Ice Pick Scars

What are Ice Pick Scars?

Ice pick scars are deep holes that are small in size that are on the surface of the skin. Commonly these scars are formed due to acne. These acne scars will look like the skin has been punctured with a very sharp object. They are narrow, deep, and depressed and are very common, measuring 2 mm or less in length. They appear vertically and are cylindrical in shape.

Ice pick scars begin as a comedone. Comedones, also referred to as blackheads or whiteheads, are formed when sebum forms on the skin, mixing with skin cells. A soft plug will be formed in the hair follicles, blocking the pore. Inflammation will set in as bacteria is multiplied, and pus is formed. The pus can build up pressure, which will cause the inflammation to go deeper into the skin. This will cause damage to the skin, as the collagen will not form in the skin as needed. The loss of this collagen will allow the acne inflammation to sink deeper into the skin, forming ice pick scars.

The Best Treatments for Ice Pick Scars

Two of the best treatments for ice pick scars include skin needling and fractional laser treatment. These techniques can both be performed in the comfort of a skin specialist’s office. At Advanced Dermatology we provide both these treatments and have many years of experience helping our clients with ice pick scars and other acne related scarring.

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Skin Needling

Skin needling, also referred to as micro-needling, is a minimally invasive procedure. This technique uses fine needles to create controlled skin injury, which will fill with new collagen. This will lead to rejuvenation of the skin, which will also improve the hydration, tone and texture. Skin needling is considered to be a safe and highly effective treatment, as minor damage is done to the skin. Skin needling is great for all skin types, even thin and sensitive skin. No special instruments are needed for this out patient procedure. The epidermis will remain intact during the procedure, and will not be damaged. Normal activities can be resumed within a matter of days. The procedure is very well tolerated by many, taking only a few minutes to an hour to complete. A numbing cream will be applied to the face or local anaesthetic will be administered. Three to four treatments are typically recommended for moderate acne scars, with at least six weeks between each session.

Fractional Laser Treatment

Fractional laser treatment can also help to treat ice pick scars. This non-invasive treatment is extremely safe and effective, with very focused results. A laser beam is split into thousands of microscopic treatment zones. This beam will target both the dermal and the epidermal layers of the skin. Prior to the treatment, skin will be washed and anesthetic cream will be applied to the skin. This will be allowed to set on the skin for 45 minutes to an hour. The cream will then be removed, and a gliding gel will be applied to the area, which will lubricate the hand held piece that is moved over the skin. Typically, to remove ice pick scars, a treatment will take about half an hour. Pain from the procedure can help to be controlled with a cooling device. For 3 to 5 days after the procedure, the skin will remain pink. Swelling may take place, which will last for 2 or 3 days. Swelling can be relieved by applying ice packs to the skin during the first 24 hours every 10 minutes. Four to five treatments are usually needed, which are spaced one month apart.

It is very important to note that regardless of which of these two treatments is use for ice pick scars, post treatment, a high quality sun screen should be applied for several weeks to protect the skin.

4 replies
  1. taylor22
    taylor22 says:

    I have done fractional laser treatments on my face for my ice pick scars. This was a procedure that made a world of difference on my scars. I was shown before and after photos and was amazed by how big of a difference others with ice pick scars had fared. I must say that my results were just as incredible. As far as pain was concerned, it was not as bad as I had expected. The numbing cream was applied and allow to set on my face for an hour, and then wiped off. The cooling device kept my skin cool and there was a pins and needles sensation on my skin that was bearable. After the treatment,the skin may feel like it was sunburned. An easy way to remedy this is to apply an ice pack on the skin every hour for a few minutes. My skin was red for a few days after the treatments, but subsided within 72 hours. My skin did get dry after the treatment, so I would recommend having a good moisturizer on hand. Also only use gentle cleansers on the skin, so you do not aggravate the skin further.

  2. Booman
    Booman says:

    I have dealt with ice pick scars before and loved what skin needling has done for my face. My ice pick acne scars were horrible for me to look at, and I just felt like everyone was staring at me all the time. I spoke with my dermatologist and he recommended having skin needling done. I had four sessions done on my acne scars, with 8 weeks between each session. I usually had the sessions done on a Friday, and then had the weekend to recuperate,and by Monday I was good to go. I now feel good about myself and my pimple scars look so much better. The reason I decided to go with skin needling is for a few reasons. First off, it was a treatment that my dermatologist said would not damage my skin. The needles are small like that of an acupuncture needle. These needles will help new collagen be stimulated so the skin can have a natural healing. Plus there were many other benefits besides clearing up my ice pick scars. My skin is firmer and tighter, and the skin texture has been improved greatly. My pores also appear to be smaller. Within 4 weeks after having my first treatment done, I felt that I was noticing results.

  3. Chanel45
    Chanel45 says:

    I have been searching for ways on how to get rid of ice pick scars. Either treatment option above sounds good to me. I can easily tolerate pain, so I think that I will discuss both skin needling and Fractional laser treatment with my dermatologist. I would like to know though which treatment would have faster results appear?

  4. Iren
    Iren says:

    I have pimple scars that I need to get rid of. My face looks awful. I never knew that there were specific names for acne scars like this, but it really does look like someone took an ice pick to my face. I would love to learn more about the methods on how to get rid of ice pick scars. Skin needling sounds interesting to me. I have never tried it nor heard of it before. I do not want a technique that would hurt very much as I do not tolerate pain very well. But if a numbing cream was applied to my face before hand, I should be able to deal with it well. Just wondering, as I am a very self conscious person, if you can apply mineral makeup after the procedure, as I can not go anywhere without my make up.


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