What Can I Do For Ugly Scars After Erbium Resurfacing?

I had 4 sessions of Erbium laser for the fine wrinkles of the upper lip. The 4th one, was very painful and took 6 weeks to heal,and I ended up with a very ugly hypertrophic scar. There is any chance that in time the scar to vanish? Or any other remedies? I use silicone ointment and I massage the scars all the time. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 5

Hypertrophic scar of upper lip after laser resurfacing with erbium yag laser

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hypertrophic scars are often treated with corticosteroid injections, V-beam laser, silastic sheeting dressings (more effective than silicone gel in a tube, and sometimes massaging. There are rare side effects with both the injections of corticosteroids and the v-beam laser so discuss this thoroughly with your doctor.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Scars after erbium

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The hypertrophic scars could use some steroids as one option. You could also require some excisional treatments. Pictures would be better and I would be happy to look at them.  Erbium lasers are not the preferred route for laser resurfacing in my opinion. You ultimately get more heat dispersion from these lasers versus co2 lasers.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Scars after Erbium laser resurfacing--what to do.

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I'm sorry your laser resurfacing treatment resulted in lip scars. Your last session was either one session too many, or simply too aggressive (too deep, too many passes, or too much energy), or abnormal healing was allowed to occur. Any resurfacing that does not heal in 7-10 days means there is a problem, and a hypertrophic scar is much more likely. Why did your lip take so long to get healed? Was it allowed to dry out? Was there infection? Did you retard healing with water compresses, hydrogen peroxide, or acetic acid (vinegar) soaks?

Steroid injections, silicone sheeting, and tincture of time will all play a role in helping your scar be as minimal as possible. But, it will NOT disappear or go away; let's hope it becomes a very minimally-visible scar as time goes by. Good luck and best wishes! This will likely take as long as a year to improve maximally.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Ugly scar after erbium resurfacing

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Hypertrophic scars respond to treatment most of the time.

Careful freezing with Liquid  Nitrogen followed by injections of Kenalog  (1%  the first time, then gradually higher concentrations) should gradually help the hypertrophic scar to normalize.

Silicone sheets or creams are mildly effective.

Cordran Tape is mildly effective also, but of used for too long, you may get some dilated blood vessels (Telangiectasias) and  thinning of the skin (Atrophy)

Eugene Mandrea, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Ugly scars after erbium resurfacing

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  Tough problem.  Repeated laser resurfacing is not always the best answer and you illustrate this all too clearly.  But don't despair--the chances are the appearance will improve and certainly you are doing everything right.  Time and patience are the most important additional things you need to have/do.  A sympathetic doctor who is willing to follow you and perform repeated steroid injections within the scar, would also likely be beneficial.  Good luck!

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 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.