How to Treat Chicken Pox Scars
When an adult or a child catches chicken pox for the first time, in most cases the illness passes without any lasting issues, but the illness does have the potential to cause some very serious side effects and problems. One of the post-illness symptoms that a person can have after chicken pox is residual scarring which can be similar to acne scarring for example.
What causes Chicken Pox Scars?
Chicken pox scars are caused through inflammation of the skin caused by chicken pox itself or from the individual scratching the chicken pox blisters, which can be itchy. The temptation to scratch the chicken pox blister is quite hard to resist, especially for many young children who catch the illness. In addition to this, in an adult chicken pox can present itself in a more severe way so this too is another reason scarring may be more likely to occur.
Treatment for chicken pox scarring can be done in a similar way to the treatment that is used for some forms of acne scarring. Typically, chicken pox scars will form as depressions within the skin and the way this needs to be treated is to use a methodology which can help reverse these sunken depressions. One way this can be done is by using a treatment called Subcision (also known as: Subcutaneous Incisional Surgery).
How does Subcision work?
The way that Subcision works is that a needle is injected into the skin where the scar occurs, and the needle is manipulated within the skin which helps to displace the scar tissue. This displacement helps promote new growth of collagen within the skin which can help reduce the appearance of the depression or scar. The overarching goal of Subcision is to help break up the fibrotic strands, which fix the scar material of the subcutaneous tissue in place within the skin. By breaking these strands, promoting collagen regrowth, the appearance of the scar can be improved.
Subcision can help with chicken pox scars but it does normally require a few treatments (between three and six sessions) for it to work fully. These will need to be spaced out four to six weeks apart to allow for the healing of the skin and regrowth of the collagen.
Some additional treatments using dermal fillers may be used at the same time to help reduce the appearance of the scarring further, but it should be noted that these are generally temporary solutions and will require further treatments in the future to maintain the appearance. These can be a good option when combined with a more long-term solution such as Subcision.
After the Subcision treatment has been completed there may still be some minor scarring displayed on the individual, but at this stage some other treatments such as laser resurfacing can potentially be used to further improve the condition of the skin.
For more information about procedures to treat chicken pox scars, please contact us online to make an appointment or call 212 535 3088. Dr. Michele S. Green is based in the Upper East Side of NYC and provides a range of dermatology and cosmetic procedures to patients.