One of the sequelae of an outbreak are scars that are remnants of chickenpox infection. These scars are indented on the skin and are atrophic. While most scars fade over time, a few persist, requiring professional treatment to help remove them altogether.
What Causes Chickenpox Scars In Adults?
Chickenpox causes blisters all over the body accompanied by severe itching. It is imperative to resist the temptation to scratch the blisters.
The two major causes of chickenpox scars are:
- Excessive scratching during infection, which damages the skin and creates deep wounds.
- Skin inflammation which results in indented scars.
The itching sensation creates a raw area when the bump is scratched. After 5-7 days, once the crust sheds naturally, it can lead to permanent scarring of the skin tissue. The scarring also depends on the intensity of the skin infection, the severity of the inflammation, and the depth of the blister formation. Prominent areas prone to getting chickenpox scars are the face, chest and back.
Types of Chickenpox Scars
Not all of these scars are permanent, and many of them fade over time. Cosmetic intervention can even help treat permanent scars. Listed below are the two main types of chickenpox scars:
- Atrophic Scars – These pitted scars are caused by skin inflammation, where the collagen in the skin becomes damaged, causing improper healing and depressed scars.
- Light Round Marks – Compared to atrophic scars, these marks are less severe in nature and resemble post acne marks which may be light red or brown in colour. In a few cases, the scars are elevated from the surface of the skin.
Also Read: Effective Treatments For Chicken Pox Scars
Does Chickenpox Leave Permanent Scars?
Unless the sores are severely infected, chickenpox scars are not permanent. Regular chickenpox scars fade between 6 – 12 months from their first occurrence, while some take longer. The bacteria present in the blisters inhibit the growth of healthy tissue. For those that are extremely infected, it leaves behind a crust on the surface once healed and interrupts with our body’s natural process of healing.
Are Deep Chickenpox Scars Treatable?
Chickenpox scars usually appear round and depressed. Though they tend to be small in size, they can be of concern if they are on exposed sites. The treatment for removing the chickenpox scar will depend on the type of scar as well as the scar’s location.
Treatments For Chickenpox Scars
- Topical Ointments – Scar removal ointments and retinol creams, can be used to improve the colour, texture, and overall appearance of the scar. These ointments can help make the scars less noticeable. However, the creams are ineffective on deep pitted chickenpox scars.
- Silicone Sheets – Silicone sheets specifically designed for raised chickenpox scars can be used to flatten, shrink, and fade both new and old scars. The silicone sheets hydrate the scar tissue and over time the scars fade and soften. To see positive results, you will have to use the silicone sheets daily for six months.
- Exfoliation – Exfoliating the skin with chemical peels or microdermabrasion helps to get rid of the skin’s upper layers, which makes the chickenpox scars less visible.
- Sunscreen – Applying a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen with SPF 30 daily will help in faster fading of the scar by preventing pigmentation due to sun exposure, making it less visible over time.
If you have tried the options above without gaining the desired results, it might be due to the nature of the scars as well as the body area affected by them. It is advisable to seek professional treatments by visiting an experienced dermatologist.
What Is The Best Way To Remove Chickenpox Scars?
Let’s have a quick look at some of the popular options for treating old Chickenpox scars
Laser Resurfacing: – Laser treatments are among the most trusted methods available in reputed clinics for scar improvement. In this procedure, the scar tissue is exposed to a medium or high-intensity energy beam. The dermatologists ensure that the intensity of the laser device is carefully controlled to avoid damaging the surrounding healthy skin tissue. The laser resurfacing treatment helps in lightening the old scar’s colour, improving its sunken appearance, and making it less visible. The upper layer of the skin is also removed by the laser, which further stimulates the growth of healthy skin.
The benefits of laser-based treatments are-
- The results of the treatment are long-lasting.
- They are quick, safe and effective.
- They are non-surgical.
Chemical Peeling Treatment: – Chemical peels work by removing the surface layer of the skin, which may help to fade the colour and depth of the scars. Some of the common agents used are alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and a combination of both (e.g., TCA Cross peel). The benefits of chemical peels are:
- Chemical peeling is affordable
- It’s a safe, effective and painless procedure
Subcision Surgery: – If the chickenpox scar is large, deep and tethered, then your dermatologist might suggest subcision, which is a slightly invasive surgical procedure. You will not experience any pain in this technique, due to the application of local anaesthesia to the target area. Needles are used to releasing the base of the scarred skin tissue which drastically reduces the depth of the scar. Subcision for chickenpox scars is combined with micro needling or dermal fillers.
Microneedling Radiofrequency: – Microneedling is one of the safest treatments available for chickenpox scars. In this procedure, radiofrequency energy is deposited in the deeper layers of the skin through tiny needles which trigger the production of collagen. The scar begins to elevate with the induction of new collagen beneath the skin. This method is combined with other techniques like laser resurfacing for longer lasting results.
Surgical Procedures: – Surgical procedures are ideal if you want a more aggressive approach and a quicker solution. In the punch excision method, scar tissue is removed surgically. It is then stitched with fine sutures to ensure that it is not visible which may leave behind a fine scar which is more aesthetic. Surgical correction is another approach wherein skin grafting is performed by using healthy tissue from other body areas to fill deeper scars.
What Is The Cost Of Chicken Pox Scar Removal In India?
The cost of chicken pox scar removal in India can range between Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 8,000 per session, depending on the procedure prescribed by your dermatologist.
The major factors that govern the pricing of this treatment are:
- Size and depth of the scar
- Choice of procedure
- Choice of clinic
How Can I Prevent Chickenpox Scars?
During your chickenpox outbreak, there are certain preventive measures that you can take to avoid the formation of scars. Some of these tips are:
- Avoid scratching the affected areas Use a soothing lotion on the blisters to help tackle the urge to itch.
- Use creams to avoid any damage to the skin while scratching.
- A cool oatmeal bath can provide relief from the itchy blisters.
Chickenpox Scar Removal Before And After
The before and after results might vary from one individual to another. It all depends on the course of treatment you have taken. A laser, chemical peeling or micro needling treatment will improve the overall quality of your skin by fading the appearance of scars to the extent that they are no longer visible.
Now that you know about the expected results of chickenpox scar removal and the available treatment options, you can easily take the right call. Visit our website and book an appointment to see our experts. Our in-house dermatologists will help you take the right approach.