What is acne scarring reduction treatment?
Acne scarring reduction treatment is a specialist treatment on offer here at Fillers & Frowns. Using the subcision method and the application of dermal filler we are able to improve the appearance of the pitting scars that form as a result of acne earlier in life.
What is subcision and how can it improve my acne?
The inflammation created by acne can result in the formation of new collagen. Whilst this sounds positive, in reality the scar collagen that forms is often quite fibrotic in nature and can extend down to the deeper tissues, almost creating an underlying web that pulls downwards. On the surface, this results in tethering of the skin and the formation of rolling acne scars and box-scars.
Subcision is the process of breaking these fibrotic bands of collagen, thereby releasing the skin and allowing this to almost rebound to the surface.
Does subcision hurt?
Subcision is performed with a cannula and as such this should not be painful, although you may be able to feel some tugging and pulling. Here at Fillers & Frowns we specialise in pain reduction during aesthetic treatments in order to make your treatment as comfortable as possible, so feel rest assured that you are in the best hands.
Why use dermal filler following the subcision of the scars?
Often the subcision process in itself will have a profound effect on the appearance of the acne scarring. However, dermal filler is often useful for the deeper scarring that does not return to the surface level. For these deeper scars we can place filler underneath to increase the underlying volume, thereby raising the tissue to be flush to the surface of the skin.
What is the treatment journey like?
On the day of your consultation you will be welcomed into our clinic and made to feel at rest.
When it is your consultation time you will be seen by a doctor with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of facial anatomy and the role of subcision and dermal fillers in the treatment of acne scarring. The consultation will include discussions around your medical history, the ruling out of contraindications for treatment and the listing of past treatments. If you are deemed suitable then you will be offered the opportunity to have the treatment there and then, or offered the opportunity to book in to a date of your choosing if you would prefer. If you are not deemed suitable, then our expert aesthetics doctor will look to see if there are any other ways we may be able to help with your concerns.
Numbing cream can be applied to the area to aid in reducing the discomfort associated with the injections, with this being given 10-15 minutes to take effect.
Once the numbing cream has taken effect then the treatment will begin. The treatment will start with the subcision of the scarring using a cannula to break down the fibrotic tissue underneath the skin. This is usually a painless process, but you may feel some pulling and tugging. Once the acne scarring is subcised the deeper scars will be treated separately using dermal filler, with a combination of cannula and needles often being chosen.
The injections can be uncomfortable at times, but the numbing cream should aid with this. Here at Fillers & Frowns we also pride ourselves on our management of discomfort during procedures, so we will have other modes of pain relief to hand to make this as positive an experience as possible.
Following the procedure the sites of injection will then be massaged to ensure an even spread of filler.
We advise that you do not touch the area, put any products over the area or cleanse with anything but water for at least 6 hours post-treatment. We also advise against hot environments such as saunas, steam rooms and hot baths for 24 hours.
You will be given the option to arrange your follow up appointment for 2 weeks after the initial visit.
How long do the effects last?
The subcision itself is usually sufficient after 1-2 treatments and will often not require further repeats. However, the dermal filler aspect of the treatment will require maintenance treatment, with this typically lasting for 6-9 months.
Complications and side effects
The most common side effect of subcision and dermal filler for acne scarring is mild bruising and swelling. Arnica cream will be provided following the treatment, as part of your post-treatment pack, in order to increase the speed at which any bruising resolves (typically 5-7 days, up to 2 weeks for deeper haematomoas). The swelling occurs because the filler itself is made from hyaluronic acid and this attracts water, so a degree of swelling is unavoidable for around 1 week after treatment.
As with all procedures there is a small chance of infection, which is reduced even further due to our extensive preparation of skin using chlorhexidine. If infections do develop, despite best efforts to cleanse the skin prior to treatment, Fillers & Frowns is doctor-led and so a prescription for antibiotics will quickly be issued.
As with any filler procedure there is a small risk of a vascular occlusion, whereby an underlying blood vessel is blocked. In this rare event we are prepared with a product called Hyalase, which is used to dissolve the filler and restore the blood supply to the skin. It is for these reasons that our recommendations are to ensure that you are treated by experienced healthcare professionals within the industry when getting aesthetic treatments performed. All of our treatments are performed by a GMC-registered doctor who has extensive training and experience in delivering these treatments in the safest possible manner.