What Are Pockmarks On Face – Meaning, Causes And Best Treatments

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    Pockmarks are a kind of deep scars on our face that can cause permanent damage to our skin. These evident scars can be caused by acne or an infection like smallpox or chickenpox. Without getting timely and effective treatment for pockmarks, one can suffer from this lifelong skin problem. Thankfully, there are several tried-and-tested solutions that can help you get rid of pockmarks in less time.

    What Are Pockmarks?

    Pockmarks, also known as pick marks, are specific kinds of blemishes and deep scars on the face. Most of these scars have a prominent ice pick concave shape that forms a depression on the skin.

    Since these are deep scars, they are formed when the skin is damaged by a prominent infection like in case of infection by acne, chickenpox, etc. it damages the deeper layer of the skin. Although our skin produces collagen to heal itself, sometimes it doesn’t yield the ideal amount. Due to the irregularity in the collagen level, a deep scar is formed. Sometimes, the colour of the scar tissue is darker than the rest of the skin.

    Therefore, pockmarks can be distinguished as smallpox pockmarks, acne pockmarks, chickenpox pockmarks, etc. on the basis of their cause. In most of the cases, these pockmarks don’t go away naturally and can make your skin look damaged.

    Must Read: What Is The Best Treatment For Scars?

    What Causes Pockmarks On Face?

    Pockmarks can be caused by any kind of spot, pustule, or infection. Some of the major causes of a pockmarked face are –

    • Acne pockmarks are quite common and can happen even if we leave the acne to be healed on its own. The extra sebum produced by acne can clog the pores on the skin and leave a depressed scar.
    • If the acne or pimple has damaged the deeper level of the skin, then it can cause an ice pick scar.
    • Infectious diseases like chickenpox and smallpox are common causes of pockmarks. They can form blisters on our entire body. If you scratch or pick them, then they might leave chickenpox or smallpox pockmarks.
    • A boil can also cause inflammation on our skin and leave a deep scar after healing.
    • Any other kind of bacterial or fungal infection can also cause pockmarks on the face and other body parts.

    Pockmarks Treatment

    If left untreated, pockmarks can be a permanent skin-related issue. The good news is that there are various treatments that can heal your scars. The dermatologist would be able to determine the most suitable treatment course, only after initial examination to establish the root cause of your pockmarks, and the strength on your skin. Based on that the below treatment/ or combination must be prescribed –

    • Fractional Laser Resurfacing: An ablative fractional laser resurfacing is one of the most recommended solutions to treat various kinds of scars and skin damages. The pixel resurfacing technique is extremely secure and doesn’t cause any prominent side-effect to our skin. It uses USFDA approved laser technology which is safe and most effective for all skin types. In this, the scar tissue is exposed to pixel laser, which concentrates light energy rays and converts it into heat thus rendering the deformed cells ineffective and stimulating the production of collagen. This heels the depressed scar and resurfaces new and rejuvenated skin from within. It also heals all the other kind of blemishes and skin irregularities as well.

    • Microneedling: It is also known as collagen induction therapy. It involves multiple needles which puncture the skin simultaneously. This induces more and more collagen and naturally fills the pockmarks in the process. There must be a proper follow-up schedule maintained for the desired efficiency.

    • Chemical Peeling: Another non-invasive treatment for pockmarks is chemical peeling. In this, dermatologists apply a chemical solution on the face. This is a concoction of plant extract which helps in controlled exfoliation of the upper layer of the skin. On the basis of the solution’s intensity and the duration, it is applied for, chemical peeling can be classified as light, medium, or deep. The solution peels off the upper deformed layer of the skin and allows the new skin cells to grow. It can get rid of pockmark scars, acne scars, sunburns, fine lines, and several other kinds of skin damages.
    • Dermal Fillers: Since pockmarks are concave-shaped, they can also be healed using dermal fillers. There are different products like hyaluronic acids and calcium hydroxylapatite that can be used as dermal fillers. A collagen gel-like substance is artificially created to match with the skin tone and fill the depressed scar. While it is not a permanent solution, the filler might last from a few months to as long as 5 years.
    • Microdermabrasion: If you don’t have prominent scars, then you can also try microdermabrasion. Instead of a specialized tool, abrasive ingredients (like tiny carbonate crystals) are used to heal a pockmarked face. This is a comparatively non-invasive process which has dual action on the skin; removing the upper layer of skin along with creating a suction to pump in the debris simultaneously
    • Punch Excision: Punch excision is a surgical pockmark removal treatment that is mostly implemented when the pockmarks are quite evident. In this method, the scar is surgically removed with a specialized tool, known as a punch. Although in the end, it also leaves a smaller scar of lesser density. This is a one-time surgical treatment that can get rid of pockmarks forever.
    • Other Treatments: There are also several other treatments for pockmarks that you can further explore. For instance, microneedling can be used to puncture the scar tissue and boost the production of collagen in the skin. There are also several over-the-counter and topical medicines that claim to treat scars on the face. You can visit an experienced dermatologist to get a personalized pockmarks treatment for your skin and know more about these solutions in detail.

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

    How To Prevent Pockmarks?

    • Do not pick your pimples or acne as they can cause infection on your skin.
    • Avoid the overuse of artificial beauty products on your face.
    • Keep your body hydrated and wash your face at least twice a day (more for oily skin).
    • Exfoliate your face every now and then.
    • Don’t scratch smallpox or chickenpox blisters to prevent scarring.
    • If a boil or blister has been picked or erupted, then clean it and apply antiseptic creams.
    • If your body is sensitive to the sun, then apply relevant sunscreen whenever you go out.
    • Avoid sharing personal items (like towels or beauty products) to prevent the spread of infection.
    • If you get too many acne and pimples, then consider visiting a doctor to get added assistance

    If you also have a pockmarked face and would like to get rid of it, then visit an experienced dermatologist. Without getting a dedicated treatment, the pockmarks won’t heal and might affect you in more ways than you can imagine. Take a thoughtful step and get the kind of skin that you truly deserve.


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    About The Author

    Kushneet Kukreja

    Kushneet Kukreja

    A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.

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