I had CO2 lazer resurfacing done on a hypertrophic (2 inch long) scar on my chin. Its original appearance was light pink with a medium firmness to it (raised about 2mm). The dermatologist used aproximently 4-5 passes at a fairly agressive setting(scar wa lazered completely flat), recovery time was about 21 days. The scar is now(5 weeks later) red with a very firm feeling to it and it seems inflamed (raised about 4mm). Visually there seems to be a white line underneath the red inflamed area
Hypertrophic Scar Still Red 5 Weeks After CO2 Laser Resurfacing. Will the Redness Go Away?
Doctor Answers (6)
Treatment of a red hypertrophic scar with pulsed dye laser
Pulsed dye laser is the procedure of choice at this stage as the scar is still hypervascular and requires a vascular laser.
Raised scar after CO2 laser
It seem from your description that your scar is persistently hypertrophic. A different approach may be necessary to improve your scar. Often excision of the scar can produce a better result in situations like yours. You should seek the advice of a plastic surgeon.
Persistent Redness after Carbon Dioxide Laser Resurfacing
Of course, it is impossible to tell exactly what is going on without examining you, but your story suggests that the hypertrophic scar may be recurring or developing into a keloid. Your description about a 4 mm raised scar would suggest the possibility of a keloid so I would recommend you return to this doctor or another dermatologist with extensive laser experience. Hypertrophic scars can be helped by steroids, pulsed dye laser and silicon gel products, but first you have to be certain as to what is causing your problem.
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There is some misconception in the public that plastic or cosmetic surgeons can erase skin scars. That only happens apparently on Star Trek. Never having seen or examined you and not knowing the complete scar history (cause and treatments) it is impossible to say what would be best in your case. In general just removing a scar and replacing it with a new one is insufficient. You also have to prevent the formation of a bad scar in this now new scar. That is accomplished via a number of modalities (pressure, taping, scar injection, non-ablative laser etc) depending on the patient and the doctor.
My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.
Red hypertrophic scar following CO2 laser
At this point, the treated area should mostly have recovered from the CO2 laser procedure. The treated hypertrophic scar may be recurring. You ought to consider following up with your treating physician at this time.
Skin redness after laser resurfacing to slowly resolve
I routinely tell my patients to expect skin redness for up to 3 months after laser or chemical peel resurfacing.
The are steroid creams and other topical medications that your doctor can prescribe to help speed up the resolution of the redness.
True inflammation and raising of the scar is not always expected at 5 weeks out and should be brought to the attention of your doctor.
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.