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

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.

Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 101 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.