Acne is an embarrassing skin issue. However, it becomes even more embarrassing when the blemishes cause scarring. Ice pick scars are common, according to Acne.org, and described as deep pits 2 mm or less in length. The scarring got its name because the skin appears to have small puncture marks. Fortunately, there are treatments effective at getting rid of ice pick acne scars.
Treat acne before starting scar treatment. A dermatologist will use topical treatments, such as adapalene or tretinoin to heal acne. If acne doesn’t respond, she will try antibiotics in conjunction with topical treatments. For the most serious cases of acne, a doctor may prescribe isotretinoin, an oral medication, to get rid of acne. However, this medication can’t be taken while pregnant and side effects are very serious.
Laser CO2 treatments. This treatment uses a laser that removes the top layer of the skin. Laser treatments are very effective because the depth of penetration is more easily controlled than with other options. A dermatologist will pass the laser over the skin up to three times. The sessions lasts up to an hour, depending on the severity of acne. Cost for treatment is up to $6,000 and may need to be repeated after six months.
Er: YAG laser treatments. This is another type of laser resurfacing treatment. This option achieves the same results as other laser treatments and promotes new skin growth. However, side effects are milder than the CO2 treatment and healing time is quicker. The cost is up to $6,000 and treatment may need to be repeated after six months.
Fractional laser. The fractional laser resurfaces scar sites more gently. This treatment is appropriate for less severe ice pick scars. Results aren’t as impressive as the CO2 or Er:Yag laser treatments, but side effects are milder. Cost is $1,000 per session. Typically four to five sessions are required.
Consider skin needling treatment. This treatment uses a needle tool to cause tiny punctures on the acne site. When the area starts to heal new collagen will grow, reducing the appearance of scarring. The cost for treatment is $150 to $500 for each session. Typically, one to two sessions are required before results are experienced.
Each treatment option has different side effects. Talk with your doctor about each potential side effect before selecting a treatment option.
Insurance companies don’t usually cover these treatments. Talk with your insurance company before choosing a treatment option.