LASER TREATMENT FOR SCARS
Dermatologic lasers are perceived as solely vehicles for cosmetic improvement of the skin. However, the first laser approved for a specific medical indication was the yellow pulsed dye laser for the treatment of Port Wine Stains in children. Subsequently, lasers such as the pulsed dye laser, among several other types of lasers were discovered to heal the body. Treatment of skin scars not only improves the appearance of these unwanted lesions but greatly improves self esteem and thus these patients quality of life.
Each scar has its own unique characteristic and several specific laser
must be employed to address each one of these features.
Ablative fractional CO2 lasers are used to treat both flat and elevated scars. Elevated scars, known as hypertrophic scars are literally vaporized by the creation of microscopic micro-channels. The scar heals with almost normal skin. If the scars are flattened , also known as atrophic, this laser can stimulate the production of new collagen. Fractionated lasers are now the gold standard for remodeling of scars. Usually four laser procedures are performed every three to six months for best results.
As mentioned above the yellow pulse dye laser is used to treat red or erytematous early scars. Occasionally this laser is used in conjunction with the fractionated CO2 laser particularly if the scar is red and elevated. The thulium laser is utilized to remove brown or hyper-pigmented areas from scars.