What could be the cause for minimal improvement after laser treatment for red acne marks? (photo)

Doctor's Answers (2)

Dr Stephanie Ho

"Skin specialist with over 20 years of experience"


It is quite common for acne to leave red marks as they heal. These will gradually fade with time, provided active acne is treated and no new acne spots form. Lasers can be used to treat these marks to result in faster lightening.

I often use the VBEAM pulsed dye laser which targets such red marks very effectively. Most patients can expect 50-70% lightening after 2-3 sessions. The marks will initially look redder for 5-7 days immediately after treatment and then lighten over time. There are other lasers or even IPL that can be used to treat these marks but may result in a slower or suboptimal response. Hope this helps.

Warmest regards

Dr Stephanie Ho, Dermatologist


The red acne marks are called post acne erythema or post inflammatory erythema. Lasers can be used to treat these marks to lighten the red marks faster.

It is important to use the correct types of laser - Vascular lasers to treat these conditions. 

I recommend Pulsed dye lasers or Copper bromide lasers to treat this condition. 

Each type of vascular laser gives different results, downtime and recovery.

It is common to expect 50-80% lightening after 3 sessions. 

You might want to speak to your doctor regarding the lack of improvement as there are multiple causes for sub-optimal results (eg laser settings, type of laser, post-laser care...).  

Hope this helps!

Warmest regards,

Dr Justin Boey