There are currently several approaches to treating acne scars including microneedling, saline subcision, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, focal and regional chemical peels and punch excision. Saline subcision is a safe, effective and useful technique to address rolling acne scars that have shallow depressions with curved, sloping walls.
What does the technique involve?
A small bore needle attached to a saline-filled syringe is directed somewhat parallel to the surface of the skin and injected into the area of the scar with a back-and-forth motion just beneath the surface of the skin. The infiltration of saline not only minimizes the discomfort of the procedure, but assists in the tunneling of the needle between the connective tissue, to release the fibrous attachments that are tethering the skin down and causing the depression. The intentional micro-injury to the connective tissue stimulates the formation of new collagen to fill the depressed scars.
Is the technique painful?
Saline subcision is usually a very tolerable procedure. The discomfort associated with saline subcision is generally mild to moderate. The pain can be further lessened with the addition of local anesthesia to the saline mixture.
What are the risks associated with saline subcision?
The risks and potential complications associated with saline subcision are usually mild and include mild swelling, expected bruising of varying degrees which is expected and lasts 7-10 days, infection (rare) or persistent firm bumps (uncommon) at the site of injection.
How many treatments are typically required?
The number of treatments recommended to achieve the desired result is usually 3-5 sessions spaced 4 weeks apart.
Saline subcision can be used in combination with other scar revision techniques including spot application of chemical peeling solution, laser resurfacing and fillers.
Consult with your dermatologist to help you determine whether you would benefit from saline subcision treatments.