Subcision is a procedure used to elevate depressed scars, such as rolling acne scars. It accomplishes this by releasing the fibrous attachments below the skin that may “tether” the scar down. Not all scars respond, but for those that do, it is a permanent improvement.
Prior to numbing, the scars will be outlined with ink. Next, local anesthetic is injected through a small needle. This is allowed to sit for 20-30 minutes to reduce bruising. Once the skin is numb, subcision is performed by inserting a special needle underneath the scars and releasing the fibrous attachments under the skin. You will feel pressure but should not feel any pain during the treatment. The duration of the procedure depends on the number of scars being treated, though most treatments take from 15 to 75 minutes.
Following the procedure, you will have bandages on your face. Some drainage may occur for 12 hours following the procedure. The next day, you will apply ointment to the small wounds where the needles was inserted and small bandaids may be applied. You may apply makeup the day following the procedure though the puncture wounds should be avoided until healed (2-3 days). Ice compresses may be applied the evening following the surgery, and pain is usually limited. There are no limitations on activity, and it is okay to drive yourself to and from the procedure. The most common side effects are bruising, swelling, and tenderness, and may last several weeks. Uncommon side effects include numbness (which is usually temporary), cyst formation, infection, and bleeding.
Generally, this procedure is performed once, though can be performed multiple times if needed. Subcision can be used alone or in combination with other acne scar treatments.
While most patients have a predominant pattern to their acne scars, scars often vary even in different areas of the face on the same patient. During your consultation, we will discuss which treatment options are best for you scars. Some patients benefit from combining treatments that are performed at the same time.
The cost depends on the size of the area being treated, but ranges from $200.00-$1500.00.