Punch Grafting for Scars 

In punch grafting, the doctor uses a small instrument to punch a hole in the skin, remove the scar and replace it with a plug of new skin.

Possible Risks

Punch therapy is often recommended for deep ice-pick scars.

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive Bleeding

What you Should Know

The skin plugs inserted into the treatment area usually are removed from behind the ear lobe. The plugs are taped into place for about a week to promote healing. While the procedure produces new scarring, the new scar will be smoother and less conspicuous than the old depressed scar. In some cases, color and texture difference may be noticeable, but a skin resurfacing technique can be performed four to six weeks after the grafting to correct this difference.

What to Expect After the Procedure

The treatment area is bandaged. The new scar created by the punch graft usually takes five to seven days to heal.

How to Prepare Before the Procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient’s medical history. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. Patients also should:

  • Avoid smoking two weeks before surgery.
  • Prepare to have someone drive you home since most procedures are outpatient.
  • Prepare to take it easy for a day or two following surgery, with assistance if necessary.
  • Local anesthesia and, in some cases, sedation, will be administered.