Ask a doctor

Nose Piercing Indentation Mark and Discoloration

I recently took out my nose piercing that I had for 3 years. Now there is a visible hole left on my nose and slight discoloration around the area. I am currently applying an over-the-counter scar removal gel. Will this help out at all or are there any other ointments/creams/gels I should try? Will the hole ever close up naturally over time? What are my treatment options?

Doctor Answers (7)

Nasal piercing scar and discoloration

+3

Scars that are the result of piercings can be challenging to improve and can cause patients anxiety and embarrassment.  The good news is that treated properly, they can become almost imperceptible. The scar gel you are using may help somewhat to fade any discoloration, but will never remove the hole or scar. The scar itself and any hole will be need to removed surgically and repaired in layers. I would recommend you seek a surgeon with experience with nasal anatomy and can examine the inner lining of your nose as well. The treatment is very similar to repair of scars left from heavy earrings or ear gauging/stretching which require excision with careful layered closure. Best of luck to you 


Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Piercing scars and pigmentation are hard to improve.

+2

The scar tissue formed by the piercing is permanent, but may improve over time. The tunnel created by the piercing and healed around the post of the piercing is now sealed, so the hole will only very slowly close up if at all. You may always be able to see the top of the hole, but may find over time that you can't actually push anything through it.

The only way to actually remove the tunnel is to have it physically excised by a dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, or plastic surgeon, ideally using a tiny "punch" to remove the tunnel and then stitch it together while it is fresh. This may also help remove the indentation.

The darkening and discoloration is called "hyperpigmentation" and is common to any injured area of skin. Scar lightening creams and fading creams MAY help, but largely it is time, sun protection, and regular massage that helps remodel tissue to smooth and even out texture and color.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Closing a Nose Piercing

+2
The body does not like spacesot tunnelsand will actively try and obliterate them with scar contracture. The process is much slowerwhen the piercing / tunnel is lined up with epithelial or skin cells. To hasten the closure, the lining would need to bescraped leaving raw tissuewhih would rapidly meet and close the opening. Dr. Peter A. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

You might also like...

Scar revision of nose piercing scars in Los Angeles

+1
Your nasal piercing scar may require scar revision to remove the epithelialized tract.  Our office specializes in scar revision in the Los Angeles area. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Nose piercing indentation mark and discoloration

+1

This is why we recommend pre treatment thoughts so after a few years you do not have these issues. Yes it can improve but it is 50/50 to be permanently gone. Laser, excision, gels can all help but there are risks involved. Discuss with your PS. From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Treatment options for a a nose piercing scar

+1

Typically the hole will close over time but it may take many months for it to do that. In addition, the discoloration itself may also taken 6 months or more to fade. The use of scar fade gels may help to accelerate the process so I would recommend using them. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Nose piercing scar

+1

It is likely that the piercing will diminish in size but the hyperpigmentation may take up to two years to lighten. Some lightening creams may provide improvement,  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.