Will Laser Resurfacing Make My Forehead Scar Go Away?

Q: I have a long and wide forehead scar that I would like to be made to look better. I have attached some pictures of it for you to review. I was wondering if you think that laser resurfacing will help. I have read that it can make scars go away. What is your opinion of it?

A: The origin of your question is will any form of laser resurfacing make your forehead scar disappear. The simple answer to your question is no, no matter what type of laser resurfacing technique is used. And let me explain to you why. Your forehead scar is composed of abnormal tissue which is why it does not feel or look like normal skin. It is in fact abnormal tissue or scar but, most relevantly, that scar involves the entire thickness of your skin. In other words, the skin has been replaced by full-thickness scar. You can smooth of the surface of the scar out all you want with any form of laser resurfacing but it will always appear just as wide, just as discolored and just as obvious. Laser resurfacing only smooths out the surface of the scar, which is helpful if the scar’s main problem is surface irregularities, but it will get rid of the actual full-thickness of the scar. Only cutting it out (excision) can do that. When excision is combined with a geometric broken-line closure, the scar will become more narrow and less obvious. Secondary touch-up with laser resurfacing may be helpful but it is an ineffective treatment to do first. I realize that grasping out the hope of laser resurfacing seem appealing but it is but a treatment mirage. Formal surgical scar revision is what would benefit you the most.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana