I still have grid marks from C02 laser 3 years ago. Is there anything I can do to improve or remove them?
This may sound counterintuitive, but usually a different laser will be most effective for problems from a laser. Having said that, I totally get that if you’ve had a bad experience with any laser, you’ll be suspicious and a little wary of other lasers. Even with the same type of laser, like a CO2, there are different versions of it. And of course, a different doctor using the laser. Maybe it is easiest to give you some examples.
Case studies of laser complications, fixed by a different, or even similar laser:
- A 35 year old whose parents were from India with a skin type IV. An IPL on her forearms had resulted in brown striping in the treated area. To fix that, we had her “rest” the skin and use both a plant based uneven pigment fighter and hydroquinone (prescription) based “lightening” creams, plus a high zinc sunscreen to put the pigment making cells (melanocytes) into an inactive mode. We then treated her forearms over time gently with a Fraxel laser for about a year to get her skin tone even again and it completely resolved.
- A patient in her 50’s who had a CO2 laser with persistent areas of redness in just some areas. A skin bacterial culture showed low grade Staph Aureus which was treated with a short course of oral antibiotic. The slightly pinker areas then resolved with an IPL/BBL treatment.
- A patient in her early 60s got a fairly bad bruise from a filler treatment, which was treated with an IPL/BBL spot treatment to help the bruising resolve faster, and then developed a small area of no pigment. This was corrected with a few spot Fraxel and CO2 treatments for about one year and it resolved.
Every person and situation is unique. And so each plan needs to be customized individually by your dermatologist.
Can you go back to the cosmetic dermatologist who did your treatment and see what they suggest? Sometimes if confidence is lost, it may not feel right to do that. Please seek a second and even third opinion to get a good plan developed. For example, treating the “grid” marks with a VBeam/BBL/IPL may help, if still red. If they are brown and pigmented, there are several different ways to approach this. A grid or area that is white needs even a different approach.
Good luck to you and hope this helps,
Dr. Brandith Irwin