Laser punch-out for acne scars

Sang Hwan Koo, Eul Sik Yoon, Duck Sun Ahn, Seung Ha Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with acne scars want smooth facial skin. However, achieving this is difficult with dermabrasion or chemical peeling. Nor can ache scars be covered with cosmetics, due to their ice-picked or cobblestone appearance. Laser resurfacing is more effective and safer than other conventional methods due to its precision with depth control and variable methods of surface cutting. Even depth resurfacing with a laser shows unsatisfactory results, therefore, for the deep-sited ache scar the cutting methods have to be changed according to the depth and pattern of the scar. For 2 years, starting in January 1996, we treated 71 patients with a high-powered CO2 laser (Ultrapulse). Different resurfacing methods were applied according to the depth and pattern of the scars. For mild depressed scars, even depth resurfacing was done. For moderatedepth ache scars, the shoulder technique was also used. For the deepest and ice-picked scars, the laser punch-out was corn-bined. Laser resurfacing was carried out at 300-500 mJ, with two to five passes. Laser punch-out was done at 500 mJ, with three to seven continuous passes on the ice-picked scar. From the pathologic findings of ache scars showing that there was thick intradermal scar, we knew that laser punch-out was necessary for improvement of acne scars. Depth-wide, the icepicked scars improved by over 80% and the sharp demarcated margin of the acne scar faded out. Most of the patients with acne scars were satisfied with laser resurfacing. Only six patients had a second laser treatment, with an interval of 12 months. There were no hypertrophic scars after laser resurfacing, but erythema lasted for 3-12 months. Patients taking oral retinoic acid were not contraindicated for laser resurfacing but required special caution because they had atrophic skin and delayed wound healing. Laser resurfacing is the most versatile method for ache scars, with a high-powered CO2 laser. The laser punch-out method is better than even depth resurfacing for improving deep acne scars and can be combined with the shoulder technique or even depth resurfacing according to the type of acne scar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Acne scars
  • Laser resurfacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Laser punch-out for acne scars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this