Treating Dent Scar from Injection on a 2 Year Old?

My 2 year old son recently had to have a steroid injection. Several weeks later, we noticed a large indent at the injection site. Upon doing several Internet searches and seeing a specialist, we were told that it was due to the injection. Is this something that will go away?

Our son actually refers to it as "his hole". We do not want him to be self conscious about it. Is there any long term effects? We were told that it is permanent. Is there any treatment or procedure that would eliminate the indent? If so, what would be first steps in looking into. Thanks

Doctor Answers 4

Depression from corticosteroid injection

I would simply observe the site for 6-8 weeks. Most cases of corticosteroid-associated atrophy will resolve spontaneously with time.

If the fat does not recover, as others have mentioned, you do have options. I probably would not consider these options until the child is mature enough to participate in the decision-making process.

Good luck.

San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Many Options Available

As the other physicians have noted, it is likely that this will resolve over time. There are a couple of options though, some which can be undertaken even at this point. There are several case reports that injecting salt water under the skin on a daily basis for a couple of weeks can speed the recovery. Unfortunately, this may be too traumatic for a two year old to deal with. As the other physicians have noted as well, if this does not resolve within several months, fat grafting or excision is another option.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Wait for one more year before corrective surgery on 2-year-old

Steroids can induce fat atrophy when injected into the superficial tissues. However, the good news is his age. A 2-year-old should heal and build enough tissue to offset the deformity. I would wait for at least one year before I would attempt any corrective surgery. Fat grafting is usually the best treatment for this condition.

Hope that helps!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Steroid Lipoatrophy

What happened here is that the steroid injection was not given deep enough into the muscle and instead entered the fat. Steroids can cause lipoatrophy and this accounts for the dent...the fat cells have been destroyed.

The good news is that the surrounding fat cells will divide and take the place of the damaged ones. Oftentimes this can take many months, sometimes as many as six months.

It is felt that messaging the area periodically might help hasten this process.

Since it does not seem to be bother your son, it should not bother you. It is perfectly harmless.

If the area has not returned to normal in six months, I would wait another two and then consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Fat grafts might help at that point.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 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.