Combination therapy in the management of atrophic acne scars

J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2014 Jan;7(1):18-23. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.129964.

Abstract

Background: Atrophic acne scars are difficult to treat. The demand for less invasive but highly effective treatment for scars is growing.

Objective: To assess the efficacy of combination therapy using subcision, microneedling and 15% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel in the management of atrophic scars.

Materials and methods: Fifty patients with atrophic acne scars were graded using Goodman and Baron Qualitative grading. After subcision, dermaroller and 15% TCA peel were performed alternatively at 2-weeks interval for a total of 6 sessions of each. Grading of acne scar photographs was done pretreatment and 1 month after last procedure. Patients own evaluation of improvement was assessed.

Results: Out of 16 patients with Grade 4 scars, 10 (62.5%) patients improved to Grade 2 and 6 (37.5%) patients improved to Grade 3 scars. Out of 22 patients with Grade 3 scars, 5 (22.7%) patients were left with no scars, 2 (9.1%) patients improved to Grade 1and 15 (68.2%) patients improved to Grade 2. All 11 (100%) patients with Grade 2 scars were left with no scars. There was high level of patient satisfaction.

Conclusion: This combination has shown good results in treating not only Grade 2 but also severe Grade 4 and 3 scars.

Keywords: Ablative laser for scars; dermaroller for scars; subcision.