Still Red 8 Months After Laser Scar Resurfacing

In February 2010 I had laser scar resurfacing on a surgical scar on my nose and the area is still quite red 8 months post-op. The surgeon who did the procedure provided me with no instructions besides keeping the area moist for the first week or so post-op and using a daily SPF 30+ sunscreen as well as avoiding sun exposure. I've followed those instructions diligently, but he didn't tell me any risks or complications and I feel very blind-sided by him. I wish I never did this, what can I do?

Doctor Answers 3

Redness after resurfacing

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Development of blood vessels, the tiny capillaries, is normal initially after resurfacing as the body recruits these vessels to help heal the skin with more oxygen and building supplies for wound healing. If you have fair skin and/or a history or susceptibility for Rosacea, then your resurfaced area may stay red much longer than others, but it can go away by itself over a year or more. Rather than you being frustrated, you can use some coverup, or skin-tone sunscreen with titanium dioxide such as Ti-Silk. A more practical solution for you might be to seek your doctors advice about using a different laser to minimize the appearance of the blood vessels, such as the V-beam laser. This laser is used on baby's faces to reduce the red color of the birthmark called a port-wine stain. In adults with Rosacea and red scars, the yellow light laser, 595nm V-beam laser, or the IPL, or KTP laser can effectively reduce the color that bothers you.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Persistent redness after laser resurfacing

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To address your question completely, I need some more information, such as what kind of laser was used for resurfacing and how many sessions of resurfacing you hava had.  And also, was there an improvement in the texture of the scar after the resurfacing?

That being said, the nose is a very vascular area.  Dilated blood vessels that will produce redness on and around the nose form readily from sun exposure, trauma, surgery and inflammation such as rosacea. Heredity and life style factors also play a role.

If the redness is a direct result of the surgery and/or resurfacing, it can probably be corrected by intense pulse light or a vascular laser treatment. You may want to speak to your doctor about that.

Most importantly, you should never have any kind of procedure without discussing the possible risks and side effects and without carefully reading the informed consent form.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Post-treatment redness after laser resurfacing

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Post-treatment redness is common after laser resurfacing, and in some occasions, can last several weeks. Oftentimes, there can be a flare of rosacea and should be treated appropriately by a board-certified dermatologist. Therapeutic options for prolonged post-treatment redness after laser resurfacing include IPL, vascular laser, and/or Cutera GenesisPlus laser.

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.