Hair Transplant Donor Scar Repair

Are there options with lasers for the white dot scaring in the donor area. I have old grafts from 13 years or so. I have the open donor/harvesting look (checkerboard look) that is shown in the link below. I would love to shave it all off, get the scars lasered off the back of my head, but can't really find much info on this. My goal is to be bald with minimal scarring if possible. Any info is greatly appreciated... Thanks

Doctor Answers 7

Hair Transplant Donor Scar Repair

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First of all you cannot get hair from anyone else.  Your body would reject it just like any other major organ.  As far as the stippled scarring in the back of the head....lasers will not remove the scar.  Lasers can improve thick or raised scars but all the little dots you have are typically visible because of the color difference between the little scars and your scalp.  Hair from other parts of the body tend not to match scalp hair. 

Nashville Plastic Surgeon

FUE white dot scars in the donor area can be addressed with SMP

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
FUE white dot scars in the donor area can be addressed with SMP (Scalp MicroPigmentation).
Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a cosmetic tattoo that mimics a hair follicle.  See VIDEO example below

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Re: Hair Transplant Donor Scar Repair

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are many examples of similar patients who also have this issue. And the best option for these cases is to cover the scars with new grafts.

If you do not have enough donor follicles on your head, follicles can be harvested from other areas such as the beard region. Lasers can help promote the growth of new collagen to help fade the appearance of the scar tissue at best. But they will not get rid of the scars.

For a cosmetically acceptable outcome, camouflaging the scars would be the optimal choice.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Concealing or Repairing a Donor Site Scar

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

No - laser will not get rid of the scarring. What works most effectively is transplanting hairs right into these scars. In order to obtain these hairs without needing to make any incision in the scalp, the best technique is the FUE (follicular unit extraction) that involves the removal of grafts one at a time using a tiny less than 1 mm wide punch.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Repair of hair transplant donor scar.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Repair of hair transplant donor scar can be done by excising a section of the scar if the elasticity of the scalp permits. If not, a tissue expander can be used.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Repair of Hair Transplant Donor Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The circular scars caused by harvesting techniques used in years past are difficult to eliminate.They can be improved with laser treatment or excision, but scars will still be visible on a smooth, shaved scalp. You must also deal with scars in the recipient area where grafts were placed. I'm sorry I sound so negative, but you do have a difficult problem. Get a consultation with a surgeon experienced in hair replacement surgery including the use of expanders and flaps.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Laser for Hair transplant scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

One of the unfortunate legacies of early hair transplantation is the cobblestoning, or round scars that resulted from where grafts were harvested in the back of the scalp. These are occasionally covered by existing hair in the back, but can become unsightly as the surrounding hair thins.

Several options exist for treating this area:
1) Repeat hair transplantation - harvest the scarred areas using an ellipse 'strip' technique which will leave only a fine thin scar. In doing so, additional grafts may also be obtained which can be placed in the frontal area. However, the density will not be as good as 'virgin scalp' which would not have any scarring.

2) Fractional or Smoothbeam laser treatment - which may soften the appearance of scars in the donor area, especially after you shave the head it may help even out any textural irregularies. Lasers can deliver energy that thermally heats the underlying collagen and helps even skin tone.

3) Laser hair removal - to the entire donor scalp (if you are a candidate, hair must be pigmented) this would completely remove any remaining hair and again, even out any textural irregularies.

The best consultation for this type of problem is with a hair surgeon who has a background in dermatology and preferably lasers as well. The ISHRS website offers a list of doctors and their training for each area of the country and part of the world.

Nicole E. Rogers, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist

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.