Removed Piercing, Resulting in Sunken Scar. Could Laser Resurfacing Help?

 I had a bridge piercing ( In between my eyes) and It's resulted in a sunken scar, I was wondering if laser resurfacing would bring it to the level of the surrounding skin.  Any answers are very appreciated.

Doctor Answers 10

Depressed piercing scar between eyes.

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Generally the scars resulting from piercings are fairly deep and not amenable to laser resurfacing or even fillers as they are very localized and deep. Often these areas can be directly excised under a local anesthetic and the resulting scar is thin and smooth and will fade nicely in time. This is the most direct, cost effective method to permanently reduce the deeper scar.

Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Depressed scar

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Sunken scars are common due to acne, trauma, or prior piercings.  In my experience, laser resurfacing falls short of expections for scarring, and even for resurfacing in general.  These scars are best improved simply by giving them time to improve.  If the piercing was recently removed, I would allow a few months to pass before any treatment.  If this time has passed, then, the scars can be lifted with a filler such as juvederm or restylane.  If a more permanent solution is desired, direct excision and meticulous repair is required.  If the scar is modest, dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion) may be helpful.  A good picture will help with advice on this topic.  Good luck!!


Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Piercing scars with scar revision surgery

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Piercing scars are best corrected with scar excision and scar revision techniques. Laser skin resurfacing is a less effective option. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Laser Resurfacing Impacting Scar

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Thank you for your question. CO2 laser would be helpful for improvement in texture, but you will still need a filler or a little fat transfer to plump up the sunken scar.  Be certain to be under the supervision of a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with expertise in laser surgery and scarring for the most effective and safe treatments. I hope this helps.

Body piercing scar

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as piercing scars usually create an epithelial track deeply, it might need to be punch grafted and then laser resurfaced with a Fraxel Repair CO2 or Fraxel Restore erbium laser or dermabrasion. You need to have an in-person consultation to determine the best treatment approach.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Can lasers treat sunken scars?

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This is difficult to answer without a physical exam.  If it is minor then possibly laser resurfacing with soft tissue fillers could help flatten and disguise the scar.

Other options include removing the old scar and replacing it with a new scar that is less likely to become depressed or sunken.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 297 reviews

Scar from piercing

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It might be possible to resurface the scar from a piercing but it would depend upon the depth of the scar. Alternatively, the scar can be excised under a local anesthetic and then laser resurfaced to achieve maximum improvement. Good luck.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Sometimes you just need surgery

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This is a good question as it reveals the limitations of laser surgery. Unfortunately, due to your piercing you have a bridge of extended tissue overlying and epithelialized tunnel of tissue underneath. For the best cosmetic outcome you will need to undergo removal of the scar tissue (the tube created by the piercing) and meticulous closure. The area of the piercing is favorable for excellent healing and wrinkle formation in the same direction of the surgical procedure mentioned.
Be healthy and be well,
James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS

James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Laser Treatments for Sunken Depressed Scars

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In general, laser treatment do not improve depressed scars. The exception may be shallow scars with a red base. Red scars can be lightened with pulse dye lasers in most cases, and lightening the redness will often give the appearance that scar is not as deep.

Narrow depressed scars are often referred to as ice-pick scars. For most people, the best treatment is excision and closure. Piercing tracts can be more tricky, as the leaving skin in the tract and closing over it will for a cyst.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Smoothing out Depressed Scar Between the Eyes

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Agree with Drs Lee and Hess. Your best option for long-term improved correction of a  mature depressed scar is surgical excision and likely layered repair. You should indeed wait at least 6 months (some prefer a year) to see how the area heals after the piercing is removed before proceeding with any intervention. 

The age, size, depth of the scar is important, as is your skin color. 

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.