seen 3 months after each procedure as renewed collagen production and collagen fibre remodeling may take up to 3 months.