Subcision for Acne Scarring Treatment Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Subcision is a simple and safe office surgery procedure for the really deep kinds of acne scars that leave depressions in the skin. If the acne scarring has severe depressions, we usually do subcision before we start with any acne scar skin rejuvenation treatments such as Fraxel Dual and Dermapen skin needling.

With this in-office surgical treatment called subcision, skin in the affected area is separated from the scar tissue and this allows the skin to grow more level. After subcision, other treatments, such as Fraxel Dual, Pearl Fractional, CO2 Fractional laser, and Dermapen Skin Needling will smooth out the scar tissue itself and even out the skin colour.

Subcision, also called “subcutaneous incisionless surgery”, a term coined by Orentreich and Orentreich in 1995 to describe the minor surgical procedure for treating depressed scars and wrinkles using a beveled hypodermic needle inserted through a puncture in the skin surface (hence, “incision-less” surgery), and its sharp edges maneuvered under the defect to make subcuticular cuts or incisions. The principle of this procedure is to break the fibrotic strands, which tether the scar to the underlying subcutaneous tissue. The depression is lifted by the releasing action of the procedure, as well as from connective tissue that forms during the course of normal wound healing.

It is mainly useful for rolling scars and boxcar scars (distensible, depressed scars with gently sloping edges). This procedure is not so successful for “ice pick" acne scars which look like large, deep pores.

For men who have acne scarring, these treatments are aimed at breaking down the scar tissue and causing the skin to regenerate and heal normally. In this way, scars can be significantly improved, resulting in much smoother, youthful-looking skin.

This treatment is available in Johannesburg at FourwaysParkhurstMorningside, BedfordviewWest Rand, Waterfall and Illovo as well as in Pretoria at Brooklyn and Irene and in the Western Cape at Cape QuarterClaremontConstantiaStellenboschWillowbridgePaarl, and in KwaZulu-Natal at BallitoDurban & Umhlanga.

The area to be treated is marked off with a white pencil. Subcision is performed under local topical anesthesia with Lidocaine Adrenaline, a substance that numbs and blanches the skin so that excessive bruising is minimised.

The Royal Rejuvenation treatment using 0.5mls Princess Filler and 1ml SRS can also be used.

RedermaIization using Hydrate or Xela Rederm can be injected post-procedure.

Mesotherapy using Dermaheal SRS growth factors can be injected by meso-papule over the treated area.

  • Repeated treatments are required for better cosmetic results. Repeat sessions are done after a 3-month interval.
  • Other treatments such as Fraxel Dual and Dermapen can be started 3 weeks after each subcision treatment.


Ice application on the operated site on the day, anti-inflammatory drugs for 5–7 days only if necessary.

  • The procedure is preferably done before a weekend or holiday for working patients as there may be bruising and swelling afterward.
  • Stop all aspirin, anti-inflammatories, and omega 3 supplements 10 days before the treatment.


Subcision is a safe, simple technique that provides significant long-term improvement in the “rolling scars” of selected patients. It can be safely and easily combined with other treatments for acne scars. Subcision may be performed alone (as a stand-alone treatment) or as an adjunct to other procedures like Fraxel Dual, Pearl Fractional, CO2 Fractional Laser, and Dermapen Skin Needling.

4 Reviews (average: 5 out of 5)

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*Please note results may vary by individuals.
Review -Amazing Service
Reviewed on 6 July 2018 by Anonymous

Awesome service and staff, Love the atmosphere. Outstanding service.

Review -Subcision Treatment
Reviewed on 9 January 2018 by Schalk from CT

I found the acne subcision treatment interesting and for the most part painless. I felt a little swollen afterwards but it wasn’t noticeable when I looked into the mirror. I felt normal in no time, I just had a little headache during the procedure which went away shortly after the treatment.

The results were smoother skin. When the treatment was finished I went back to work without any problems.

Review -Mrs SA Finalist Sponsor Review: Megan Nel
Reviewed on 13 September 2017 by Megan Nel

I could never find a therapist who understood my needs....till I walked through the doors at the Renewal Institute Fourways. My Life has changed forever. They understand my needs, my schedule and my lifestyle.Their therapists are trained to use the best products on the market (Lamelle being my favourite) and their technology is world renowned.

Why would I choose any other Institute when Renewal Institute is the best!

Review -I wanted more, better results!
Reviewed on 31 May 2017 by Clare from Morningside

Over the years I have tried almost everything out there to soften my acne marks. Peels, products, laser, microdermabrasion, collagen fillers, supplements and close to 2 years of Dermapen. Which was very good and had good results. I wanted more, better results that last.

And I found it! After a visit to Dr Maureen, she recommended I try Subcision. I hadn't even heard of it. She explained the procedure and what I could hope for in results. The procedure was quick with minimal/manageable pain. I had some bruising and swelling on my cheeks afterwards for approx 4 days. The result truly was astounding and totally worth it. After just one treatment the visible difference is so good people have commented, even my own dermatologist! It is by far the best treatment I have ever had for my acne marks. The true results became most visible to me 2 months following treatment. Thank you, Dr Maureen.

Sharon Izak Elaine Chat staff ) WhatsApp