25 yr old Asian female. Ice pick acne scars on both of my cheeks. Can you suggest a suitable treatment for my skin type? (photo)

I read somewhere that Fractional laser doesn't work on ice pick scars, is that true? I have light brown skin tone. I have attached the zoomed in pictures of photo of my cheeks. Also, how much improvement can I expect from the treatment?

Doctor Answers 3

TCA then INFINI RF with PRP- see below for explanation.

In your case, TCA will be advisable. 100% chance of PIH or skin colour changes that may last for 3-6 months. This is a given with your skin type. You trade scars for temporary discolouration. You may need 2 to 3 sessions every 5-8 weeks. Then I would transition you to INFINI RF with PRP. This should improve your scars by 50 - 70%. If your scars are then shallow enough, fully ablative erbium followed by Picosure Focus to reduce skin colour changes can improve things further. For proper scar revision, give this project one year. 

Acne scar revision is a specialised field. For the best results, one should target the acne scar type with ideal treatments. For example deep ice pick scars, and narrow box car scars can be treated with TCA CROSS peels, mixed scars, rolling, and atrophic scars treated with fractional devices such as Fraxel, fractional lasers, PRP and INFINI radiofrequency. Atrophic scars (depressions) can be treated with either fat grafts, or with HA dermal fillers. Tethered and anchored scars are best treated with surgery.

The majority of patients will have a collection of different scar types, and hence a tailored treatment METHOD will be best. Careful examination, especially under angled lighting with scar mapping will give you an understanding of what are the best options for your scars.

All the best,

Dr Davin Lim.

Laser, surgical & aesthetic dermatologist.

Brisbane, Australia.

All the best,

Dr Davin Lim

Laser, surgical and aesthetic dermatologist Brisbane, Australia 


Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Appropriate Acne Treatment For Your Skin Type

Treatment options for your acne scarring include microneedling and a variety of laser resurfacing modalities.  Acne scars are stubborn and a realistic expectation would be 30-50% improvement with treatment.  Asian skin can be extra sensitive to treatment so it would be prudent to see a Board certified specialist who has experience with your skin type.

Douglas Wu, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Treating acne scars

I like the Infini over fractional laser resurfacing. It treats all types of acne scars. Ice pick scars can also be treated using TCA cross technique. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

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