What Laser Treatments Are There for Scars?

My son has a scar from a dog bite, which bit him through the skin on his cheek. Is there a laser treatment that would reduce the scar?

Doctor Answers 7

Laser scar removal

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Absolutely. I would recommend pulse dye laser for scar improvement. In case the scar is depressed, I would also suggest subcision of the scar or reexcision. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Laser to Help Dog Bite

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There are various types of treatments for your son, depending on the scar. Some possible treatments include Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing such as the Fraxel brand. Both fraxel re:pair and Fraxel re:store have been used successfully for the improvement of scars. Fraxel repair is a more aggressive form of fractional resurfacing than fraxel restore. Other options would include excision, subcision, steroid injections, or surgical revision. Ask your doctor what is the best possible treatment for your son's scar.

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

Laser Treatments may help

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While most scars will improve over time on their own, laser treatments such as erbium laser resurfacing and profractional are effective.  In addition there are a number of other techniques that could be used depending on the type of scar.  Most board certified plastic surgeons now offer a free and private consultation. I would advise seeing one who could advise on the best option.


Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Lasers have almost no role in the treatment of scars.

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Most scars will heal satisfactorily given enough time.  Patients too often want something done to a process that is genetically timed.  Lasers inflict trauma to an already traumatized tissue.  This makes little sense.  Occasionally, if some blood vessels are visibly after the scar has matured, laser therapy might be indicated.  This is a rare situation.

Are you sure you want a laser?

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I would advise you have your son examined by a few doctors and then determine what seems most beneficial. It might not be a laser.

Lasers get all the press. lol.

Best Regards.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Scar from dog bite

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Hello Fran fran,

The potential treatments for this car depend on what the issue is. Is the scar red, indented, raised? Here are a few options depending on the type:

  • CO2 Laser Resurfacing (indented)
  • Erbium laser Resurfacing (indented)
  • Fractional Laser Resurfacing (indented)
  • Surgical Revision (indented, raised, colored)
  • Excision (indented)
  • Subcision (indented)
  • Dermabrasion (indented)
  • Steroid Injections (raised)

Good luck and get several opinions before making a decision. You'll have multiple options.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Pearls for Scar reduction

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The most important thing right now is wound care and strict daily sun protection, preferably supervised by a board-certified dermatologist. Once the scar has completely healed, one may consider pulse dye laser (PDL) to minimize redness. Hypertrophic scar can be lessened with intralesional steroid injection. Once the scar has matured, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing or Spectra laser can be quite helpful to improve texture of scar.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 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.