Subcision-suction method: a new successful combination therapy in treatment of atrophic acne scars and other depressed scars

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Jan;25(1):92-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03711.x.


Background: Among therapeutic modalities of acne scars, subcision is a simple, safe procedure with a different and basic mechanism for correcting atrophic and depressed scars. Subcision releases scar surfaces from underlying attachments and induces connective tissue formation beneath the scar directly, without injury to the skin surface. Therefore, subcision is a valuable method, but due to high recurrence rate, its efficacy is mild to moderate.

Objectives: To increase the efficacy of subcision, a new complementary treatment of repeated suction sessions was added at the recurrence period of subcised scars.

Methods: In this before and after trail, 58 patients with mild to severe acne scars of various types (rolling, superficial and deep boxcar, pitted), chicken pox, traumatic and surgical depressed scars were treated by superficial dermal undermining, with mainly 23-guage needles. The protocol for suctioning was: start of suction on third day after subcision for flat and depressing subcised scars and its continuation at least every other day for 2 weeks.

Results: Forty-six patients followed the protocol completely, had 60-90% improvement in depth and size of scars (significant improvement) with mean: 71.73%. 28.2% of them had '80% improvement or more' (excellent improvement). Twelve patients started suction late and/or had long interval suction-sessions, had 30-60% improvement (moderate improvement) with mean: 43.75%.

Conclusion: Frequent suctioning at the recurrence period of subcision increases subcision efficacy remarkably and causes significant and persistent improvement in short time, without considerable complication, in depressed scars of the face. Therefore, subcision-suction method is introduced as a new effective treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needles*
  • Suction*
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Local