Laser Scar Treatment - Is it Best to Wait?

I have read a lot about the use of lasers on scars and have found that many surgeons like to use lasers early in scar treatment and others wait longer. The plastic surgeon I went to and another local one would not do laser treatment on my excision scars early on. I would like to get more insight into why some wait and others think if is more beneficial to do it early on.

Doctor Answers 2

Minimizing scars

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It is  common sense that if you treat an incision site closer to the time of its creation it will be more sensitive to those treatments. A scar that has been present for decades is not going to be helped much by lasers. The question is how soon after the creation of the incision. I would think most surgeons would agree that it is less than a month. Other than that it depends on the type of scar, surgeon experience etc. In my experience for keloid excision it is important to begin treatment right away in orrder to prevent recurrance.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Timing for Scar Treatment

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The reason that you are getting a diversity of opinion is that there is not a clear answer to this question.  There is some evidence to show that laser treatment (even at the time of initial treatment) may be beneficial in the long term appearance of the scar.  The problem with these studies is that it is difficult to do comparisons because there are differences in the way each of us heal. 

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

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