What Are Ice Pick Acne Scars – Treatments, Cost, Before & After Results

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    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 Ice pick acne scars 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. 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.  Icepick acne scars appear on face, nose, forehead and upper cheeks post-acne outbreak. It is important that you consult a dermatologist at the earliest to understand the most suitable treatment option for you.

    Must Read: Clear Your Scars & Imperfection With Ice Pick Scar Treatment

    What Are The Best Ice Pick Scars Treatments?

    Ice pick acne scars are challenging to remove 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:

    • Laser Treatments For Ice Pick Scars: Laser skin resurfacing is one of the best treatment for ice pick scars in reducing its appearance. 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.
      A scar treatment procedure aims to remove the surface layer of the skin to induce collagen in the sub-layers to fill out the depression and pits.  With the application of Pixel laser resurfacing, clients see improvements of scars over a few sessions with a few weeks interval.

    • Microneedling Radiofrequency –Dermatologists use another popular method to treat ice pick acne 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 RF Microneedling treatment delivers visible results after a few sessions within 1-3 months.

    • Chemical Peels For Ice Pick Scars – A technique called TCA Cross 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.
    • Punch Excision – Punch excision is a popular removal method of 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.
    • 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 colour and texture as that of the scarred area.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Ice Pick Scar Removal Creams/Home Remedies – Ice pick scars are a result of poor acne management. Home remedies and OTC creams 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.

    Must Read: Advanced Acne Scar Removal Treatment

    Ice Pick Scars Treatment Cost In India

    The cost of ice pick scar removal treatment in India ranges between Rs 7,000 and Rs 20,000 per session. It varies based on the procedure selected, the severity of scars, the no. of sessions recommended, the experience of the doctor, and the clinic location and reputation.

    The above prices are indicative only. Please visit a reputed clinic to know the exact cost.

    Must Read: How Much Does Laser Acne Scar Removal Treatment Cost In India?

    Ice Pick Scars Before And After Results

    Here are the images post-laser treatment for ice pick scars

    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.

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    About The Author

    Dr. T N Rekha Singh

    Dr. T N Rekha Singh

    Dr T N Rekha Singh is an MD in Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology from the esteemed Gandhi Medical College at Hyderabad. She has a rich experience of over 11 years in performing advanced laser treatments for hair reduction, skin resurfacing and skin lightening, scar and... Read More

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