Acne scars are of several types such as rolling scars, boxcar scars, hypertrophic or keloid scars and ice pick scars. The defining characteristic of ice pick scars is that they are narrow and deep-pitted (up to 2mm), with sharp borders—like ice picks. These scars result mainly secondary to comedones when our skin suffers from collagen damage. Ice pick scars are one of the more severe types of acne scars because they are deep inside the skin. In spite of their shape and depth, advanced treatment options available today prove that ice pick scars are treatable. Advanced treatments can reduce their appearance dramatically and give your skin a complete makeover.
Why Do Ice Pick Scars Form?
Ice pick scars will predominantly form if you leave comedones untreated. If you are suffering from acute acne, you are likely to develop scars. It is important that you consult a dermatologist at the earliest to understand the most suitable treatment option for you.
Also Read: Get Effective Treatment For Ice Pick Scars
What Are The Treatment Options For Ice Pick Scars?
Ice pick acne scars are challenging to treat because of their depth, and a combination of treatments works best to reduce them. A dermatologist will help you select the right treatment option and customize it accordingly to deliver the best results. Here are the most popular treatment options available:
1. Chemical Peels – A technique called Cross TCA is very useful in reducing the appearance of ice pick scars. This technique induces collagen thus decreasing the depth of ice pick scars. The treatment procedure does not take longer than a simple facial treatment, and the results are optimal.
2. Microneedling Radiofrequency –Dermatologists use another popular method to treat ice pick scars, following the same principle so as to induce collagen-like any other acne scar treatment. This procedure involves the use of multiple fine needles that are designed in a tip to penetrate to the desired depth in the skin. These needles deposit the radiofrequency energy at the right depth without harming the surrounding tissues or the superficial layers of the skin. This promotes the production of collagen and elastin. The treatment delivers visible results after a few sessions within 1-3 months.
3. Laser Resurfacing – Laser resurfacing is one of the best treatments for reducing the appearance of ice pick scars. A dermatologist uses high-frequency laser light in combination with other treatment modalities to target the affected ice pick scar tissues and penetrate deep into the skin. Skin specialists use two types of lasers during the procedure: a non-ablative laser and an ablative laser. The ablative lasers remove the top layer of skin, while non-ablative lasers heat the underlying skin tissue (without harming the surface) and promote the production of new collagen. Pixel a fractionated erbium YAG laser creates controlled micro injuries leaving a rim of healthy skin. This helps to stimulate the production of new collagen and reduce the depth of scars. Depending on the depth of the scars, your dermatologist may use it in combination with other modalities of treatment.
4. Punch Excision – Punch excision is a popular treatment for ice pick scars. It is an invasive procedure involving small excisions on the site of each ice pick scar and then closing it using steri-strips or sutures. The doctor will properly close the treated skin from all sides after the procedure, and over time the scar will diminish. Sometimes, the procedure may leave a thin scar or a softer mark in place of the original one. A dermatologist may recommend this option for treating cases of broader ice pick scarring.
5. Punch Grafting – A dermatosurgeon may perform punch grafting for reducing ice pick scars. The treatment method involves filling the void created in the scarred area using a punch with a skin graft. A dermatologist will usually take a skin graft from behind the ears and stack it on the scar’s surface with sutures or skin glue. It generally takes about a week for the skin to heal.
Punch grafting method is more effective on less mobile areas of the face like forehead. The results of this treatment depend upon the suitable donor site that matches in color and texture as that of the scarred area.
6. Microdermabrasion – Microdermabrasion is another method of skin resurfacing that dermatologists use to reduce ice pick scars. The skin specialist may rub minute crystals or a tipped handpiece on the target area to remove the dead cells of the skin. He may use this method after punch excision for attaining better results.
7. Dermabrasion – Instead of using crystals, the dermatologist uses an abrasive tool such as a wire brush or a metal wheel to work on the upper layers of the skin during this procedure. He will quickly move the tool over the skin to erode the epidermis and facilitate the regeneration of healthier skin. Your skin specialist may recommend multiple sessions to attain the desired results. This treatment option may cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and scarring. Due to the availability of safer and more effective treatments, dermatologists do not consider dermabrasion a preferred option.
8. Over-the-counter (OTC)- remedies/ home remedies – Ice pick scars are a result of poor acne management. Home remedies and OTC medication cannot help in improving the appearance of these scars since they cannot even reach the depth of the ice pick scars. You will require medical intervention to reduce your ice pick scars permanently and to decrease the risk of future scarring.
What Is The Cost Of Laser Treatment For Ice Pick Scars?
On average, the cost of laser treatment for ice pick scars starts from 3500 INR per session. However, the cost varies based on other factors such as the size of the scar, depth of the scar and the total number of sessions required for complete treatment.
How To Prevent Ice Pick Scars?
The following preventive tips can help manage and prevent ice pick scars from darkening or scarring further –
- Seek the help of a Dermatologist to get rid of comedones as soon as they appear as they are the ones causing icepick scars.
- Make sure to wear a sunscreen every day and protect your skin from darkening and to prevent enhancement in the appearance of scars.
- Moisturize your skin well and stay hydrated. This will enhance the healing process of your skin and improve its texture and make the skin more receptive to any treatments that are planned.
- Follow a good skin care regime by using appropriate skin cleansers and moisturizers suitable for your skin type.
- Avoid picking on a scar as it may worsen it.
- Visit a dermatologist and discuss your treatment options before resorting to any home remedies.
Ice pick scars do not fade away with time; if you are suffering from them seek medical help to reduce them visibly. Visit a dermatologist today to find out the most suitable treatment options for you.