What's the difference between a depressed scar and a scar that is "protruded"?

What happens and which circumstances determine the depression or protruding of a scar? I've seen some scars that are really depressed and others that are the opposite. Don't understand what causes each one of them

Doctor Answers 3


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Scars come in many varieties. Some are flat lines, some are depressed, some are wide but flat, and some are raised. Typically when scars are raised they can be classified as either hypertrophic or keloid - this is determined if they are within the confines of the original incision or if they grow beyond. Depressed scars can happen from contracture of the wound. There are ways to fix each problem with a variety of techniques so that the scar disappears into the surrounding tissue. I hope this helps!

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Scar Facts and Treatment with lasers, microneedling/prp, subcision and fillers

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Protruding scars are raised and depressed scars seem to create an area the skin line. The causes of these scars can be dependent on the type of injury and the person's own healing processes and skin quality. All scar's can be treated and improved with lasers, microneedling/prp, subcision and fillers depending on the appearance of the scar. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Scar characteristics

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Hello and thank you for your question. 

Many factors come into play when discussing scars and scar formation. The biggest things are how the scar was formed i.e. trauma vs. surgical incision vs. acne vs. some other pathology. 

Another large factor at play is skin type. Different people produce scars differently, generally, the lighter the skin, the more acceptable the scar will be and darker skins have worse appearing scars. 

These are generalities though, if you have a scar that you would like evaluated for revision, please see a board certified plastic surgeon near you who can help you with this. 

Have a great day!

Dr. Robb

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.