Acne Scar Treatment - Subcision
Subcision is a procedure used to treat acne scarring, specifically depressed acne scars. Depressed acne scars are caused when fibrotic strands pull the skin downwards, creating the superficial indentations. During treatment a small needle cuts these fibrotic strands thereby releasing the tension of the scar, allowing the skin to rise.
The SkinnyAcne Scar Treatment - Subcision
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Subcision addresses depressed acne scarring. Unlike dermabrasion which treats scars by abrading them away, subcision reduces the appearance of scarring from the underneath the skin's surface. Other methods for treating skin indentations caused by previous acne include dermal fillers however the effects are only temporary. During the procedure, individual scars will be treated using a tiny, hypodermic needle that will be inserted into the skin. The needle will be moved back and forth in a fanning pattern as the sharp edges of the needle will be used to cut away at the fibrotic scar tissue. These cuts effectively release the tethers of the scar from the underlying tissue. This release elevates the previously depressed skin and will continue to improve as the wound healing cascade will stimulate further collagen production. Providers will be cautious around sensitive areas such as the eyes and mouth to avoid injury of facial nerves and vessels. If many scars need to be treated, treatment will be divided into multiple session.
The goal of subcision is to reduce the appearance of depressed acne scarring.
What to Expect
Subcision improves the appearance of depressed acne scars by releasing the fibrotic tissue that pulls down the skin and creates the indentation. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after treatment with subcision.
- Stop using Retin-A or other exfoliating creams 1 to 3 days prior
- No tanning and waxing for at least 1 week
- Postpone treatment if you have recently had a laser resurfacing treatment, chemical peel, dermal filler injection, or used Accutane
Immediately After Treatment
- Treatment area will be swollen
- Bruises may appear
Following a subcision treatment it is common to experience swelling for up to 2-3 days and bruising for 7-10 days. Ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications can be used for pain management. If prescribed, be sure to take any antibiotic and anti-infammatory medications as directed.
The ideal candidate for subcision has "rolling scars" (distensible, depressed scars with gentle sloping edges) or tethered acne scars.
Not Recommended For
Subcision is not recommended for patients with a history of hypertrophic or keloid scarring or if they have blood clotting disorders.
Side effects from subcison include hematoma, pain and tenderness of treated sites, infection (which usually presents as localized papules or pustules), temporary post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and in severe cases, injury to nerves or blood vessels, or hypertrophic scarring.