What is the best laser for scars – especially raised scars?
This is a little tricky because often a raised scar needs to be either pretreated or simultaneously treated with other things, to get a a good result with a laser. Hmmmm – I know that seems a bit confusing, so I’ll try to explain. More readers Q & A on scars.
Raised scars are usually either classified as keloids or hypertrophic but……..it’s more of an academic difference really and functionally ……they are usually treated the same way.
Depending on the age of the scar (think under 12 months or over 12 months), the scar may also benefit from injecting it with a strong anti-inflammatory (usually Kenalog) that may or may not be mixed with things like injectible 5-flourouricil (prevents the scar from growing larger). Also, sometimes massage is used and things like liquid silicone (Kelocote – not injected) which help to “super-hydrate” the scar tissue.
Bottom line on the laser – the fractionated CO2 (done by an experienced/trained doctor) is the best laser to blend these scars. Depending on the color of the scar and it’s age, a pulsed dye laser or powerful IPL may also be very useful.
Hope this helps, Dr. I