What to do when you have complications from a laser?

Hi doc I asked you a question on the co2 fractional laser that has left bad scaring on my entire face. I didn\'t mention , that I also have trouble with it healing. At first it looked to be going well. Than when all the swelling went down is when I started noticing that my skin was raw feeling and I could see that the marks were really showing and the texture was changing. Skin is still very tender in most places. People told me that I look like I had been roasted like a chicken as my skin had the same texture and that was 6 weeks post laser. Under a woods lamp I was told that from the laser that there was deep scaring forming, but it still had blood flow to area. That was 4 months ago. I was given retina a 05 percent along with c quench b serum and other cps medicals, by a different plastic surgeon and told to come back in the new year that a new cold type laser could help. He didn\'t say how much help. I am worried as I have read where people have been permanently scared. When I say that the scaring is bad, I mean it is real bad. I am hoping you can give me some advise etc. I would send you a photo but site doesn\'t allow. Kind regards Laurel

My heart goes out to you on this and I wish I could wave a ‘magic wand’ and make this go away.   

Complications happen with lasers when:

  • the laser settings are not right (too strong) for the person’s skin type or the wrong laser was used;
  • the doctor/PA-C/nurse doing the laser treatment isn’t skilled or experienced (please don’t let ‘technicians’ who have no degree or aestheticians who have no medical education do laser work on you);
  • infections occur post procedure – and they do
  • the person/patient does not follow the pre and post care instructions carefully
  • an allergic or irritant reaction occurs to one of the post procedure products – also a common problem

These are the main ones.    Once a problem occurs, a good board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon will take a culture to make sure there is no infection (and these are not always obvious all the doctors who read this site!), see you in the office within a day or two of your call and start treatment right away.   Time is important with laser problems. 

Can you find a good board certified dermatologist in your area who does a lot of laser work and please see them???  If you need to travel to a larger city to find someone, I would recommend that ASAP.   In general, dermatologists who do laser work are more experienced with it than plastic surgeons, but there are some exceptions.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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