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Perseverant25 08-11-2003 10:30 PM

any help for ice pick scars??????
I know this topic is redundant, but I am so frustrated right now. I have to accept that these scars are never going to go away and just get them out of my mind!

They just make my complexion so ruddy and some times I get so down about this.

What can I do about these scars? They are medium in depth. Retin-A-micro seems to hide them a little bit but then it makes my face all dry and flaky and I can't wear make-up.

Do you know of what surgery can help this? I don't really know what excision is but it sounds scary.. also I have a lot and I don't know if they are severe enough for that. I think the only thing to do would be to do a deep CO2 laser on my cheeks but I'm worried about all the side-effects.

I'm 19 and really willing to take the chances to undergo a more serious operation. So much of my thoughts and energy are consumed in angst about my complexion, about what my future WOULD have been like had I prevented this from happening. For whatever disfunctional reasons, these scars prevent me from participating in youthful activities and make my future look very bleak.

Any suggestions about ways to reduce these horrible scars would be much appreciated!!!!! Especially about lasers, etc.

Also, this is my first long rant. Thanks for reading. :)

fm5 08-12-2003 09:27 AM

Short of going to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist, try Mederma.

I have had a scar on the bridge of my nose since childhood from an accident. I am now trying Mederma and it seems to be softening it.

livenlearn 08-12-2003 09:34 AM

unfortunately, there's nothing that competely takes them away.... there are, however, techniques used by plastic surgeons that make them "less noticable".... microdermabrasion... chemical peels... or more extreme laser surgery..... all of these are a type of resurfacing the skin.... soo... to take a less extreme approach... i would try something with glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin.... the retin-a was on the right track... and if you use it everyday, once the initial peeling is out of the way .. it does really make your skin look better....

i use 10% glycolic acid daily.... Alpha Hydrox AHA enhanced creme... it's oil free, ... i've been using it everyday for probably over a year.... and i've noticed an improvement in scars... pretty significant too.... something i read about "curing" acne and scars was exfoliation and benzoil peroxide.... funny, i've been using that theory for a long time (before i even read about it)... and i'm 100% clear, and my scars have diminished..... worth trying.. if anything the exfoliation is going to make your skin look much healthier... just be patient with it.... and you're young... chances are doing this now is going to make your skin look much better in the long run.....

Perseverant25 08-14-2003 12:09 AM

Thanks for caring.. Yeah, scars suck and I'm still in the process of accepting them. My friends try to be nice and pretend like they don't exist, but they don't realize that the pain my complexion causes me can be intolerable.

I have a question about TCA peels as a treatment for ice pick scars. I came across a thread on an Acne site about how a TCA is a promising treatment for ice pick scars. It is performed by a Dr. Rappaport in NJ who seems to push the TCA into the scar (I dont know all the details) but a linked article about it made it look really promising, and it is filled with before/after photos that are some of the best I've seen.

Have any of you heard about this? (It seems that when TCA peels are mentioned on this board, they are categorized as similar to mild glycolic acid peels)

Also, I've done a lot of microdermabrasion and I've concluded that it is definitely not strong enough to penetrate these scars. It does help keep the zits away though..

I'm going home from college next week and I'm going to set up some consultations with different doctors. I want to know what the next step up from microdermabrasion is to irradicate scarring. Glycolic acid peels? Smoothbeam?

Its sad that I'm not a strong enough person to accept my fate, but oh well, I'm going to keep trying..

[This message has been edited by Perseverant25 (edited 08-14-2003).]

jen56 08-14-2003 10:02 AM

Laser is not for use for ice pick scars, it works better for rolling or box type scarring. In fact, CO2 can make your ice pick more noticeable. FOr that matter Chemical Peels will do nothing for your ice pick scars unless they are extremely shallow. I have had both procedures and several chemical peels and it just doesnt go deep enough.

The best procedure is to have punch grafting or excision and then resurfacing. It will leave tiny hairline scars, so wont work that great for all over ice pick scars. But if you have some that are worse than others I would try that.

I have also had punch excision and grafting, didnt work so good for me. It does however help others. Unfortunately acne prone skin tends to not heal as welll and therefore my graft died.

I also tried collagen in some of my tiny ice pick scars and that didnt work either.

It really depends on how deep your ice pick scars are, dermabrasion for example can make your ice pick scars larger. When the top layer of skin is sanded off it reveals the deeper scar layers. Sometimes scars are wider under the deeper tissues that you cant see with the naked eye.

I am not trying to scare you, you just need to be informed. I would go to a cosmetic dermatologist and ask their opionion. I think they are by far better than regular dermatologists and plastic surgeons, just because they have the experience of facial surgery while understanding the certain dynamics of different skin types.

Good luck!! :wave:

Perseverant25 08-14-2003 06:49 PM

Thanks so much for your advice. I've read some of your posts and you seem to have a lot of experience with different scar treatments. I'll definitely keep in mind that punch excision is your vote as the best bet for ice picks.

I wasn't aware of the distinction between cosmetic dermatologists/regular dermatologists/plastic surgeons- I will try to find out who is what when I make consultations..

Lastly, I still need to get my acne gone for good. My breakouts of subsided a lot, but my scars have become dramatically more noticeable and occasionally I still get large cysts on my cheeks that are the stupid cause of this in the first place.

I saw a beautiful girl on campus today with large scars on her cheeks and she seemed perfectly happy and confident (even though that doesn't always mean they are) Anyways it made me very happy.

Thanks again. I will keep you posted on any option that I undergo.

Hopetimistic 08-18-2003 03:37 PM


I have been using salisylic acid exfoliant (2%) from skinbio website along with their copper peptide serum for about 2 months now, and am much impressed with the results. My acne scars have already diminished by about 5-10%, which keeps me going.

I have also been using a face wipe containing glycolic acid. But I have decided to use a stronger percentage of glycolic acid to try to speed up the process, and have recently purchased some.

All the Best.

The above is only my Personal Humble Opinion, Folks.

I am no expert on these matters. Please consult the experts, and seek the advice of others as well.

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