How many microns deep does laser resurfacing need to be to cause scarring?

I had resurfacing of eyelids a few months ago. The doctor claims it was fully ablative Erbium laser 20 microns dialled in 10 hz, and then fractional co2 core 5% 80 mj, 3 passes. Skin peeled when I gently washed off my makeup at 3 weeks. Painful to touch for a long time. Developed hypertrophic and atrophic scarring, and have had vbeam and 5fu / steroid to treat. I read 20 microns is a weekend peel depth and that is doesn't reach the dermis. Is this information consistent?

Doctor Answers 3

Scarring After Laser Procedures

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Scarring can happen even after very low energy low density procedures. Scarring often has to do with your own bodys response to the laser/energy.  Although, it can often be a result of too strong or inadequate technique.  The energies you are describing are very low.  I suggest you speak to your physician.  The current treatments you are trying are some of the best options. Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

Scarring after laser resurfacing

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From the information you posted you had both erbium and CO2 laser done to the area.  The effects of both lasers are cumulative and the injury to the skin would be deeper than either laser done alone.  It's not possible for me to say how deep the injury was in microns but clearly you had a dermal injury.  I'm sorry to hear about your side effects and I wish you a speedy recovery.
Dr. Ort

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Bad outcome following laser skin resurfacing

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Sorry to hear of the poor results you have experienced with laser skin resurfacing. Your doctor seems to be managing the problem appropriately. Due to a variety of factors including multiple laser devices used, it is not easy to answer your question about depth of ablation. Good luck with your healing.

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