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What is Acne Scar Subcision? Does it Completely Remove Acne Scars?
what is acne scar subcision

What is Acne Scar Subcision? Does it Completely Remove Acne Scars?

Acne does not only affect teenagers, but it can also happen to adults, and most of the time, it leaves unsightly scars behind. These scars may also be discolored or create a depression in the skin. Since the acne scars are generally stubborn, they require a proper acne scar treatment like Scar Subcision to improve the indentation.

What Is Acne Scar Subcision?

Acne Scar Subcision is a type of acne scar treatment which is an incision-less surgery conducted at a subcutaneous level in the skin. it may also be described as a minor surgical procedure performed using hypodermic needles that makes a puncture in the skin to help heal depressed scars and wrinkles.

This procedure aims to remove the acne scars by breaking down the fibrotic bands that bind the acne scar to the underlying skin cells. Hence, scars that are depressive are lifted due to releasing action involved in the procedure. A more significant connective tissue formation is also seen as a part of the routine healing after the procedure. (1)

Even though Subcision is most effectively used as an acne scar treatment, it may also be used to correct the scarring after other conditions, including chicken pox and indented scars from previous surgeries.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Acne Scar Subcision?

box car and rolling scar

An ideal candidate for Acne Scar Subcision is someone who has the following scarring type:

  • Rolling Scars: Rolling scars that are depressed, distensible and have sloping edges are ideal for this procedure as the lifting action of the procedure and the new connective tissue formation can elevate them and efficiently correct their appearance.
  • Box Car Scars: Box Car Scar is a kind of tethered scar bound to the underlying tissue via numerous fibrous bands. They are a common type of acne scar that may is ideal for this treatment method, as to and fro motion of the needle underneath the scarring can break down the fibrous bands which have bound the scar tissue and help release them for proper healing.

Who Is Not An Ideal Candidate For Acne Scar Subcision?

An individual may not be an ideal candidate for Acne Scar Subcision if:

  • They have significant keloid or hypertrophic scarring
  • Suffer from blood clotting disorders
  • Suffer from viral or bacterial infections
  • Have an active state of acne

What Should You Expect Before Your Acne Scar Removal Treatment In Singapore?

Acne Subcision is a minimally invasive procedure, usually conducted in an outpatient setting, such as the doctor’s office. You will not be required to stay overnight and may leave sometime after the procedure. During your visit to the clinic, the doctor will first explain how they will be carrying the procedure and all the steps involved.  Only scars that benefit from the procedure will be selected for treatment, after which the skin will be cleaned and disinfected.  This is followed by applying a local anesthetic agent to the procedure site to numb that area and allow a painless and comfortable experience for the patient.

What Is The Standard Procedure Of Acne Scar Subcision?

subcision for acne scar

After the local anesthesia is applied, the doctor ensures that the area is numb before starting the treatment. A small needle is used to make a puncture right next to the scar, and the needle is inserted into the dermis. The doctor then moves the needle back and forth under the scar tissue to help break up the fibrous bands holding the scar. After the needle is carefully removed, the entry site will be cleaned and drained thoroughly, which will help prevent the formation of hematoma as the skin heals. The procedure site is given adequate pressure and ice application to help maintain homeostasis and control swelling. (2)

How Many Sessions Are Required To Completely Get Rid Of The Scarring?

At least 2 to 4 sessions of the procedure may be required to effectively raise the scars’ indentation. However, since adequate healing of the scar site is needed before the following procedure can be conducted, a gap of 4 weeks is recommended between each subcision procedure. (3)

How Effective Is Acne Scar Subcision?

The efficacy of acne scar treatments like the scar subcision procedure was investigated in a study conducted on 40 individuals who presented with rolling scars. After a standard method of Scar, Subcision was performed on these individuals, their six months post-follow-up data were then used to compare the effectiveness of this particular procedure. The data was collected from the patients and their doctors to allow a subjective and objective analysis.

The follow-up of the patients proved at least a 50% improvement in the acne scarring after the scar Subcision procedure. There were only minor side effects, including swelling, bruising, and pain; however, these were short-lived. Overall, the study concluded scar subcision as a safe procedure that is comparatively non-invasive and painless and provides long-term results for rolling scars. (4)

What Are The Benefits Of Acne Scar Subcision Over Other Procedures?

There are numerous reasons why scar subcision is one of the most popular acne scar removal treatment in Singapore, which include:

  • The lack of laser usage in a standard scar subcision procedure ensures a very low risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Unlike laser treatment which may take weeks to months to show visible results, acne scar subcision is an effective technique that may present visible results within a shorter time frame.
  • It can be combined with other treatments to enhance the results

What Treatments Can Be Help To Enhance Results From Acne Subcision?

Acne Subcision can be combined with other treatment modalities to bring about faster improvements if the scar depression is more severe. Some of the treatments include:

Dermal Grafting

needle subcision

Dermal Grafting followed by a standard scar subcision procedure is an effective way to treat depressed scarring. The dermal graft, usually taken from behind the ear, is placed between the dermis as an implant to fill in the depression, leveling the scar to its surrounding skin quicker.

Radiofrequency Subcision

rf needle subcision

Acne scar subcision accompanied by radiofrequency heat is an effective way to get rid of old scars. it stimulates greater collagen production, which helps scar healing. However, due to a possible risk of skin burn, this acne scar treatment should only be performed by an experienced professional.

Filler Technique

filler for depressed acne scar

Acne scar subcision accompanied by filler is another technique for effective removal of depressed scars and long-term results. After the Subcision of the scar is conducted, a filler in the concentration of 0.05 ml is usually injected onto the scar site – which acts as a buffer and prevents the rebinding of fibers underneath.

What Is The Recovery Time For Acne Scar Subcision?

After the procedure, subtle improvements may be seen immediately, and results will continue to improve over time as new collagen plumps the indented site. However, some redness and swelling may be present, which goes away within 4 to 7 days. Some people also report minor bruising and it should disappear within 7 to 10 days, depending on how the patient’s skin heals. The doctor may recommend an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory agent to help the healing process.

What Much Does Acne Scar Removal Treatment Singapore Cost?

Acne scar removal treatment is estimated to cost somewhere between $200 to $400 for each scar.

This is an average estimate, and the cost of the procedure may vary depending on factors like:

  • The extent of the scarring
  • Accompanying specialized techniques used
  • The doctor and their expertise
  • Use of fillers and or other accompanying treatments


Acne subcision is an effective treatment for raising depressed scars. However, this technique is only effective for rolling and box car scars. This treatment method can be combined with fillers,radio frequency or dermal grafting to achieve optimal results within shorter time frames. If you are bothered with depressed acne scars, check with a medical professional in Singapore to find out which treatment option suits you best.

About Dream Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery

Bespoke surgical for cosmetic or medical reasons is what Dream covers to bring out the beauty in every individual. Going beyond the aesthetics and working on physical anomalies are what we value the most in leading our patients to cherish self-improvement and confident lifestyles.

Derived from Associate Professor Vincent Yeow’s long-standing experience performing plastic surgery in Singapore, our treatment plans deliver physical remodelling in our patients’ favour. One of the notable remodellings is droopy eyelid correction. The ptosis surgery used for treatment eventually fixes drooping eyelids, improves vision and enhances appearance.

Most importantly, as a trustworthy plastic surgery and aesthetic clinic, we treasure positive and natural outcomes for each individual. We will ensure to deliver the beauty refinement of your dream without compromising your safety and privacy.



1.Orentreich DS, Orentreich N. Subcutaneous incisionless (subcision) surgery for the correction of depressed scars and wrinkles. Dermatol Surg. 1995 Jun;21(6):543-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.1995.tb00259.x. PMID: 7773602.
2.Jacob CI, Dover JS, Kaminer MS. Acne scarring: a classification system and review of treatment options. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Jul;45(1):109-17. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2001.113451. PMID: 11423843.
3.Khunger N; IADVL Task Force. Standard guidelines of care for acne surgery. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2008 Jan;74 Suppl:S28-36. PMID: 18688101.
4.Alam, Murad MD*,†; Omura, Nayomi MD*,‡; Kaminer, Michael S. MD*,‡,§ Subcision for Acne Scarring, Dermatologic Surgery: March 2005 – Volume 31 – Issue 3 – p 310-317