Indented scars, or “ice-pick” scars, commonly result from acne outbreaks. Proper acne treatment can help prevent some scarring, though in severe acne cases indented scarring is almost inevitable. However, there are treatment methods available to remove ice-pick scarring. You cannot fully erase all evidence of an indented scar, but you may be able to reduce its appearance dramatically. Treatment differs depending on the size and depth of the scar.
Undergo dermabrasion treatment. Provided at your dermatologist's office, dermabrasion uses a rotating abrasive brush to peel away the topmost layers of skin. With the scarred skin removed, new skin grows in its place for less noticeable indentation in the damaged area. Dermabrasion works best on shallow indented scars, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Undergo a chemical peel treatment. Chemical peels are similar to dermabrasion therapies, facilitating new skin growth by chemically removing the topmost layers of skin. The depth of a chemical peel can be controlled by the doctor administering the treatment, but in most cases shallow scars are best suited for this treatment. According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, chemical peels are useful for pigmentation problems as well as scars. If your scarred skin is discolored, this is a good treatment option.
Get collagen injections at the scar sites. Indented scars can be minimized by puffing up the indentation with collagen. This smooths the skin surface for a less noticeable scar, but any previous discoloration will remain. This treatment works well, but it is temporary. You will need new injections every 3 to 12 months, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Undergo laser resurfacing therapy. Laser therapy burns away scarred skin, allowing new skin to grow in its place. Because of its precise accuracy, laser therapy can treat much deeper scars than dermabrasion or chemical peels. However, laser therapy can cost thousands of dollars, and it is not covered by most insurance companies if it for cosmetic purposes.
Remove the scar surgically. During surgical scar removal, the scar is cut out and the remaining skin is sutured together to leave behind a small surgical scar. Because a surgical scar results from the procedure, surgical options are not practical for very small or shallow indented scars. However, for deep indented scars over an inch long, the surgical scar is often less noticeable than the original scar.