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Subcision is an excellent treatment for acne scars that appear as rolled depressions or boxcar scars on the skin. These pitted scars contain fibrous tissue that attach the bottom of the scarred skin to the underlying healthy tissue. This abnormal connection can also prevent healthy tissue from regrowing in the area, making rolled and boxcar scars especially difficult to treat.

The subcision technique addresses the root of these deeply pitted scars to help smooth the skin and create a healthier-looking skin appearance. The minor surgical procedure has shown to provide significant, long-lasting improvement, and it can be combined with other scar reduction treatments to achieve optimal results.

Subcision Procedure

During the subcision procedure, the skin is made numb with a local anesthetic, and a specialized hypodermic needle is carefully inserted under the skin into the deep dermis. The needle is then moved back and forth to sever the fibrous attachments that hold the base of the scar down. As these bands are disconnected, a popping sound can often be heard, indicating the breaking of fibrous tissue. By releasing this connective tissue, the base of the scar raises, diminishing the uneven appearance and creating a smoother skin surface. Multiple treatments are typically needed to effectively release the fibrous bands that are pulling on the scar tissue.

To further improve the texture of the acne scars, new collagen is laid down underneath the treated areas, lifting the depressed scars and improving the irregularities in the skin surface. Occasionally a dermal filler is injected under the scars after the subcision procedure to further lift the depression for an improved outcome. Patients may also benefit from their subcision treatment being combined with options like laser skin resurfacing.

If you would like more information about subcision, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists to learn which acne scarring treatments are best for your needs, please contact us today.