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The Refine Technique
Excision for Ice Pick and Boxcar Acne Scars
Ice Pick acne scars are narrow and deep and appear as small holes in the skin. Similarly, Boxcar acne scars are deep but much wider than an ice pick scar. Excising, or cutting out, these scars is the best treatment. At The Acne Scar Center, we call this our Refine technique.
The Refine is performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient office-based setting. The goal is to replace the existing acne scar with a better scar that is flat and narrow. Once fully healed, the new scar is virtually invisible.
The Refine Procedure
Before the procedure, detailed photographs are taken and reviewed with the patient. Together with Dr. Sadove, the scars to be removed are identified and marked for treatment.
The area is anesthetized and each scar is excised in the appropriate manner, either with a punch biopsy or ellipse technique, just a few millimeters bigger than the scar. Careful thought is given to determine the best orientation for the new scar.
One to three, very fine sutures are used to close the excision using plastic surgery technique to ensure the best possible scar once healed.
Acne Scar Excision Recovery
After treatment, patients may experience minor swelling and redness at the excision sites for a few days. The fine sutures will be removed after 5 or 6 days.
Pain is usually minimal and easily managed with Tylenol.
The healing process continues over several weeks as the visible redness resolves, but full maturity of the excision sites can take 6 or more months.
Can Fillers or Lasers Fix Ice Pick or Boxcar Scars?
Unlike our Rewind procedure, injections of fat or other filler material are not a good option for the treatment of ice pick or boxcar acne scars. injections offer little to no improvement due to the tight adhesion of the underlying scar.
Similarly, laser & peels cannot get rid of ice pick scars or boxcar scars because they only treat the surface of the skin and cannot reach the depth of the scar.