Laser or Dermabrasion for indented scars on forehead? (Photo)

I have quite a few indented scars on my forehead, just recently I decided to have dermabrasion done to try to smooth them out. The surgeon reassured me that he was good with dermabrasion and that he thought it would help to improve my scars. Looking at them a week later I'm afraid it has made them worst, I don't know if he didn't go deep enough in some places or he messed up but some of them look worst than before. Would lasers like fraxel been a better option for my scaring?

Doctor Answers 5

Your options

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If I was asked to make a recommendation for you it would involve a few modalities. The two deep areas right above your nose on your forehead, I would actually excise, and do a plastic surgery  closure.  It would probably heal nicer without a depression. Anticipate a thin line versus the current appearance of the area.(By the way is this post dermabrsion?) There are a few other areas around your forehead which I would also do this to as well.  After things had healed completely I would recommend dermabrasion/laser resurfacing with subdermal injections of a dermal filler in any remaining areas that need touching up.

I know its frustrating, but hang in there. Improvement is possible.

Good luck to you.

Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon

Forehead scars and subcision with lasers

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I would use a combination program that includes fractional lasers, ematrix RF, subcision, and fillers to improve your forehead scars. Best, Dr. KaramanoukianLos Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Laser or Dermabrasion for indented scars on forehead?

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Hello JamesPatterson,The gold standard for improving indented scars is dermabrasion.  Lasers can be used as well, but dermabrasion is more effective.  However, dermabrasion is more operator dependent.  It involves slowly shaving down the surrounding area to bring it closer to the height of the indentation.  As mentioned in another response, this can lead to swelling in those areas which actually  make it look worse initially.  Lasers work by sending in columns of heat which evaporate skin.  Depending on the energy it can also stimulate collagen growth but so can dermabrasion.  Since most lasers are fractionated they do not treat the entire area but rather portions of it, which is why it is less effective.Another option is to cut out the depressed scars, replace them with a thinner scar line, and then begin to treat the line with the various scar revision options.  I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Lasaer vs Dermabrasion for scars

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Dermabrasion will cause some inflammation within the actual skin layer. This results in swelling within the skin itself and so can cause the scars to appear worse due to the swelling. This can last up to 6-8 weeks after the actual treatment. So, your result to date will depend on the time between the photos and the actual treatment.I normally do not recommend any form of dermabrasion and routinely either recommend iPixel using radio-frequency (Alma Lasers Legato) or in fact, Erbium fractional laser ablation ( Fraxel). Again, I recommend and use the Alma Laser Harmony XL.A single treatment may not be enough. Look for a specialist familiar with these techniques.

Robert Goldman, MBBS, FRACS
Perth General Surgeon


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Thank you for your question. Dermabrasion is a controlled surgical scraping of the skin's top layers that, in our practice, is currently most often used to improve scars after prior reconstructive procedures. You may be a candidate for dermabrasion so I suggest that you consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

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