Punch techniques include three different procedures used for the removal of ice pick acne scars, which are similar to deep chicken pox scars. The cost for these punch techniques to be performed is commonly around $50 per punch, and pain is typically minimal with the use of a local anesthetic.
Punch excisions involve using a punch tool, described as similar to a cookie cutter, which ranges from 1.5mm to 3.5mm in diameter. This method of surgically correcting acne scars is used on deep scars such as ice pick and deep boxcar scars. The size of the tool used depends on the size of the scar. Determining the correct size tool will ensure that the wall of the scar is removed as well. Once the scarred area is removed, the edges of the skin are stitched together. The scar(s) that result from this procedure are more likely to fade, becoming less noticeable than the original scar.
Punch grafting is a minor surgical procedure which can be done in combination with punch excision. Following the excision of a scarred skin area, a skin graft, filling the open area with skin removed from a different part of the patient’s body, will be used in the place of a suture. It is common to use skin which has been removed from behind the ear. It may take five to seven days before the bandages may be removed, allowing the area to begin the healing process.
This method is used on deep boxcar scars that have sharp edges and normal appearing bases. In the punch elevation procedure, the same tool used in punch excisions will be used to remove only the base (not the walls) of the scar. This base is then elevated to the skin surface and attached with steri-strips or skin glue. This method reduces the risk of texture or color differences and additional scarring.
Last updated: 01-Sep-09