How Soon for Laser Resurfacing After Dog Bite?

I suffered a dog bite on my upper lip 6 weeks ago. The wound was stitched by a plastic surgeon the day of the injury, but I'm now left with a curved, slightly indented scar extending from just below my nose down to the pink part of my upper lip. I understand I'll have to wait upwards of a year for any surgical scar revision, but I'm wondering if getting laser resurfacing at this time would be helpful to reduce the indentation. If so, what type of laser might be helpful? I have dark skin and tan very easily. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 3

Start laser sooner rather than later for scars

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When treating scars, I believe in treating sooner rather than later. Scars of all types, when they are new, tend to be pink in color and have an irregular surface. We start treating scars the week after sutures are removed. At that time, patients begin massage along the incision line, topical steroids, and a silicone product. After a few weeks of that regimen, we start laser (about a month after surgery). Our preference is a pigment laser for the pinkness and a resurfacing laser for the lumps and bumps. Being someone who tans easily, you may be better off with conservative laser treatments. Commonly, patient will have monthly laser treatments for 4 to 6 months.

Even if you do none of the aforementioned treatments, your scar will continue to improve in appearance for 6 to 12 months. These treatments seem to speed up the process.

Hope this helps.

Naples Facial Plastic Surgeon

Laser Will Not Likely Be Helpful

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Laser treatments will generally not help depressed scars. While a complete evaluation is necessary because other factors may be playing into the appearance of a depressed scar, for a depressed scar, I would not wait. In most cases, waiting will not improve a depressed scar. In some cases though, the depression is actually an optical illusion because there is an elevation along the edges which may improve over time. Talk with your plastic surgeon.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Wait and see

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Resurfacing probably will not help the indentation. Give it time as your plastic surgeon indicated. There may be improvement that occurs naturally. Some doctors might consider loosening the scar (subcision) and placing a filler underneath to help lift it but it would be too early now to do this. Many wait for 6 to 12 months before revising surgical scars.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.