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These are at­rophic scars. They oc­cur when you lose skin tis­sue and your body can’t re­gen­er­ate it, so you’re left with a de­pres­sion. They of­ten stem from a bad case of acne or chicken pox— or hav­ing an ab­nor­mal mole re­moved. ERASE THEM Get­ting rid of these dents de­pends on the at­rophic mark you have. Ice pick scars, which are small, deep, and nar­row, are typ­i­cally treated by cut­ting them out. “There are ver­ti­cal bands of scar tis­sue an­chored to the bot­tom of the scar, con­nect­ing it to deeper parts of the skin,” says Den­nis Gross, M.D., a der­ma­tol­o­gist in New York City. Your doc­tor will numb the area, cut around and re­move the scar, and close the in­ci­sion with a sin­gle stitch. But here’s the catch: This pro­ce­dure will leave a scar. “You’re trad­ing an ice pick scar for a nice flat scar,” Dr. Gross says. You can also in­ject the scar with a filler, such as Ju­vé­derm or Belotero Bal­ance. “This will help fill the ‘pit,’ ” says plas­tic sur­geon Sachin M. Shrid­ha­rani, M.D., founder of Lux­u­rgery in New York City. “But the filler will last for only six to 12 months.” De­pend­ing on how many scars you have, filler typ­i­cally starts from RM2,000. Box­car scars have steep, de­fined bor­ders and a flat bot­tom. One treat­ment is sub­ci­sion (From RM450 at Pre­miere Clinic) which in­volves pop­ping the scarred skin back up with a nee­dle so the area is no longer de­pressed. This costs around RM600-RM900), de­pend­ing on the size, and you could have some bruis­ing for about a week.

An­other op­tion: ab­la­tive lasers (mean­ing that they cause dam­age to the sur­faceof skin) called CO or er­bium, “which can give you great re­sults,” Dr. Gross says. They both work by mak­ing holes in the scar tis­sue to in­duce new col­la­gen for­ma­tion. Most peo­ple need three treat­ments. Lasers can hurt, but a numb­ing cream takes the edge off. “And you’ll have some red­ness and crust­ing for up to 10 days if you had a CO treat­ment or up to seven in the case of er­bium,” Dr. Mad­fes says.

The last at­rophic scar, a rolling scar, is broad and crater­like with rolling edges. “CO or er­bium lasers are of­ten used when the scar­ring is se­vere, but if scar­ring is more su­per­fi­cial, fraxel or pi­cosec­ond lasers can be ef­fec­tive,” Dr. Shrid­ha­rani says. These non­ab­la­tive lasers work by tight­en­ing skin and stim­u­lat­ing col­la­gen growth. Since they don’t per­fo­rate the skin, you’ll just have some tem­po­rary red­ness, and they cost about the same as the CO and er­bium.

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