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Laser Treatment of Hypopigmentation in Scars: A Review.



Despite history of multiple treatment modalities, repigmentation of hypopigmented scars remains a difficult clinical problem.


The purpose of this review is to evaluate the literature on laser and combination laser plus adjunct topical therapy for hypopigmented burn and traumatic scars.

Materials and methods

A search on PubMed and on Oxford Academic was conducted with additional relevant literature obtained from reference lists.


Treatment regimens that address hypopigmentation within scars were reviewed. A combination of nonablative fractional or ablative fractional laser treatment with topical prostaglandin analogue with or without topical retinoid were found to result in superior repigmentation.


Reliable improvement of hypopigmentation in scars after laser treatment is challenging. Laser can achieve success in some cases. Ultraviolet laser can achieve modest repigmentation; however, results are short-lived and require continued re-treatment. Modest improvement in pigmentation is seen with nonablative fractional laser or ablative fractional laser alone and enhanced repigmentation is demonstrated when combining fractional laser resurfacing with topical application of synthetic prostaglandin analogues and other known modulators of melanogenesis.

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