Acne | Acne Scars

Acne & Acne Scar Treatment Chevy Chase, MD

As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Tina West has many years of experience treating acne in both teens and adults with the use of lasers and other techniques. Following a thorough evaluation that includes both a historical and physical examination, Dr. West will prescribe effective topical and/or oral medications; and in addition, will recommend appropriate in-office treatments including laser and light treatments as well as acne-specific medical facial treatments.
To complement medical acne treatments, we offer aesthetician services and peels, as well as customized skin treatment plans using acne-specific topical cosmeceuticals.

AcuPulse™ Fractional C02 Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scars

A state-of-the-art ablative fractionated CO2 (carbon dioxide) resurfacing laser that targets and treats moderate to severe skin damage, such as sunspots, pigmentation irregularities, and acne scars, with only one week of downtime.

How Does AcuPulse Work?

AcuPulse Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing uses a specific wavelength of laser energy to selectively vaporize water in skin cells, which stimulates your body to repair damaged skin caused by sun exposure or acne scarring and produce new collagen and blood vessels.

Is AcuPulse Right For Me?

If you have severe sun damage, wrinkles in your skin at rest, or certain types of acne scars, then you may be a candidate for AcuPulse Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing. Dr. West will meet with you to identify if this treatment is best to meet your needs and goals.

How Long Do AcuPulse Results Last?

New collagen production continues for 12-18 months following ablative laser skin resurfacing, results continue to improve over time following the treatment. Results are maximized and maintained with a long-term daily skincare regimen that includes sun protection and active topical products such as cosmeceutical grade retinoids to prevent future acne and acne-related scarring.

Candela™ V-Beam Pulsed Dye Laser

The Candela V-Beam Pulsed Dye Laser is the gold-standard laser for the treatment of new acne scars that are still red or pink. Treating with this no-downtime laser that does not break the surface of the skin can prevent scars from forming, even if indentations are present. Pulsed Dye Laser treatment during this early phase of acne may prevent the need for more aggressive resurfacing treatments later. Pulsed dye laser treatments are gentle enough that they can be done during Accutane treatment if treating acne scars.

How Does Candela V-Beam Work?

The Candela V-Beam Pulsed Dye Laser delivers an intense but gentle burst of yellow light to the skin, and the light is specifically absorbed by the blood vessels in the dermis. These blood vessels are coagulated and then reabsorbed by the body during the natural healing process. Some patients may feel slight discomfort, but this is minimized by Candela’s dynamic cooling device which delivers a cooling spray prior to each laser pulse. Most candidates for pulsed-dye laser treatment require one to three treatment sessions (4-8 weeks apart) to achieve maximal results. Dr. West will recommend the appropriate number of treatments needed based on the treatment area/severity of the acne and scarring.

Is Candela V-Beam Right For Me?

The Candela V-Beam Pulsed Dye Laser may be perfect for those looking to treat acne scars, as well as rosacea, “broken” or prominent capillaries, redness, keloids, and vascular birthmarks. Dr. West and team will meet with you to identify if this treatment is best to meet your needs and goals. Improvement is typically noticeable after the first treatment.

Let's Get Started

Dr. Tina West is a board-certified dermatologist and leading expert in cosmetic dermatology, laser surgery, and body contouring procedures. For over 20 years, Dr. West has dedicated her practice to providing natural-looking results and full patient satisfaction. Dr. West invites you to visit The West Institute for a friendly and informative consultation.

Dr. West's signature

Let's Get Started

Fraxel® Dual Laser

Fraxel Dual is a non-ablative fractional resurfacing laser used to stimulate new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which makes skin tighter, plumper, and more elastic. During this process, new skin is brought to the surface, which effectively replaces damaged, discolored skin cells. Fraxel Dual uses two different wavelengths of light to target fine wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone and brown spots caused by aging and sun exposure; additionally, it can help to improve dark undereye circles.

How Does Fraxel Dual Work?

The Fraxel Dual laser features two lasers with different wavelengths. One of the lasers targets pigmentation and sun damage, while the other laser goes deeper to target wrinkles, texture, and acne scarring. The energy delivered creates thousands of tiny, deep columns in the skin, stimulating the growth of new, healthy skin cells to replace old, damaged cells.

The treatment may also be alternated with Lutronic® Genius™ Radiofrequency Microneedling as a series of four to five treatment sessions to further help improve acne scarring and requires less than a week of downtime.

Is Fraxel Dual Right for Me?

The Fraxel Dual laser can be used effectively to treat fine wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone and brown spots on most skin types; patients must be willing to stay out of the sun pre-and-post treatment. Dr. West and team will meet with you to identify if this treatment is best to meet your needs and goals.

Fraxel Dual Results

The results of Fraxel Dual are both immediate and progressive. One week after the treatment, the surface of your skin will feel softer and smoother, looking brighter and displaying a more even tone. The next three-to-six months will bring more improvement as the deeper layers of the skin continue to create new collagen. A maintenance regimen of Clear + Brilliant® laser resurfacing treatments is recommended to enhance and prolong the results of a Fraxel Dual laser treatment. If patients continue with an effective cosmeceutical grade skincare routine, the results from the treatment will last for years.

Lutronic® Genius Radiofrequency Microneedling

Genius Radiofrequency Microneedling is a no-downtime radiofrequency treatment that uses tiny needles to deliver energy that tightens skin on the face, undereye area, neck, and anywhere on the body and improves fine lines. This device is also one of the newest gold standard treatments for acne scars and is preferred over laser treatment by busy patients who don’t have downtime.

How Does Radiofrequency Microneedling Work?

The device combines fractional radiofrequency technology with microneedling to precisely deliver energy to the dermis through gold-plated microneedles using a stamping technique. The dermis is the layer of the skin beneath the surface that is responsible for skin’s elasticity because it contains collagen and elastin. By delivering heat energy via radiofrequency to the dermis, Genius Radiofrequency Microneedling encourages collagen growth and tissue tightening precisely at the proper depths in the skin. The precision offered through this technology provides improvement in wrinkles, scars, and skin elasticity, while also tightening skin.

Is Radiofrequeny Microneedling Right for Me?

If you are bothered by acne scars or fine wrinkles and sagging skin anywhere on your face then you may be a good candidate for Genius Radiofrequency Microneedling. The treatment is typically performed as a series of sessions, with treatments spaced four to six weeks apart, depending on the treatment area. Genius treatment also requires less downtime than both ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing.

Additionally, the device represents a huge advance in technology for anyone with a more pigmented skin type because unlike laser treatments, there is virtually no risk of pigment change. Similarly, treatments can be performed all year long with no restriction based on sun exposure. Dr. West and team will meet with you to identify if this treatment is best to meet your needs and goals.


You can expect to see changes in your skin soon after you have completed a series of treatments. Due to the collagen remodeling that is induced by radiofrequency microneedling, results continue to improve for at least six months following treatment. While results are long lasting, aging continues and many patients opt for treatments once or twice a year to maintain their great results.

Ready To Treat Your Acne & Acne Scars?

If you would like to take the next step toward a more confident you, Dr. West invites you to reach out and schedule a personalized acne assessment! Our team would be happy to meet with you to discuss your many incredible skin rejuvenation options offered at The West Institute.