Chickenpox, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, is a common ailment characterized by itchy red papules that evolve into vesicles. Predominantly appearing on the tummy, back, and face, these blisters usually resolve within one to three weeks. However, they often leave behind scars, particularly on the face, neck, and back. Understanding the causes and treatments of chickenpox scars is crucial for effective management and prevention.
Causes of Chickenpox Scars
The scarring from chickenpox can be attributed to two main factors:
Excessive Scratching: Scratching the blisters leads to deep wounds and, consequently, scar tissue, which is thicker and more noticeable than normal skin.
Skin Inflammation: Inflammation, a typical response to chickenpox, can result in indented scars that are challenging to heal.
Scar Treatment Methods
Treating chickenpox scars is more effective when initiated promptly after the wound heals. The longer a scar remains untreated, the harder it becomes to diminish its appearance.
In Hong Kong LM SKINCENTRE, we have several treatments that have shown promise in reducing the visibility of chickenpox scars:
Subcision: A surgical technique that helps to release the scar tissue.
Dermapen: A microneedling device that can reach up to 3.0mm below the skin surface and promotes scar remodeling.
Fraxel: A form of fractional laser treatment that resurfaces the skin.
Fractional CO2 Laser: A more intense fractional laser treatment that aids in skin resurfacing, more effective for deep chickenpox scar.
Collagen Stimulators (e.g., Juvelook): Products that help in rebuilding the skin’s collagen, thus improving the scar’s depressed appearance.
Preventing severe chickenpox scars is possible with a few proactive steps:
Avoid Scratching: This can be challenging, especially for children, but it’s crucial to prevent long-term scarring.
Early Anti-viral Treatment: Administering antiviral medications at the onset of chickenpox can help in reducing the severity of the outbreak.
Antihistamines: Over-the-counter antihistamines can alleviate itchiness, reducing the urge to scratch and thus preventing scar formation. Special formulations are available for children, ensuring safety and efficacy.
While chickenpox scars can be a frustrating aftermath of the disease, understanding their causes and treatments can significantly aid in their management. Early intervention, combined with advanced treatments like subcision, dermapen, and laser therapies, can greatly enhance the appearance of scars. Moreover, preventive measures like avoiding scratching and using antihistamines are key to minimizing the risk of severe scarring. Please contact us if you want to enquiry about chickenpox scar treatment.