When is It Best to Start Laser Scar Removal?

My thirteen year old daugter fell three weeks ago and cut her chin and received 4 stitches. The wound seems to be healing nicely, but I am concerned about scarring. Can someone please clarify when is the best time to receive laser treatment. I am confused, some articles say wait 6 mos. to a year and others say early treatment is best for maximum results. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 2

Lasers do NOT Remove Scars

Once an injury is deep enough to require stitches it has caused a full thickness injury and will result in a permanent scar regardless of who repairs it. There is NO treatment that will either prevent a skin scar or that will erase it.

The scar undergoes a process of self-remodeling which gradually transforms it from a red (blood vessel full) scar to a white (no blood vessels) mature scar in 6-12 months. Although the scar can never be erased the blood vessels in the scar could be occluded with certain laser resulting in a white scar sooner.

By 6 months time, the scar will be largely mature and achieve most of its permanent characteristics. If the scar is wide or prominent you should consult a Plastic surgeon for a SCAR REVISION (who could get a better scar) rather than a laser doc who could NEVER get rid of the scar.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Scars can be improved with dermabrasion or laser

Scars are fully developed by 3 months and then remodel over the ensuing several months and are fully mature after that.  Most studies suggest that the best time to favoably alter a scar is around 2 months.  All scar intervention is an attempt to force collagen to remodel.  Usually dermabrasion or fractional CO2 resurfacing lasers give the best results.

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 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.