Severe cases of acne not only cause problems during breakouts, but they can also leave lifelong reminders in the form of scarring. One common type of acne scar is known as ice pick scars, which caused depressions in the skin. Because this type of scarring affects deeper layers of skin, you often have to treat it with more aggressive scar treatment measures.
What Causes Ice Pick Scars?
Ice pick scars typically form after an infected blackhead or whitehead becomes excessively irritated and inflamed. This infection can lead to pressure on the skin that causes further inflammation and damage to the skin, especially if it remains untreated. This can lead to the formation of nodules or cysts, which is a more serious type of acne that affects the collagen in the skin. Because the collagen and fibrin is damaged, the regular structure of the skin breaks down, causing the scar tissue in the area to sink into the skin.
What are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars?
Because of the nature of ice pick scars, you typically have to undergo more aggressive treatments rather than relying upon an over the counter treatment cream. You should talk with your dermatologist about the best options for treatment. Many doctors will use a treatment known as punch excision, which removes the scar from the skin, allowing the collagen to form correctly when the skin heals. It may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Other common treatments for ice pick scars include laser treatments, dermabrasion, and chemical peels.
Laser treatments are a common form of aggressive treatment for all types of acne scars, including ice pick scars. During a laser treatment, your doctor will remove the top layer of skin, which is the most damaged. Depending on the severity of the scarring, you may have to undergo several treatments. There are three different types of laser treatment: CO2, YAG, and fractional laser. The YAG laser treatment promotes the new growth of skin and often has reduced side effects and healing time. Fractional laser is gentler, so it typically is used for ice pick scars that are not as severe.
Other Ways to Remove the Top Layer of Skin
There are other ways to remove the top layer of skin to promote healing, including dermabrasion and a chemical peel. Dermabrasion uses an abrasive tool that scrapes off the damaged skin on top, allowing the healthier skin underneath to come to the surface. A chemical peel works in a similar manner by removing the top layer of skin but uses acids rather than an abrasive tool. You may have red and inflamed skin for a few days to a week after these treatments, and you may have to do it more than once to get the effect you want.
It is possible to reduce the appearance of your acne scars, including your ice pick scars. With the help of your doctor, you can decide which aggressive treatment will work best for you. If you have less severe scarring, you can try a topical acne scar treatment to see if it works before using a more aggressive form of treatment.
Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!
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