This is how it goes: you suffer from an outbreak of acne and before you realize, you have ice pick scars to show for it. Luckily there are numerous ways to get rid of ice pick scars with professional help from a surgeon or dermatologist and numerous methods you can apply on your own at home and this article will give you a break down of these options.
How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars
If you are a victim of the common skin condition that it acne, chances are that you are keen to learn how to get rid of ice pick scars that afflicts you.
Although fractional lasers such as Fraxel offer improvement for superficial scars such as those associated with chronic acne, Dr. Karamanoukian points out that there is no clinical evidence to support the claim that can improve the appearance of deep ice pick scars.
This is because ice pick scars are notable for the characteristic punctuate deep scars – usually a result of deep cystic acne – with the base of the scar being deeply set and the sidewalls very steep which makes it tricky and often ineffective to resurface them using laser (and chemical peels for that matter) as Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, a Los Angeles based plastic surgeon says.
This leaves punch excision followed by suturing of the wound left behind as the most effective treatment option to date despite the numerous advances achieved in as far as laser and chemical peels are concerned.
Laser resurfacing especially using Fraxel laser may nevertheless improve the overall look of the skin and can’t be ruled out entirely. It is as a matter of fact often used to enhance the appearance of the scars left behind by the suturing of the wound during punch excision.
Bryan K. Chen, MD, a San Diego based dermatologist agrees with this point of view recommending punch excision followed by laser treatment e.g. Fraxel Re:pair as a reasonable approach for treatment of ice picks in lighter skin types such as Fitz type I and II. He however advices against this strategy for darker skin types as the risk of hyperpigmentation is high.
Saline subcision is another option that can be used to get rid of ice pick scars and this involves breaking up the underling scar tissues as a way to stimulate the production of collagen.
The cross Method is as well another option that according to Bryan K. Chen, MD involves spot application of a very strong chemical peeling agent to stimulate the production of collagen. This then helps to fill in the depressions and thus get rid of the ice pick scarring.
Saline subcision and the “Cross” method however give subtle results and patience is required to achieve optimum results. This might take as long as one year according to Dr. Chen.
Talk to your GP or a dermatologist about the most appropriate options for your specific case.
How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars At Home
Having a large area of ice pick scars can lower your self-esteem and self-confidence and leave you wondering how to get rid of them at home. Unfortunately, there are not many home remedies available for treatment of ice pick scars. This is because of the deeper rather than wide nature of ice pick scars.
Your best bet would be an early on-the-spot treatment with a mild benzoyl peroxide. Dr. MacGregor, a New York based dermatologist recommends using sulfur masks with 2.5 benzoyl peroxide or Neutrogena’s On-the-Spot Acne Treatment.
As for the brown, pink or purple spots that characterizes acne scars, Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist based in new York city suggests using a product with glycolic or salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin. Retinoid products such as RoC Retinol Correxion Instant Facial Smoother can as well help.
How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars Naturally
If you are a fan of natural treatments, you may right now be wondering how to get rid of ice picks scars naturally. Well, the tendency of ice pick scars to extend deep into the skin again leaves very few options.
Dr. Bowe suggests using soy, kojic acid (a derivative of mushrooms) and licorice to lighten the dark spots. In addition, you will also want to apple a good sunscreen since exposure to sunlight is known to worsen scars.
A baking soda paste prepared by mixing one part baking soda to 2 parts water can as well help. Simply apply it to the scar and massage it in circular motion for 60 seconds before rinsing it off with water 2 times daily.
Rubbing some garlic or basil on the scar can also help.
If these interventions don’t seem to help your ice pick scars, it may be time to look for professional treatment at a dermatologist’s office or clinic.
How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars on Face
The face is the most visible part of the skin and having ice pick scars there is something that anyone would wish away. It is also the part of the skin that is mostly exposed to the sunlight which can make scars worse.
Punch excision remains the dermatologists’ and surgeons’ favourite treatment option. Laser resurfacing and dermabrasion are also often used alongside punch excision to treat ice pick scars.
How to Cover Ice Pick Scars
Another fantastic option that you may want to consider is covering your ice pick scars with a make-up. Although make-up concealer products will not really treat the scars away, most will do a great job at making them less visible. And some waterproof varieties will linger on for as long as 3 days.
Camouflage make-up products are sold over-the-counter in pharmacies but you can as well order them in online shopping sites such as Boots, Amazon and eBay. Estee Lauder Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face is a good example.
How to Heal Ice Pick Scars – In conclusion
In a nutshell, the depth and narrowness that characterize ice pick scars leave not so much options in as far as getting rid of them is concerned. Punch excision is the most commonly used treatment option, but other treatments such as dermabrasion and laser resurfacing are often be used in alongside punch excision to reduce the appearance of the scar left by punch excision sutures.