232 Reviews
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
Side Effects
Phototherapy’s Real World Take
Laser therapy works by harming skin oil glands. That can lead to some improvement in acne, and perhaps even long-term relief of some acne symptoms. However, evolution gave us skin oil glands for a reason and what happens long term when you permanently disable them is still unknown. Proceed with caution.
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist? Make an appointment to get this procedure done.

Don't have a dermatologist? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find one.
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Used Lasers? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
October 10, 2006


Clearer skin, less oil, no more special/expensive/high-maintenance prescriptions.


Even with the cream they apply before, the actual process is painful. But, you got to suck it up. It is just 15 minutes. It just like working out--the process sucks but the results are worth it.

An occassional small pimple.

Here's my experience: 1st Treatment: I was very frustrated with results. My skin was immediately red and blotchy for a day following the treatment. Overall, I saw little difference in my skin. I didn't want to go back. 2nd Treatment: One month later, I went for the second treatment. Days after, I noticed a difference in my skin. I was less oily and my breakouts were less frequent and the pimples much smaller. 3rd/4th Treatment: I was completely impressed after these treatments. After three treatments, the manner in which I had to care for my skin completely changed: Before, I had to wash my face twice a day with Brevoxyl and apply a special cream for the day and one for night just to avoid waking up with new (often cystic) zits on my face. I remember feeling paranoid if I forgot to wash my face before bedtime. Now, I wash my face with a cheap Neutrogena soap & apply Clearasil and that's all I need to stay clear. The $1000 far beats the endless $$
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Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.