Background: Acne vulgaris is an inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous unit in teenagers. Acne-induced inflammation leads to acne scarring. Scholars have discussed acne scar treatments; however, energy-based devices with satisfactory outcomes remain unidentified. Objective: To measure quartile grading scale and visual analog scale (VAS) to study the difference between energy-based devices. Methods: We included randomized controlled trials that evaluated patients with acne scars. The primary outcomes were the quartile grading scale and VAS scores. We used Confidence in Network Meta-Analysis to evaluate indirectness, imprecision, heterogeneity, and incoherence. Results: A total of 26 studies met the inclusion criteria. The quartile grading scale results revealed that ablative fractional laser was significantly more effective than nonablative fractional laser (standard mean difference [SMD]: 0.516, confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.281-0.750) and radiofrequency treatment (SMD: 0.941, 95% CI: 0.540-1.342). Moreover, nonablative fractional laser was significantly more effective than radiofrequency treatment (SMD: 0.426, 95% CI: 0.049-0.802). No significant difference in VAS score was found among the devices. Conclusion: Ablative fractional laser is an effective treatment for acne scars although it is associated with more pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalFacial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Acne Vulgaris/complications
  • Adolescent
  • Cicatrix/etiology
  • Humans
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


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