Ask a Dermatologist Free: Ice Pick Acne Scars

ask a dermatologist free

Dear Doctor

I have a BIG problem on my face. I used to have lots of pimples and now its less.

I am 28 years old. Now I have got so many holes on my face and black marks on my face, i am really disappointed with regards to this issues.

Please help me. How am I suppose to close these holes and clear my face completely?

ask a dermatologist free

Dear Patient

The holes on your face are known as Ice Pick Acne Scars and they can be quite challenging to close completely.  can be treated as follows:

However, their treatment is as follows:

At Home Treatment of Ice Pick Acne Scars

Mild Chemical Peels

Mild chemical peels with glycolic acid can be used to treat ice pick scars that are not very deep.

Glycolic acid is a naturally occurring alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) which loosens the glue that holds dead cells on the surface of the skin together. By exfoliating this top layer it makes the scars less apparent and gives the skin a smoother, more youthful appearance. 30% Glycolic acid peels can be bought over the counter and used at home. The effects may not be fully visible until they are used for around 9 months.

Skin Needling

Skin needling is a procedure which involves running a Derma Roller or skin roller with tiny needles over the skin. It stimulates collagen production, improves the skin’s elasticity and gives the skin a smoother appearance. It also improves the penetration of skin care products.

acne scar treatment

Dermatologist Treatment of Ice Pick Acne Scars

Dermatologists use many different techniques to treat ice pick acne scars. These include:


Punch excision involves removing the scar surgically and suturing the wound. The scar can also be removed surgically and the wound grafted with skin from another part of your body in punch excision and grafting.


Subcision involves separating the upper layer of the skin from the underlying scar tissue. It breaks the scar tissue and promotes collagen growth.

Ablative Lasers

Ablative laser treatment can be used to treat acne scars. They are usually combined with other methods like punch excision and subcision.

Cross Technique

The Cross method involves spot application of a strong chemical peel known as trichloracetic acid (TCA) to the scar. This stimulates collagen growth which helps fill in the scar depression.

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