Subcision is a minor in-office surgical procedure that’s used to treat acne scars.
It involves inserting a small needle into your skin to release the acne scar from the underlying tissue. This allows your skin to rise and to diminish the appearance of the acne scar.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what subcision is, what you can expect if you have this treatment, and how much it costs.
Subcision is an incisionless surgical technique. It can be used to improve the appearance of:
Although subscision is most often used to treat acne scars, it may also help reduce scars caused by other conditions, like:
With this procedure, a dermatologist inserts a hypodermic needle into your skin directly beneath the scar. The needle is used to loosen and break the fibers that connect the scar to the tissue underneath it.
This process not only helps to lift a depressed scar, it also triggers the release of collagen at the site of the needle insertion.
Both the lifting of the scar and the release of collagen can help diminish the appearance of the scar.
This procedure is usually repeated three to six times with at least 4 weeks in between each treatment.
Subcision isn’t suitable for all types of acne scars. For instance, it might not be helpful in treating raised (hypertrophic) scars and keloid scars.
People who take oral retinoids and who live with the following conditions may be cautioned against this procedure:
blood clotting disorders
bacterial or viral infections
current or active acne
While there isn’t a lot of research exploring the effectiveness of subcision, a few studies suggest that it can permanently improve acne scarring, according to a 2010 research reviewTrusted Source.
A small 2005 study investigated the use of subcision to treat rolling acne scars among 40 participants.
The researchers reported that although the scars were not completely healed, 90 percent of patients reported an improvement in the appearance of their scars.
Next, a small 2016 study compared three acne scar treatments among 45 participants. The three treatments included:
CO2 fractional laser
Of the three treatments that were tested, the physicians rated subcision as the most successful.
The authors of the study concluded that subcision is an effective and affordable option to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
Larger studies are needed to learn more about the efficacy and safety of subcision.