Techniques for Optimizing Surgical Scars, Part 3: Erythema, Hyperpigmentation, and Hypopigmentation

Skinmed. 2018 Apr 1;16(2):113-117. eCollection 2018.


Surgical management of benign or malignant cutaneous tumors may result in noticeable scars that are of great concern to patients, regardless of sex, age, or ethnicity. Techniques to optimize surgical scars are discussed in this three-part review. Part 3 focuses on scar revision for erythema, hyperpigmentation, and hypopigmentation. Scar revision options for erythematous scars include moist exposed burn ointment (MEBO), onion extract, silicone, methyl aminolevulinate-photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT), pulsed dye laser, intense pulsed light (IPL), and nonablative fractional lasers. Hyperpigmented scars may be treated with tyrosinase inhibitors, IPL, and nonablative fractional lasers. Hypopigmented scars may be treated with needle dermabrasion, medical tattoos, autologous cell transplantation, prostaglandin analogues, retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors, excimer laser, and nonablative fractional lasers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix / prevention & control*
  • Dermabrasion / methods
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Erythema / therapy*
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation / etiology
  • Hyperpigmentation / therapy*
  • Hypopigmentation / etiology
  • Hypopigmentation / therapy*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods
  • Male
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Retinoids