Subcision and Radiesse As Acne Treatment?

I heard that there's currently a clinical trial using subcision and Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite) for acne scarring. I am thinking about going for it, but I am not sure if it would improve my appearance. Is it worth the risk?

Doctor Answers 4

Subcision and Radiesse is a great combination!

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Subcision is the cutting or tunneling under a scar to free up the bound down scar and create a pocket to inject a material such as Radiesse to create a barrier to help prevent the scar from reattaching itself. It is done under local anesthesia and is quick and easy to undergo. The results are helpful and can be done a few times if needed.

Good Luck,

David Hansen, MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Subcision and Radiesse for Acne Scars

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Hi Anon,

Subcision and Radiesse injections are a nice way to treat isolated acne scars.  The best current available technology to treat acne scarring is Fraxel re:pair or Deep Fx, though neither is FDA approved for this application we have seen great success.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Subcision and fillers

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Although I am unaware of the study that you are referring to, subcision and filler injection is an effective way of treating certain kinds of acne scars (deeper saucer and ice pick). The risk is minimal, as it is not likely to worsen your appearance. I use this technique successfully in my practice for these types of acne scars with several of the injectable fillers including Radiesse, Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, and Sculptra (all off FDA label use of course). This is the one time that filler nodules are acceptable and maybe even preferable, as long as, they are only palpable and not visible as nodules. The spacer effect of the nodule is sometimes very helpful in maintaining the subcision release, at least temporarily. The long term effects are variable and to my knowledge not reported in the literature to date. Conceptually, at lease, it makes sense that repeated treatments would eventually result in at least some long term improvement. Good luck!

Subcision is great for certain forms of acne scars, but ??Radiesse

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I have never heard of Radiesse being used for acne scars, but because such treatment would entail rather superficial placement of Radiesse in a potentially dynamic area, I would predict the development of hard nodules at sites of injection. This is of course based on pure speculation since I have no evidence for my opinion.

Saline subcision is an excellent treatment for depressed, spoon-shaped or box-car type scars of the skin. I have had good success with it. You need to be patient, however, to appreciate the final effects (i.e. months or even a year or longer).

As far as this study is concerned, I would proceed with caution. Maybe you could convince the study coordinator to place you in the subcision-only treatment arm if there is such a thing.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.