As if that bout of acne at teenage was not painful enough, your face was left with annoying ice pick scars that seem to have a knack to draw attention to themselves. So, what causes such scars and what can be done to treat them and make them less noticeable? This article will give you a comprehensive overview of all that and more. Enjoy the read.
What Causes Ice Pick Scars – Ice Pick Scarring
Ice pick scars are dark, narrow, deep bands of scar tissues in the surface of your skin that make it look like it has been punctured with a sharp object as to leave behind deep holes. Ice pick scars extend into the dermis and typically develop after a cyst infection burst and damage the nearby skin.
The chances of developing ice pick scars increases considerably among individuals who are into the habit of picking or squeezing the acne spots. It is thus important to stay away from this habit no matter how annoying those spots are.
Ice Pick Scars Treatment – How to Treat Ice Pick Scars
You are right now probably wondering how to treat ice pick scars. Well, there are numerous ice pick scars treatment options including:
Punch excision: punch excision is the most effective treatment option for ice pick scars. This is surgical procedure whereby a punch biopsy tool is used to remove the scar from the skin while under local anesthesia. Once the scar has been cut out, the normal edges of the skin are stitched together. Once the wound heals, a smoother and even skin is left behind.
Of course it is expected that a scar will form in the stitched area but it will ultimately fade away and become less prominent compared to the original ice pick scar. Laser therapies can be used to reduce this newly formed scar and is common to follow punch excision with laser treatment as discussed in the next section.
Laser treatment: Laser treatment also comes in handy for ice pick scars. Laser treatment involves using laser light to damage the top layers of the skin and stimulate the growth of normal skin cells.
Newer non-ablative laser therapies such as Fraxel involve less damage to the skin. Fraxel therapies utilizes laser light which penetrates deep into the dermis where it creates small zones of micro-damage. This then stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which helps in remodeling the skin surface, leaving behind smoother skin.
According to Cameron Rokhsar, MD, an expert in Fraxel laser, 3 to 5 Fraxel Re:store treatment sessions are required for effective treatment of scars but 1 to 2 Fraxel Re:pair treatment sessions are enough to give good results for scarring.
Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion is also often used in treatment of ice pick scars either on its own or alongside punch excision whereby dermabrasion is done for 2 months after punch excision to make the scar left behind by stitching more even.
Dermabrasion involves using a specially made ablative tool (usually a wire brush) to remove the top layer of the skin. This stimulates the growth of healthy skin cells and makes the skin smoother. It is normal for your skin to look sore and red for a few months after dermabrasion but this will improve as the scar heals.
Talk to your GP or dermatologist about the options best suited for your particular case.
It deserves a mention at this point that ice pick scars treatments are often considered as aesthetic treatments and may not be covered by your health insurance policy. It is therefore important to talk to your insurance company before making the big decision.
It is also important to have realistic expectations about the kind of improvement you hope to achieve. While the above treatment options will certainly improve the appearance of your ice pick scars, they will not be able to get rid of them completely. According to the NHS UK, “most people notice a 50-75% improvement in their appearance” after treatment.
Best Treatment for Ice Pick Scars
With the options highlighted in a previous section of this article, you may then be left to wonder what the best treatment for ice pick scars is. Well, I spent some time looking for expert opinions online and most seem to point to punch excision as the best option.
Punch excision may then be followed by other treatments (dermabrasion and laser therapy) to reduce the scar left behind by stitching.
Makeup for Ice Pick Scars Removal- How to Remove Ice Pick Scars
Clever use of makeup is often used to cover up ice pick scars and other types of facial scars. This is thus not an ice pick scars removal option per se but just a way to make them less noticeable. You can buy camouflage make-up designed to conceal scars over-the-counter in higher end drugstores. Some water proof varieties of camouflage make-up can last as long as three days and are a great choice if you will be travelling.
It is however important to take time to identify the right shade of color for your specific skin tone.
Ice Pick Scars Before and After Treatment pictures
Whoever equated a picture to a thousand words must have given it a deep thought and was very right for that matter. There is no better way to show the kind of results achievable with different ice pick scars treatment options than to show real before and after pictures.
In that regard, here are a few “ice pick scars before and after” pictures.
This picture shows a patient suffering from ice pick scars. Notice how much the scars have improved after a punch graft.