Laser scar revision

Dermatol Clin. 2002 Jan;20(1):55-65. doi: 10.1016/s0733-8635(03)00045-7.


A variety of lasers can be used to treat scars and striae effectively. It is of paramount importance that the type of scar be properly classified on initial examination so that the most appropriate method of treatment can be chosen. Classification also allows the laser surgeon to discuss with the patient the anticipated response to treatment. The 585-nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) is the most appropriate system for treating hypertrophic scars, keloids, erythematous scars, and striae. The PDL carries a low risk of side effects and complications when operated at appropriate treatment parameters and time intervals. Atrophic scars are best treated with ablative CO2 and Er:YAG lasers; however, proliferative keloids and hypertrophic scars should not be vaporized because of the high risk of scar recurrence or progression. The appropriate choice and use of lasers can significantly improve most scars. As research in laser-skin interaction continues, further refinements in laser technology coupled with the addition of alternate treatment procedures will allow improved clinical efficacy and predictability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / diagnosis
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / surgery*
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome