Subcision Versus 100% Trichloroacetic Acid in the Treatment of Rolling Acne Scars

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BACKGROUNDAcne scarring is common but surprisingly difficult to treat. Newer techniques and modifications to older ones may make this refractory problem more manageable. The 100% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) chemical reconstruction of skin scars (CROSS) method is a safe and effective single modality for the treatment of atrophic acne scars, whereas subcision appears to be a safe technique that provides significant improvement for rolling acne scars.OBJECTIVETo compare the effect of the 100% TCA CROSS method with subcision in treating rolling acne scars.METHODSTwenty patients of skin types III and IV with bilateral rolling acne scars received one to three sessions of the 100% TCA CROSS technique for scars on the left side of the face and subcision for scars on the right side.RESULTSThe mean decrease in size and depth of scars was significantly greater for the subcision side than the 100% TCA CROSS (p<.001). More side effects in the form of pigmentary alteration were observed with the 100% TCA CROSS method.CONCLUSIONFor rolling acne scars in patients with Fitzpatrick skin types III and IV, subcision shows better results with fewer side effects than the 100% TCA CROSS technique, although further decrease in scar depth with time occurs more significantly after 100% TCA CROSS.The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

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