How to decrease the appearance of indented scars

Updated April 17, 2017

Indented scars, otherwise known as atrophic scars, are sunk into the skin, giving the appearance of dents or pits. Typically, they are irregular shapes with jagged edges. This particular type of scar tends to be caused by acne or chicken pox, and can be more difficult to disguise than a flat scar. Atrophic scars may appear anywhere on the body, but a sufferer will be most concerned about decreasing the appearance of those on her face. Temporary and permanent treatments are available to treat atrophic scars. Always discuss your options with a suitably qualified professional before deciding to go ahead with any invasive or surgical procedures.


Indented scars can be difficult to conceal with makeup, but with the right technique and products skin can appear a lot smoother. Makeup artists Andrew Christie recommends starting with a primer to even out the texture and tone of the skin and create a smoother surface for makeup to adhere to. After primer, a colour corrector should be applied to balance out different tones in and around the scar. If a scar has red tones, a green colour corrector should be applied, and a yellow corrector works best for blue or purple scars. Follow this with a matte finish liquid foundation, which will provide a natural finish and won't draw attention to imperfections the way a light-reflecting product will. Apply concealer after foundation with a concealer brush or cotton bud, and only conceal where necessary to avoid an unnatural look. Finish with a light coating of powder, applied by pressing the powder brush in even motions over the face.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment can permanently eliminate indented scars by targeting areas underneath the surface of the skin with microscopic laser light. With the damaged skin removed, fresh, healthy skin can form in its place. More than one session may be required, and costs start at £2,000.


A more affordable alternative to laster treatment is a filler such as Restylane, which is injected into the indentations to fill them. The cost is around £350, but results only last up to nine months. Restylane is a popular choice of filler for indented scars because it is made of hyaluroic acid, which is naturally found in the body, and it can combine with water. Possible side effects of Restylane are swelling, numbness, bruising, and redness around the treated areas, but they should not cause any major discomfort.

Stem cell fat transfer

To plump up the area where the skin is indented, fat can be taken from another part of the body, usually the thigh or the lower abdomen, and injected into the sunken area. This is a minimally invasive treatment and most people only experience some swelling around the treated area for a couple of weeks after the procedure, as the transferred fat cells settle in to the surrounding tissue.

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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."