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Reducing a Flat, Dark Scar from Iron Burn

Hello, I have a flat, old (4 months) burn scar from an iron that I am desperately wanting to reduce. It is very smooth compared to the surrounding skin, not raised at all but very dark and unsightly on my arm. I have tried Mederma with no satisfaction and just bought ScarAway silicone sheets to try. I don't know what else to try if the sheets don't work and really, really want the scar to improve! Also, the picture makes it seem lighter than it actually is in real life...

Doctor Answers (6)

Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

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What you have is dark pigmentations the result of previous inflammation caused by the trauma.  Application of silicone sheath is the first step in the right direction.  Total coverage from the sun during the next 3-6 months so that it will not get darker. Use of bleaching creams Tri-luma every night.  And maybe genesis laser treatment for improvement of texture and color.    


New Canaan Dermatologic Surgeon

Melarase AM and Melarase PM for dark burn scars

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I would begin treatment with two topical creams, Melarase AM in the morning, followed by Melarase PM in the evening, rubbed on the scar.  The darkening will gradually fade with the use of the creams.

Another option for non-pigmented scars is the Plato's Medicinals Scar Serum. 

Surgery90210

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Improving a flat dark scar

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First, keep in mind that most every scar will improve over time. Your scar is still relatively young, and will likely improve without much more than routine skin care. To prevent hyperpigmentation, I counsel my patients to use daily sunscreen and keeping a healing wound away from sun as much as possible. Check with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist so they can evaluate the burn to see if anything further can be helpful.

At 4 months, you can safely use a lightening cream to improve the dark coloring, in addition to daily SPF 30.

After about a year, if the scar is still dark and "unsightly", re-check with your provider to discuss options, like chemical peels or laser scar therapy to improve the scar.

Anifat Balogun, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fading creams and chemical peels would work best

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Fading creams like Triluma combined with light chemical peels would speed up the healing

Boris Zaks, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist

Not a scar, just post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

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What your picture appears to be is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  There may be a slight scar in the middle, but the blurriness of the picture makes it hard for me to determing.  Most of the time, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation clears on its own, although it may take 6-12 months.  I agree that sunscreen use is essential to prevent it from darkening anymore.  You could talk to your dermatologists about hydroquinone creams; sometimes they can help expedite the process of fading (although you're still looking at several months either way). 

Brent Spencer, MD
Frisco Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Pigmentation not scar is the problem

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It sound like you have suffered a burn injury.  The area is still very young.  It will take up to a year or so the pigmentation to possibly improve.  I would recommend sunscreen to prevent further darkening of the area. Laser therapy may improve the area once the area is very mature.

Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.