Chickenpox scar treatment
Chickenpox scarring is extremely common, affecting 90% of individuals. The earlier you have chickenpox, the milder the scarring. Chickenpox that occurs in adult life will often result in moderate-to-severe scarring. This is one of the most difficult types of scarring to remove; however, Dr Davin Lim has his own unique way of subcision together with dermal buffering to treat this condition. In most cases, two treatment sessions will yield at least a 60% improvement in chickenpox scarring. Two other treatments include subcision combined with energy based microneedling and subcision with PRP.
What causes chickenpox scarring?
The chickenpox lesion itself is due to a virus, which is related to cold sores. When we have chickenpox in our younger years, our body’s immune system is strong and hence, skin repair usually occurs without significant scarring. In some situations, when we have chickenpox in our older years, scarring can be significant. This is due to marked inflammation in the skin, which ruptures the organisation of collagen in the organised dermal layers. This results in a depressed and often anchored scar, much like an acne scar; however, unlike acne scarring, chickenpox scars are often geographical or round.
What treatments are available for chickenpox scars?
Until recently, most treatments were unsuccessful. Certainly microneedling, fractionated lasers and PRP have all been described. However, treatment rates are often dismal, multiple treatments are needed and improvement is minimal. This is due to the fact that the scars are often anchored into the deepest layers of your skin.
How do I treat chickenpox scars?
I use a special method of subcision using a 25-gauge needle that is horizontally introduced for chickenpox scar treatment. Once I breakdown the scar, using a method of subcision, namely with three to four passes, I then introduce a buffer. This buffer is made out of HA or hyaluronic acid. This is a sugar molecule, which is formed naturally in your body but synthetically manufactured. This buffer acts to give a spacer between the upper layer of skin and the lower dermal scar. Once the scar is treated, the bonds do not form and hence, the scars raise. Realistically, two treatments will yield at least a 50% improvement. The second method of chicken pox scar treatment is with subcision and PRP. This can give good results, but I personally prefer the buffer method. Finally if dermal scarring is extensive, I use both subcision and an energy based microneedling RF system called INFINI RF. This form of chickenpox scar treatment is reserved for bound down scars that are resistant to buffer subcision methods.
Can chickenpox scars be totally removed?
Realistically, the answer is no. At most, I can give a 90% to 95% improvement. This is after multiple treatments using this procedure. I also do introduce the use of RF microneedling together with PRP or fractional CO2 laser to stimulate collagen and buffer the edges.
How much is chickenpox scar treatment?
This will vary depending on the number of chickenpox scars you have and the complexity. Treatments start from $990 ranging to $1400. In some situations, it is covered under Medicare under the scar revision rule. If I were to use microneedling and fractional laser treatments, no Medicare rebate is applicable. I will discuss with you in detail what is appropriate and legal to claim through Medicare and what is not. The most reliable method of chickenpox scar treatment, in my hands, is the subcision and buffer filler method. Note- Medicare rebates only apply for scar revision on the face if this procedure is performed by a Dermatologist or Plastic surgeon – namely Specialists. Scar revision performed by cosmetic GPs do not carry a Medicare rebate. For more information on the differences between Specialist and Cosmetic Physicians, ask your GP for advice.
Can chicken pox scar treatment be done on the same day?
Yes. Typically, in a given week, I will see at least five to seven cases, usually from all around Australia. My procedure of chickenpox scar removal is successful and to date, I have seen longevity all the way up to three years and beyond. No formal studies have been completed; however, I am planning to publish a paper in the next few years when all my data has been collected.
How do I book in for chickenpox scar treatment?
Call reception on (07) 3871 3437 to book an appointment with Dr Davin Lim. It is essential that you have a referral from a GP as Dr Davin Lim is a Board Certified Dermatologist. This will enable you to claim part of the consultation cost. In most situations Dr Lim can perform scar treatments on the same day. Chickenpox scar treatments can take as little as 2 minutes to revise a few scars, all the way to 30 minutes for extremely severe chickenpox scars- acne scars.
Dr Davin Lim and his opinion on chickenpox scar revision.
This is a common condition, which can be devastating in adults. Chickenpox scarring can even be worse than acne scarring, as the scars are often deeper and geographical in distribution. Until now, lasers and microneedling were unsuccessful; however, my technique of horizontal dermal subcision together with buffer filler has proved to be extremely successful. Expect to improve by up to 60% with just two treatments. To date, my data collection only expands to three years; however, I do expect that this will be a long-lasting procedure due to the fact that subcision breaks down the bonds which hold down the chickenpox scar, as well as stimulate collagen production. The tiniest use of a filler acts as a buffer so that the scars do not rejoin. This coupled with CO2 laser resurfacing can also stimulate further collagen production over time. The advantage of this treatment is that it has virtually no downtime and side effects are exceedingly rare. Extreme caution must be taken to fill chickenpox scars in the forehead area, as this area is rich in blood vessels. Two other techniques I use include PRP (this is done if patients are allergic to fillers). PRP is not as good a filler as it is more fluid, this means that your chicken pox scars can rejoin back up. The other method I use for very severe bound down chickenpox scars is with microneedling RF or laser based devices like the CO2 laser.
For more on this procedure, my various YouTube videos show the before and after results with angle lighting.