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What are Ice Pick Scars & How To Get Rid Of It?

What are Ice Pick Scars?

Ice Pick Scars are referred to as severe scars that result due to severe acne. They normally have a shape of a V and are quite wide in diameter. On visualizing the scar it looks as if an ice pick has penetrated the surface of the skin. Some scare even look like a pore. To get rid of ice pick scars it is necessary to consult with a dermatologist since not natural or pharmacological remedies are effective in alleviating the scars[2].

The treatment for ice pick scars due to acne is not covered by insurance in the United States and thus treating them is quite a burden on the pocket of people. This is also because these scars do not get alleviated with just one session of treatment and requires multiple sessions which again is quite costly[2].

Acne as a medical condition is extremely common and is prevalent in more than 90% of youngsters and adolescents in the United States. Ice Pick Scars although common may affect an individual psychologically as they do not look good to the eye. This may affect social engagements and relationships in general[1].

What is the mechanism behind development of these scars is questionable and is still being researched but there have been several observations made although they lack clinical evidence. There are many ways to get rid of ice pick scars some of which have been outlined below in the article[1].

What are Ice Pick Scars & How To Get Rid Of It?

How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars?

Some of the most common ways to get rid of ice pick scars include:

Punch Excision. This is a technique which involves removal of the top layers of skin that cover the scar. This is done by a punch tool of a size similar to the ice pick scar under local anesthesia. Once the top layers of the skin over the scar are removed then surgeon applies stiches over the wound. Once the stiches fall off after a few days, there will be a slight scar of the procedure left behind but the ice pick scar is not seen[2].

Punch Grafting. This procedure is done to get rid of ice pick scar that are deeply rooted within the skin surface. In this procedure, the skin over the scar is completely removed and replaced with a graft. The skin used to make the graft is usually taken from other part of the body, normally from behind the ear[2].

TCA CROSS. This is a technique which does not require any anesthesia as there is minimal pain or burning sensation. The procedure involves stretching the affected skin and then applying a little bit of trichloroacetic acid. This damages the epithelial layers of the affected skin surface[2].

As and when the wounds heal new collagen forms from within the scar and recue the appearance of the ice pick scar. This is called chemical reconstruction of skin scars. Studies suggest that in just one session of TCA CROSS the appearance of an ice pick scar can reduce by as much as 25% and thus it quite popular among people who want to get rid of their acne scars[2].

Radiofrequency. This is a novel technique utilized for reducing ice pick scars. This procedure involves using high frequency radio waves to make the skin tight and smooth which ultimately fades the scar away[2].

Micro-Needling. This procedure uses the phenomenon of damaging the skin to promote new skin growth and collagen production and thereby clearing the ice pick scar. This procedure is done by creating small holes on the skin surface over the affected area by using a special device[2].

Once the wound start healing new skin and collagen is produced and thereby diminishing the ice pick scar. This procedure may cause some temporary bruising and swelling but it resolves within a few days[2].

Resurfacing Therapy. Apart from all the procedures mentioned, the dermatologist also at times recommends resurfacing therapy. This can further dull the ice pick scar and make them barely visible. The technique involves removal of skin around the scar and allowing new collagen and skin to grow[2].

Among the many resurfacing therapies, laser technique is the most common. This technique involves use of thermal energy to the scars stimulating production of collagen and new healthy cells further diminishing the ice pick scars[2].


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 1, 2019

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