I had Pulse Dye Laser for Scars. How many treatments are normally required to make scar go white ?

I have a large scar on calve and knee from surgery , I have had 3 pulse dye lasers done and they havnt reduced the redness at all , how many treatments are normally required to make scar go white ? Is there any other treatments to reduce redness for scars, would steroid injection help scar that is thick and red ? Could u please get back to me .

Doctor Answers 4

PDL treatment for scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The PDL laser is effective in reducing erythema (redness) of scars. It may take a few treatments before the desired outcome is achieved, sometimes more than three. Increasing the energy levels with each treatment, as tolerated, may help to achieve maximum benefit. Injection of a scar with intralesional steriods is used to induce atrophy of a thickened or hypertrophic scar.

Chicago Dermatologist

PDL for Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Scars can be tricky. Scars that are treated within the first year are usually always easier to treat, so it depends on how old the scar is. But in general any scar that is treated with laser (PDL) will do better than no treatment at all. PDL (pulse dye laser) is an appropriate laser to use for red scars.

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Using Pulsed Dye Laser for red scars in Los Angeles

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The pulsed dye laser is the best laser for red scars. That said, it may take many sessions, depending on the cause of your redness and hypervascularity. 


Raffy Karamanoukian, MD FACS

Los Angeles, CA

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Steroid injections for thick and red scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In my experience you should have noticed some improvement after 3 PDL treatments.  Scars that are thickened and red respond best initially to intralesional (injected) steroid.  It can take 3-4 steroid injections to maximally thin out a scar.  This usually doesn't address the redness very much, so I often follow this up with a series of PDL treatments.  I hope this helps.

Michael Contreras, MD
Greenwood Village Dermatologic Surgeon

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.