Treatment for Facial Chicken Pox Scars?

What is the best treatment for depressed facial chickenpox scars in adults? How long after their formation is the best time to seek treatment?

Doctor Answers 7

Microneedling is a Good Chickenpox Scar Treatment

Dermaroller micro needling is a great way to even out any depressed chicken pox scars. We see many teens and adults in my practice with the same concerns. 2-4 treatments may be required to achieve the best results. It is best you consult a medical professional to asses these scars. Length of the roller needles will also be recommended to you at that time.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Chicken Pox Scars Respond Well To A Variety of Techniques--Punch, Scarabrasion, Subcision, Medical Microneedling

The size depth of chicken pox scars are important factors in deciding which techniques or combination of therapies is best for improving their appearance.

Small chicken pox scars can be treated by a method known as punch excision, in which the area is anesthetized locally and the scar punched out with a cookie cutter-like instrument and sutured closed with very fine suture material that is removed in just a few days to minimize the risk for the development of stitch tracks.

Alternatively, they may be treated by punch elevation, in which the scar is anesthetized locally, and once again punched out. However, instead of completely removing the scar, the scar is lifted up to the slightly above the skin surface, fixed in place, akin to plugging the hole with the scar itself. When healed the area may then be treated with manual dermabrasion or dermaplaning to smooth and blend the plug with the surrounding normal skin. Sometimes, once the scar is punched out, a plug taken from the normal skin behind the ear is used instead to fill the hole, a variation of the above known as punch-grafting. 

For larger chicken pox scars, I prefer a combined approach consisting of subcision followed by medical microneedling. The subcision, which is performed under local, entails using a needle inserted under the scar to break up the abnormally thick bands of fibrous tissue--allowing the overlying freed tissue to "float" to the surface. This can be followed with manual (Dermaroller) or motorized (Dermapen) medical microneedling to better blend the somewhat abnormal-appearing surface skin of the scar.  

In my experience, except for the most superficial scarring, resurfacting procedures used alone, whether  laser, traditional dermabrasion or chemical peels do not yield significant estheitc benefit. 

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Chicken pox scars

The best treatment for the scars depends on the size and depth of the scar. Some severe scars are best treated my excision while others will show marked improvement with ablative laser resurfacing treatment. The scars should be mature and pale in color before optimum therapy.

Gary Hall, MD (retired)
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Fillers, subcision, laser, etc

It really depends on your scars and the amount of scarring. Single scars can be easily excised, whilst hundreds of scars are best treated non - surgically. Find a video on just one of the ways i treat chicken pox scars. 

All the best

Dr Davin Lim
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Best treatment for chicken pox scars

We agree with Dr. Hall and would suggest the following possible solutions:

  • CO2 Laser Resurfacing
  • Erbium Laser Resurfacing
  • Excision (surgical removal)
  • Dermabrasion

Go to several consultations to get differing opinions for what might work best in your situation. Good luck.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Chicken pox scar

I need to see and evaluate the scars to determine the best treatment modality for it.  Experience treating scars is paramount.  I have written the chapter on scars and scars revisions in Plastic Surgery text that every single US plastic surgeon need to read prior to graduating from their program.  Hope that helps lead you to better decision on how to proceed.

Afshin Farzadmehr, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Laser Treatments for Chicken Pox Scarring

Many different types of scarring can occur from chicken pox and acne. So the surgical or laser approach may vary depending on the nature of the scar. In general, fractionated laser resurfacing does a nice job improving scarring over a series of treatments. Keep in mind, however, lasers are not erasers.

Keith Llewellyn, MD
Santa Barbara Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.