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surfergirl123

Light Ice pick scarring treatments? *pics*

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Just trying to sort out my options.

so far, by searching the forum, i have learned that

-laser does not work for ice pick scars

-dermarollers are an option (i really dont see how these are helpful though)

-tca peel helps?

-punch excision can help but is dangerous.

so i am determined to get my old skin back no matter what it takes. what treatment can help me do this? are my above conclusions correct? please expand on them.

i am 16 years old and will be 17 in june and got over a case of cystic acne in December. i am planning to treat the scars over the summer.

right now, my face is completely clear except i have pigmentation (red marks) and ice pick scars and one rolling scar on my cheek. it is not bad if you look at my face as a whole but up close i dont like how it looks.

i am currently using tazorac.

PLEASE help me if you are knowledgeable on this topic!! thank you!

Edited by surfergirl123

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the only way to get rid of them completely is punch excision

because the diameter of the icepick is so small, it should heal well, so it probably isn't as risky for icepicks as it is for other types of scarring

if you want safer methods, then TCA CROSS (not peel), or phenol spot application would help (tca cross and phenol spot application is basically using a toothpick .. dab it in acid, and then poke into your holes, tca being trichloroacetic acid, whereas phenol is phenol acid)

in my opinion, the only way i'd ever be satisfied with icepick scars would be if they were completely gone, so personally, i'd just go for punch excision

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If they're light icepick scars, I wouldn't opt for punch excision. That's definitely more for deeper scars. If you want to leave a possible worse scar behind in place of a light icepick scar, then you can listen to Brawn. But Brawn and some other dude on this board have been raving about how excision is the "answer for every scar except rolling". "If you want to be SCARLESS go for excision". :rolleyes: PLEASE. If excision was the answer, don't you think everyone (aside from those with rolling scars) would be scarless? What about the ones on this board that went for excision and ended up with a worse scar? I have more to say about that, but, rant over.

I would go for TCA Cross, at least to try BEFORE excision. I wouldn't start out with the 100% since it's light scarring. It'd be more helpful if you posted a pic. Maybe you can use 50% on one and see how it responds. Make sure you read up on it thoroughly. There's a 50-something? page thread on this board somewhere talking about it. It's not the same as a TCA Peel.. which you might want to consider on doing first since your icepicks are light. They, or some, might be superficial. I did a TCA peel on my forehead and what I thought was a permanent icepick scar on top of my eyebrow is now completely gone.

-- Also when did you get this scarring? You're still young and they could possibly heal on their own, if they're still fairly new.

Edited by Sapphire Lily

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Excision really IS the answer you are looking for, and I think most people are afraid of it because it requires cutting. I know I was hesitant for a long time myself. TCA works in a similar fashion, but instead of cutting out the scar, you are melting it away. It's the choice between playing with acid or a punch tool/scalpel? Your choice, scalpel is a cleaner more controlled method in my opinion. And with excision, it is stitched closed, allowing the wound to heal optimally. With TCA, once you've melted away the scar, it is an open wound, meaning, the health sides are not bought together using stitches, instead it relies heavily on the wound collapsing unto itself in replacement of stitches. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't, but with stitches, you know for sure it works. I liken TCA to excision without the stitches, you melt away the wound and just leave it open, hoping the wound it if it small enough, will fill up with blood and collapse unto itself. Why not just stitch it then? If you don't stitch a wound, you open yourself up to the possibility of indentation and poor results that a stitched incision line would mitigate. Since tension is key, then so is stitches, I'd opt for excision if I were you, because it is the difference between an open wound vs a closed one, the difference between vast improvement vs complete resolution. For all these reasons, TCA works best only on really tiny icepicks because the open wound is so small the tension does not play that big a factor in healing successfully. But whatever therapy you decide, you should try just a small one first.

Look at all the excision failures on this board, they are the ones that opened up due to bad stitching as a result of tension that was not addressed properly. The failures are due to STITCHING and has nothing to do with HEALING, two entirely different things. I wouldn't listen to people who don't understand this very basic concept. And besides, if it opens up again, just re-stitch or re-excise it again, simple. Go to a plastic surgeon, get it stitched properly, get the tension controlled properly, and it won't open up, and if it doesn't open up, chances are, you'll have no issues. If you want proof that it works or have any questions just PM me. Too bad your are all the way in Cali, if you were close to me, I'd be willing to show you the results in person.

Also, check this long 21 page thread from 2003 regarding the numerous successes from numerous forum members who had punch excision done and reported on their amazing progress with photos for months and years. It is really informative and will help you become more informed about the procedure.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/PUNCH-EXC...ICKS-t6590.html

Edited by miramar

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Miramar I think you're not understanding the technique and science behind tca crossing.

You're by any means not 'melting' the scar away and it's not even close of working in the similar fashion as a excision.

With a tca cross or peel, you are creating a shallow burn that will result in the death of tissue in the upper layers of the skin. When this layer falls off the skin will produce new collagen in that area, that collagen production will last for months, slowly filling your scar up with new healty skin. With repeated crosses you will be able to keep collagen building until your scar is filled up.

Tca cross will NOT produce an open wound, I think you should not be telling people stuff like this.

You are giving false information.

Every tca cross study available proofed that tca cross is a very safe method, with no side effects.

I think you should not be convincing every single one on the board into undergoing excisions.

Scar surgery is very invasive, and no matter how you put it, there are risks that things will get worse.

Many people on this board had negative expiriences with excisions and punch techniques.

I'm not saying those treatments are bad, not at all, if done correctly I believe it can work very well.

Point is that there are less invasive and safer treatments that can be tried first, so please stay with the facts if you're informing people about treatments and techniques.

People read this and make wrong decisions based on false information, this is not a good thing.

I read your topic about scar treaments and this topic is also full of false information and personal opinions instead of facts.

I'm sure your intentions are good, and you're triying to help people, but please understand the danger of informing people wrong on this board.

I think the moderators should do something about this.

I believe your very knowledgeable about excision techniques, but I also believe you're showing a lack of knowledge in other areas about other treatments.

Please stick to the facts, so people can decide whats best for their situation.

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Thank you all for your input and sharing your knowledge. i really do appreciate it!

so, my options are basically -punch excision and -tca cross

Edited by surfergirl123

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If they're light icepick scars, I wouldn't opt for punch excision. That's definitely more for deeper scars. If you want to leave a possible worse scar behind in place of a light icepick scar, then you can listen to Brawn. But Brawn and some other dude on this board have been raving about how excision is the "answer for every scar except rolling". "If you want to be SCARLESS go for excision". :rolleyes: PLEASE. If excision was the answer, don't you think everyone (aside from those with rolling scars) would be scarless? What about the ones on this board that went for excision and ended up with a worse scar? I have more to say about that, but, rant over.

I would go for TCA Cross, at least to try BEFORE excision. I wouldn't start out with the 100% since it's light scarring. It'd be more helpful if you posted a pic. Maybe you can use 50% on one and see how it responds. Make sure you read up on it thoroughly. There's a 50-something? page thread on this board somewhere talking about it. It's not the same as a TCA Peel.. which you might want to consider on doing first since your icepicks are light. They, or some, might be superficial. I did a TCA peel on my forehead and what I thought was a permanent icepick scar on top of my eyebrow is now completely gone.

-- Also when did you get this scarring? You're still young and they could possibly heal on their own, if they're still fairly new.

yeah the punch excision sounds pretty risky.

but to answer your question, i got the scarring from a case of cystic acne that got under control in december. Now, my face is very smooth and i dont feel any bumps, but in light, you can see small ice picks on my face. i am 16 and would like to be rid of this problem because im not handling it very well, as most can understand. i dont think the scars are likely to go away when then are indented like mine though. they arent bad ice picks but they are noticeable in certain light angle.

i do have hyperpigmentation also so i was hoping the tca would help with that as well. im planning to try the tca cross method first before lasers and surgeries but i dont want to cause any further damage.

Thank you for replying!

should i post a pic of my skin?

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yes, please post a clear closeup of your skin

and yes, i would recommend going for tca cross first and leaving excision to the end

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okay here are some pics! please let me know what are my best options to eliminate these scars!

also, my doc said that i should do laser and not chemical peels b/c he said many people react differently to chemical peels? but most people on here say they help a lot. so im confused. also, he said i do NOT have ice pick scars. but im positive i do! am i crazy?

pics gone

Edited by surfergirl123

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Wow, I have almost the same scarring except I also have deep boxcars+rolling scars. In the mirror I find its really easy to see the top layer of skin and the damage that's been done to it. But I think what you'll find is that a lot of them are so shallow that the skin repairs the big red marks or at least makes them look A LOT better. What I've been doing is taking vit c 500mg x2 a day+zinc+fish oil just before bed and applying retinol (now I'm using bio oil, I think it has the retinol ingredient in it) your skin looks bad mostly because of the hyperpigmentation which, correct me if I'm wrong is the blood vessels working at the site of the damage which heal the wound.

I think tca cross on the icepicks is the way to go, I've also been wondering how effective a tca peel would be, how shallow would the indent have to be for it to work?

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you don't have ice picks, you have... very small scars, i guess they're called "saucers"

definitely don't do excision for these as they are not serious enough

just go with tca cross first

laser and a tca peel afterwards to compliment the results

Edited by Brawn

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thank u for the replies. so is my doctor wrong to have me start out with laser? he says chemical peels are not good bc people react differently, but overall they seem to help the people on this website.

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chemical peels have a wide range of strengths

for example, a phenol peel (also known as a deep chemical peel) is the strongest and produces the most results, but is also the riskiest

lasers also have a range of "strengths"

weaker lasers, such as non-ablative erbium-based lasers would probably be less risky than some stronger chemical peels

but stronger lasers, such as ablative CO2 lasers, like the Fraxel Repair (the current strongest laser available) would definitely be much more risky

anyway, i actually don't know what your doctor means by chemical peels being more risky, usually it's the lasers that are considered more risky

chemical peels are usually well tolerated and some can even be done at home. perhaps your doctor was thinking only of the phenol peel. but regardless, a tca peel is considered safe, and if you want, you could even have the doctor do a test spot

tca cross is a spot application of high concentration tca (a tca peel uses much lower concentrations). because it is only applied to a spot, the risks are low. for tca cross, the doctor uses a toothpick, dabs it in the acid, and then pokes your scar. this is much more effective for individual scars than a full face tca peel

if you imagine a ratio of effectiveness to risks, i would imagine that tca cross would have a higher ratio than laser

i believe that tca cross is much more effective than a weak laser, and the risk associated with it could even be less, and even if it were more, it would only be a tiny bit more

actually, tca cross could even be more effective than a strong laser, but because it's only a spot application treatment, it's not very useful for larger areas

again, the doctor can do a tca cross test spot to see how your skin reacts

all in all, i think most people here would agree that tca cross is your best bet

i would also recommend a tca peel or a weak laser to shrink your pores

Edited by Brawn

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yeah, the reviews for tca peel got much higher rating than the fractional lasers.

do you think that a tca peel would get rid of my hyperpigmentation?

also, i dont even know if my dermatologist knows what TCA Cross is. lol

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hyperpigmentation goes away by itself

but the tca peel would help speed it up

good luck :)

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moderate hyperpigmentation doesnt just go away by itself. It's a side effect left from many lasers that is as permanent as many scars.

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Your biggest issue right now is hyperpigmentation, so I would look at our forum on red marks here and get some more information about possible treatments.

I would not do TCA cross or excision for sure at this point. Start with light to moderate peels. Then once your red marks are gone, you can treat individual scars with TCA cross. Most doctors will always push lasers because it is in their best interest.

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you don't have ice picks, you have... very small scars, i guess they're called "saucers"

definitely don't do excision for these as they are not serious enough

just go with tca cross first

laser and a tca peel afterwards to compliment the results

Do you mean the red marks aren't icepicks?

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you don't have ice picks, you have... very small scars, i guess they're called "saucers"

definitely don't do excision for these as they are not serious enough

just go with tca cross first

laser and a tca peel afterwards to compliment the results

Do you mean the red marks aren't icepicks?

your red marks are hyperpigmentation, the "red" kind

you have no ice picks at all, search "ice pick scars" on google images to see what they look like

if the red marks are your main concern, then the best way to get rid of them is MUAC's 25% mandelic acid

if the 25% is too high, then go with Garden of Wisdom's lower concentration mandelic acid solutions

there's no reason not to undergo tca cross while you have the red marks on your face (other than if you fear having a few more red marks on your face)

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I don't worry about hypergimentation because it goes away eventually, I think its best to let the body heal naturally. But my scars are a lot like the girls scars, aren't some of them ice picks?

http://s251.photobucket.com/albums/gg298/s...nt=IMG_2498.jpg

A few inches across from the lips, they look like ice picks. I really hope tca cross will work on these, I have the same scarring :(

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the red marks are hyperpigmentation.

also, should i continue using tazorac and get a chemical peel at the same time? is there a certain amount of time you have to wait to clear up scars? i thought it was just when you have almost no pimples. should i wait? (i have no pimples at the moment, only red marks and scars)

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it should be fine to continue tazorac throughout the treatment

and no, you shouldn't wait, you have no pimples, this is the perfect time

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I just looked at your pictures and skimmed through the replies after my comment.

I'm not surprised at your dermatologist trying to sell laser to you. That's what most dermatologists do for acne scarring, all for the money. And most of the time the money ends up not being worth it in the end. I'm sorry to say, true pitted acne scars are not an easy thing to get rid of.

Looking at your pictures, I see what you mean when you say icepick scarring. But they look more like scarred pores than icepicks. Scarred pores are probably even easier to treat with TCA Cross. I got a lot of my scarred pores from using Tazorac. :doh:

You also have a lot of hyperpigmentation which will fade slowly in time. Your skin is still healing. Try a few peels to help get rid of the redness. You'll find your skin/scars looking much better once all the redness subsides. If your skin is too sensitive for peels, try an AHA lotion/cream instead.

BTW, it's advised you stop the use of Tazorac or any exfoliation product a week or so before and after doing a peel.

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