Acne scars are one of the most common skin-related issues that people face these days. Out of all the acne scars, ice pick scars are known as the most severe type and are quite difficult to treat. With professional help, you can reduce the appearance of these scars. In this post, we will educate you about ice pick acne scars and cover various treatments on how to get rid of them.
What Are Ice Pick Scars?
An ice pick scar is the most severe form of acne scars. Scars form when the collagen present in our skin is damaged. Depending on the shape of the damage, it can be categorized as boxcar, atrophic, ice pick, and so on. The name “ice pick” is used to depict the shape of the scar that is caused by acne. These scars are extremely narrow, deep, and depressed. Sometimes, they can be cylindrical in shape and have a depth of up to 2 mm. Due to the severity, these scars are most difficult to treat.
Also Read: Get Effective Treatment For Ice Pick Scars
How Are Ice Pick Scars Formed?
One of the major reasons for ice pick scars is the formation of acne. When the acne is mild, it mostly leads to rolling, boxcar, or atrophic scars. These are usually wide and are not deep at all. Though, when the acne is severe, it can lead to an infection and form cysts, which is called cystic acne. The infection can go deep into our skin and leave a narrow gap by destroying the collagen triggering ice pick scars.
Acne starts when the oil in our skin is collected at the pores and blocks the follicles. This forms a breeding ground for bacteria, which can be caused due to numerous reasons. As the bacteria spread, it forms pus and infects the natural protein in our skin. Even after the cyst is formed or the acne ages out, it leaves a narrow and sharp scar. It gives an impression of damage made by an ice pick. These scars can even reach the dermis layer of the skin as they are quite deep and have a narrow opening.
The prevention of acne is the best way to prevent yourself from getting ice pick scars. The following tips are effective to prevent acne:
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Wash your face regularly
- Prevent the accumulation of oil in pores
- Know your skin type
- Moisturize your skin
- Do not touch your face
- Use non-comedogenic makeup
Also Read: What Are The Different Types Of Scars?
Ice Pick Scars Treatments
A lot of readers ask us if ice pick scars fade over time or if they can be treated. Sadly, ice pick scars do not just fade over time. Though, with the right course of treatment, you can easily get rid of them.
- Laser Resurfacing – Laser resurfacing is one of the safest approaches to treat ice pick scars. The lasers used in this procedure can either be ablative or non-ablative. The ablative laser removes the upper layer of skin while the non-ablative method boosts the production of collagen to heal various scars. A Fraxel laser is highly recommended for treating ice pick scars. This FDA-approved treatment is a non-invasive technique, which targets scarred tissue. It gets rid of damaged skin and results in the formation of healthy and sensitive skin cells. Since it does not have any drastic side effects and is quite safe, it is often considered the best treatment for ice pick scars. Laser resurfacing treatment for scar removal is effective on areas like the face, cheeks, and forehead. However, it requires multiple sessions to treat severe ice pick scars.
- Microneedling – The core principle behind Microneedling is similar to the Fraxel lasers. In this procedure, uniquely designed microneedles puncture the upper skin layer and peel the epidermis which promotes the formation of collagen that automatically heals the scar. Besides slight bruising, this treatment does not have any major side effects. Even though it is quite affordable, it is not as fast or effective as laser treatment as you would have to wait for between 1-3 months to get the desired results.
- Chemical Peels – Chemical peeling is one of the most popular treatments to get rid of fine lines, acne, freckles, sunburns, and other kinds of deep scars. In this procedure, a certified expert creates a chemical solution that is applied to your skin. On the basis of the intensity of the solution and the duration for which it is placed on the skin, it can be light, medium, or deep. Later, it peels the upper layer of skin and allows healthy skin cells to regenerate. This can easily help you get rid of facial scars in a short time. Though, after getting your treatment, you should not expose your skin to direct sunlight for a few days. Additionally, you should follow all the post-treatment suggestions to get the required results with no side-effects.
- Punch Excision – As the name suggests, this treatment is a surgical process that involves a slight excision of the skin. The patients are given local anesthesia during the procedure. The process involves the cutting of the scars and then closing them using steri-strips or sutures. Once the skin is healed, it diminishes the ice pick scar. Nevertheless, even this ice pick scar remedy can leave a minute scar, although it will be a lot smaller than the original one. You can go through skin resurfacing treatment to get evenly toned skin after completing the procedure.
- Microdermabrasion – Microdermabrasion is often considered as one of the best treatments for ice pick scars. Minute crystals (mostly with diamond-shaped tips) are rubbed on the upper layer of the skin. This removes the dead and unwanted tissue and leads to the growth of new skin cells. While this treatment does not have any side effects, it might not be as effective as other solutions. People usually opt for Microdermabrasion to treat ice pick scars on their cheeks or nose after getting a punch excision.
- Dermabrasion – This is a more advanced form of Microdermabrasion. Instead of crystals, a professionally designed abrasive tool (like a metal wheel or a wire brush) is used. The upper layer of the scar and the epidermis is eroded by its constant movement. It is mostly used to treat ice pick scars on the nose, chin, or forehead. While the technique is non-invasive, it is not recommended for eczema patients. Also, it is not a permanent ice pick scar remedy. You will have to visit your dermatologist regularly to control your scar condition.
- Punch Grafting – Punch grafting is considered one of the most effective ice pick acne scar treatments. A skin graft is obtained from another part of our skin (usually from behind the ear). After obtaining the graft, it is carefully placed on the scar with the help of sutures and skin glue. The technique is mostly used to treat ice pick scars on the nose or cheeks. If the scar is progressive, then multiple grafts are applied which is one of its major drawbacks. Also, it might elevate the treated skin area and can leave a minute scar as well.
- Home Remedies/DIY Treatments – Though natural remedies are claimed to reduce or get rid of scars, most of them lack any scientific evidence to prove that they work. Here are some of the popular choices –
i – Aloe vera, honey, olive oil, lemon juice
ii – Over the counter chemical exfoliators or creams
iii – Silicone sheets and gel
Professional advice is recommended to help diagnose and treat ice pick scars as they are the most severe form of acne scars. While you can try a few home remedies or self-care treatments, the best approach is to treat the acne as early as possible and eliminate the chances of getting ice pick scars.
In order to get the best ice pick scar remedy, we recommend visiting your nearest branch of Oliva Skin and Hair Clinic. The clinic offers dedicated assistance and a wide range of treatments for ice pick acne scars and other skin-related issues. With a team of certified experts and FDA-approved equipment, we will make sure you have healthy and flawless skin in no time.