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Do Icepick/boxcar Scars Fill In?

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Hi, im 14 going on 15. On the last week of march, i flaked off a blackhead which turned into a zit on my cheek. I washed with antibacterial soap 7x and held ice on it til it popped. Then put a face mask on overnight. Woke up and it was a hole! It cracked the next week. But vaseline helped. It looks as if skin is missing and theres more holes that look like scarred pores. Its been six months now-now gonna be august and i have boxcar scarring too and a diemand shaped thing connected with the holes. I think i have permanently damaged skin tissue. It appears worse with makeup and cakey. Retin a is worse for my skin and im on minocycline which dont do much. I know this is long.. but is there still a chance the holes will fill in along with new skin to grow from the missing skin connected with the holes? If so.. how long?

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I've moved this post to the scars forum where I'm sure you will receive some helpful replies.


After remaining clear for around 1.5 years following DKR (The Regimen), in March 2013 I decided to change to Epiduo. I use a pea size amount of epiduo each night, followed by a layer of topical antibiotic (Eryacne). I also apply Eryacne every morning and moisturise twice a day. After switching to Epiduo from the regimen I found that it took a good 3 months to get back to being perfectly clear again and now I might get one small pimple appear per month. I can live with that

I started following Dan's Regimen in September 2011 after suffering with acne for 20 years or so. I followed the Regimen instructions exactly and became 100% clear within 9-11 weeks. In December 2011 and after being consistently clear for over a month, I started to slowly reduce the amount of BP I used until I was only applying BP at night. My skin still remained clear however I sometimes switched to applying BP twice a day for a few days (perhaps once a month) if I felt a few under skin bumps starting to come up. I used acne.org products (including AHA and jojoba oil) and sometimes cetaphil moisturiser at night if I felt my skin was especially dry. In the gallery I show my week by week progress following the regimen.


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it depends on the severity and type of the scars. If it is a big indentation/too deep,it's likely that it will stay like that forever if u don't treat it (laser,derma rolling,etc).

Small Ice picks scars (like the ones you get from blackheads and little zits that gives that open pore look) for me,they do get better with time and almost disappear. Anyways they are almost unnoticeable. Bigger Ice pick scars also fill a little bit,but do not expect a big difference.

In the other way,boxcar and hypertrophic scars tend to not go away or get better at all without treatment.

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This is what happened to me when I was that age. I'm 32 and still have them. I would advise that you never flake stuff off your nose or try to speed up the process of stuff going away or you'll most likely get more scars. I made this mistake several times. If you get a zit on your nose don't peel it off, even if it seems like it is just about to flake off on it's own. I actually had a couple scars on my cheeks that went away on their own because I never messed with them because they didn't bother me. But that took years. The ones on my nose I couldn't cover with foundation but would use matte powder. I use primers now. I would look into something like vitamin c serums for collagen production and maybe alpha hydroxy for cell renewal. I used kiss my face's peaches n cream lotion but lots of stuff has AHA in it.

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Atrophic scarring is permanent. Weight gain (not usually the best option lol), laser treatments and any kind of collagen induction therapy can help to reduce the appearance of scarring by tightening the skin, but the scar(s) will always be there.

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Your skin cell turnover rate is still very high at your age so your chances of recovering are good, but you mention that you already have boxcar scarring, so I'm going to go out on a limb and give some hygiene tips.

Please don't abuse your poor young skin by popping and abusing with antibacterial soap and vaseline. AB soap is very alkaline and you need to preserve your skin's acid mantle in order for healing to do its thing. Vaseline is made up of mineral oil, and mineral oil clogs pores and attracts dirt and bacteria.

If you don't mind my advice, please ask your dr about short term antibiotics and an esthetician about addressing your current scars now. Only wash your (I assume very oily?) face with something like Proactiv, Acne Free (Walgreen's) or the Regimen advertised here. Your friends are salicylic, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur and clean moisture (pure hyaluronic acid- have your mom order you some online. Acne skin needs moisture as much as dry skin does.) And make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water per day- prevention is your best friend when it comes to scars.

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  • Clear Skin and Anxiety Maintenance Routine:
  • Supplements: Shi wei Bei Du Tang (powder by Sun Ten) and the Zhen Zhu An Chuang Pan (tablets by Guang Ci Tang) both for acne+ other Chinese mood stabilizers.
  • 20,000IU+ of Vitamin D/day (+ antioxidants and multi with minerals)
  • Diet: Ultra Meal and Orac Energy Greens shakes- no meat, coffee, dairy, gluten or alcohol
  • Topical: crysanthemum and MSM baths and cleansing with Proactiv Deep and Kavi Coral on Konjac sponge to exfoliate, and Jason Aloe and Tea Tree and Hyaluronic Acid to heal and hydrate.
  • Lifestyle: 8 hrs sleep, light exercise only, >1hr sun exposure daily, no fluoride toothpastes, no sulfate shampoos, clean shower/pillowcase.

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Thanks. And the holes are more little. But its been 6 months. It looks like skin is missing. Im just scared. I dont want permanent scars. Do you know how long itll take if they do fill in?

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Thanks. And the holes are more little. But its been 6 months. It looks like skin is missing. Im just scared. I dont want permanent scars. Do you know how long itll take if they do fill in?

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Your skin now is not what you'll have in years if you take good care of it, but the healing really depends on the maintenance of your overall all skin. Prevention is key.

I still have shallow scars from what I thought was gently attacking spots 10 years ago, do don't do it. It's a terrible habit.


  • Clear Skin and Anxiety Maintenance Routine:
  • Supplements: Shi wei Bei Du Tang (powder by Sun Ten) and the Zhen Zhu An Chuang Pan (tablets by Guang Ci Tang) both for acne+ other Chinese mood stabilizers.
  • 20,000IU+ of Vitamin D/day (+ antioxidants and multi with minerals)
  • Diet: Ultra Meal and Orac Energy Greens shakes- no meat, coffee, dairy, gluten or alcohol
  • Topical: crysanthemum and MSM baths and cleansing with Proactiv Deep and Kavi Coral on Konjac sponge to exfoliate, and Jason Aloe and Tea Tree and Hyaluronic Acid to heal and hydrate.
  • Lifestyle: 8 hrs sleep, light exercise only, >1hr sun exposure daily, no fluoride toothpastes, no sulfate shampoos, clean shower/pillowcase.

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Well thanks guys. It does look alittle filled in since today but im still unsure.. and the boxcar scars are still there.

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Scars don't "fill in", hence why they are called scars. They will NOT heal on their own and it's unfortunate the amount of misinformation there is online about them...also, scars are very rarely actually caused by picking and popping. That can contribute to the severity, but the main reason people scar is because of increased and prolonged inflammation from pimples, usually cystic pimples. Some days your scars may lessen in appearance due to puffiness that can vary from day to day..for example, if I eat a lot of salt, my face gets puffier from water retention and my scars are much less noticeable. Definitely keep your skin moisturized while your scars mature.

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Have you tried Tca Cross?? I have had several treatments and have noticed a difference with some ice picks!!

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Some days your scars may lessen in appearance due to puffiness that can vary from day to day..for example, if I eat a lot of salt, my face gets puffier from water retention and my scars are much less noticeable. Definitely keep your skin moisturized while your scars mature.

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Jesus, thank you. I can't believe this much pseudo science and wives tales are still this prevalent with the amount of information available with the click of a button.

Scars don't "fill in", hence why they are called scars. They will NOT heal on their own and it's unfortunate the amount of misinformation there is online about them...also, scars are very rarely actually caused by picking and popping. That can contribute to the severity, but the main reason people scar is because of increased and prolonged inflammation from pimples, usually cystic pimples. Some days your scars may lessen in appearance due to puffiness that can vary from day to day..for example, if I eat a lot of salt, my face gets puffier from water retention and my scars are much less noticeable. Definitely keep your skin moisturized while your scars mature.

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No problem! I think caffeine may also have a similar effect, at least from what I have noticed. Is it bad that I treat myself to coffee everyday for that added effect (and I just love coffee) ? Haha.

Some days your scars may lessen in appearance due to puffiness that can vary from day to day..for example, if I eat a lot of salt, my face gets puffier from water retention and my scars are much less noticeable. Definitely keep your skin moisturized while your scars mature.

After 12 years visiting these message boards I finally found out a possible reason for all that difference I see on my scars. Some days they look horrible while others they look just ugly. I thought it was related to the weather. Thanks for the information!

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Everyone is saying scars don't fill in, but I've had some holes on my face that have definitely filled in. I had a few scars that just vanished over time.

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If there is redness in the scar and it fades over time, it will definitely make the scar less noticeable. Gaining weight can also make them look reduced or almost gone by stretching the skin (a lot of women report more apparent wrinkles after losing a lot of weight as there is no extra fat to "stretch" the the skin) but scars don't fill in even from lasers or other treatments. All of these treatments only tighten the skin so that the scars flatten out, which is why several years after treatments people report that they are visible again to varying degrees. The aging process continues and the skin isn't as tight anymore thus making the scars "reappear".

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If there is redness in the scar and it fades over time, it will definitely make the scar less noticeable. Gaining weight can also make them look reduced or almost gone by stretching the skin (a lot of women report more apparent wrinkles after losing a lot of weight as there is no extra fat to "stretch" the the skin) but scars don't fill in even from lasers or other treatments. All of these treatments only tighten the skin so that the scars flatten out, which is why several years after treatments people report that they are visible again to varying degrees. The aging process continues and the skin isn't as tight anymore thus making the scars "reappear".

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That is not physiologically possible. A scar is an injury to the dermis, kind of like a wrinkle. It's both the result of loss of collagen and dense scar tissue. They don't "fill" in unless you get injections under the scar or subcision to release the scar tissue. I'm not trying to be rude and wouldn't normally argue, but for the sake of readers who get their hopes up from this common misconception, I think it's important to try and explain this. I was told my scars would go away from friends and family, years later- still here. Some topicals like hyaluronic acid and glycerin (to name a few) can help to plump up the skin making some scars disappear. I use Ceraves moisturizing lotion which does make a difference in my scarring. It's possible a product you are using is making your scars less visible.

If there is redness in the scar and it fades over time, it will definitely make the scar less noticeable. Gaining weight can also make them look reduced or almost gone by stretching the skin (a lot of women report more apparent wrinkles after losing a lot of weight as there is no extra fat to "stretch" the the skin) but scars don't fill in even from lasers or other treatments. All of these treatments only tighten the skin so that the scars flatten out, which is why several years after treatments people report that they are visible again to varying degrees. The aging process continues and the skin isn't as tight anymore thus making the scars "reappear".

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Really? Thats great! Do you know how long it took and how many there were along with where were they? Thanks. You just gave me hope. Im just ready to give up. I feel so depressed.

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That is not physiologically possible. A scar is an injury to the dermis, kind of like a wrinkle. It's both the result of loss of collagen and dense scar tissue. They don't "fill" in unless you get injections under the scar or subcision to release the scar tissue. I'm not trying to be rude and wouldn't normally argue, but for the sake of readers who get their hopes up from this common misconception, I think it's important to try and explain this. I was told my scars would go away from friends and family, years later- still here. Some topicals like hyaluronic acid and glycerin (to name a few) can help to plump up the skin making some scars disappear. I use Ceraves moisturizing lotion which does make a difference in my scarring. It's possible a product you are using is making your scars less visible.

If there is redness in the scar and it fades over time, it will definitely make the scar less noticeable. Gaining weight can also make them look reduced or almost gone by stretching the skin (a lot of women report more apparent wrinkles after losing a lot of weight as there is no extra fat to "stretch" the the skin) but scars don't fill in even from lasers or other treatments. All of these treatments only tighten the skin so that the scars flatten out, which is why several years after treatments people report that they are visible again to varying degrees. The aging process continues and the skin isn't as tight anymore thus making the scars "reappear".

I'm serious, some of my scars have disappeared over time. They were not red. I have also remained about 120 lbs for the past few years. They're gone.

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I also have had many scars fill in over time. Everyone is different, but it is absurd to state that it is physiologically impossible for scars to heal themselves. Who told you that... a dermatologist? Dermatologists also think that diet has nothing to do with acne... so I wouldn't take anything they say as gospel. I get where you are coming from and agree that people shouldn't count on things getting better on their own, but I know what has happened to my own skin.

It took several years but most of the scarring from my acne in my late teens eventually went away, very gradually, over the course of 4-5 years. Mostly boxcars. They were pretty bad. I also lost a lot of weight over that period, at least 30 pounds, so it wasn't that. I was young and broke and thus never did any kind of treatment for scars. Unfortunately I had a resurgence of breakouts in my late 20s that brought fresh scarring - I do not want to wait for years so will be more aggressive this time.

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I'm not on here to attack anyone and that was not my intention, so I apologize if it came off that way. I have severe scarring and like most people I am desperate for a solution. I'm on here to share my experiences and also educate other people with what I know..and I definitely don't know everything.

I see a lot of holistic remedies for scarring, all based on pseudoscience and some just downright dangerous (ex water fasting). The things I do recommend are based off of years of obsessive researching not only for my own benefit but also for others. Scar cannot fill in, the skin around it can be tightened or stretched (which reduces the appearance) by various treatments (lasers, needling, weight gain etc) but the scar itself doesn't just fill up on it's own. Most scar treatments are designed to tighten all of the skin which is why they are typically used for people with general aging and wrinkles (and also tend to work better for). The only exception is subcision and injections that level/soften the scar tissue. There is no science or study anywhere that shows acne scarring just disappearing. If it was true, why don't wrinkles also fill up? They are caused by loss of collagen like acne scarring...and yet it's common knowledge that they don't go anywhere. In fact scars often get worse over time just like wrinkles due to the aging process and further loss of collagen.

I definitely don't think anyone is lying about their scars diminishing over time...that would be absurd, I simply don't think it "filled up" on it's own.

I just don't want anyone to have unrealistic expectations like I did when I was first blessed with scarring. It's devastating on it's own, but to be told they it can just go away and wait patiently for that to happen is not a good mindset. There needs to be some level of acceptance as well as some level of realistic expectations that they can be improved (sometimes significantly), but let's not go around telling people their scars will go away because that happened to you.

On the bright side, treatments for scarring are improving and there's so many options today that make it easier to live with.

If anyone is interested here are some general links on atrophic scars- treatment, aging, expectations on improvement etc. there are a lot of studies/articles on ncbi that are good sources of information.

https://www.healthtap.com/user_questions/1000279

http://www.realself.com/question/acne-pit-scars-acne-scar-removal-treatment

http://dermapproved.com/conditions/atrophic-scars/learn-more

Google "Practical Evaluation and Management of Atrophic Acne Scars", a fantastic article on NCBI with some great information.

I also have had many scars fill in over time. Everyone is different, but it is absurd to state that it is physiologically impossible for scars to heal themselves. Who told you that... a dermatologist? Dermatologists also think that diet has nothing to do with acne... so I wouldn't take anything they say as gospel. I get where you are coming from and agree that people shouldn't count on things getting better on their own, but I know what has happened to my own skin.

It took several years but most of the scarring from my acne in my late teens eventually went away, very gradually, over the course of 4-5 years. Mostly boxcars. They were pretty bad. I also lost a lot of weight over that period, at least 30 pounds, so it wasn't that. I was young and broke and thus never did any kind of treatment for scars. Unfortunately I had a resurgence of breakouts in my late 20s that brought fresh scarring - I do not want to wait for years so will be more aggressive this time.

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Hey, I really appreciate your thoughtful response. Like I said, I agree that people should not just accept their scars to improve. I also agree that there is a ton of misinformation out there, and through debating various points based on evidence (whether scientific papers on specific topics, foundational science, or anecdotes), we can get one step closer to the truth. I am not a doctor and have no specific medical training, but I work in field that requires deep research and deductive analysis, which has aided me in my quest to learn more about acne and other health conditions.

Nothing in the links you posted suggests that collagen synthesis just magically stops in acne-scarred tissues. I am highly skeptical that this would be the case. I am also highly skeptical that many treatments only work through tightening the skin. The following excerpt is from a study that was published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment. It clearly shows that Fraxel drove an increase in collagen synthesis. That is why they work in wrinkles as well - wrinkles are driven by age-related collagen loss. Lasers and other interventions stimulate collagen synthesis. Yes, they are crude in many ways, which is why they don't work perfectly.

Four weeks after the final treatment, the mean overall improvement in objective grade was 2.0 when the Fraxel SR 750 was employed and 2.9 when the Fraxel SR 1500 was used. Confocal microscopy revealed an increase in procollagen-1 in dermis, with no difference or a slight increase in the levels of elastin and MMP-1. Side effects were minimal.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20653485

The following excerpt is from Medscape, which is a reference resource for physicians. It states that collagen is synthesized and remodeled over time, but never regaining the perfection of the original tissue. This entry is not directed at acne scarring per se, but logically the same biological mechanisms should be at play, taking into account a greater degree of initial collagen loss (pitting) which is driven by the inflammation and resulting cytokines.

When the normal collagen in our tissues is injured and replaced by scar collagen, the connective tissue does not regain this highly organized structure. That is why scar collagen is always weaker than the original collagen. The maximum regain in tensile strength of scar collagen is about 70 to 80 percent of the original.[24] Collagen synthesis and remolding (see below) continue at the wound site long after the injury. The body is constantly trying to remodel the scar collagen to achieve the original collagen ultrastructure that was present before the injury. This remodeling involves ongoing collagen synthesis and collagen degradation. Anything that interferes with protein synthesis will cause the equilibrium to shift, and collagen degradation will be greater than collagen synthesis.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/423231_2

I also do think that some holistic remedies can work, to the extent that they have a basis in science. The water fasting that you mention certainly carries many risks of its own risks, but there is some evidence that it works. Some likely pathways would be i) increased hGH secretion which has been shown to occur during fasting ii) reduced cytokine-derived factors such as IL-1 and TNF-a which reduce collagen synthesis and perhaps iii) reabsorption and remodeling of scar tissue due to autophagy (basically, during periods of protein restriction, your body looks for damaged cells to recycle protein).

The following study demonstrated that fasting mice showed greater collagen synthesis and wound healing.

http://www.woundsresearch.com/article/influence-short-term-repeated-fasting-skin-wound-healing-female-mice

There are many holistic remedies that are complete zeroes as well. My point is that there are rarely conclusive answers when it comes to health-related topics. The body is very complex and modern science's grasp is only cursory at best.

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