Effective Treatment for Acne Scars & Cellulite

Subcision is also known as subcutaneous incisional surgery. Subcision is a safe and well-tolerated treatment option for scars due to acne and other causes and cellulite.

What is Subcision and How Does It Work?

Subcision involves a specialized hypodermic needle that is gently inserted through a small puncture in the skin's surface. The needle's sharp edge is used to break the fibrotic strands that anchor scars to the underlying tissue. As these fibrous bands are released and new collagen forms during the healing process, the appearance of the scar is significantly improved. Subcision is typically performed on an outpatient basis, ensuring convenience and comfort.

Subcision Treatment

Scars have fibrous strands that tether the skin to the underlying subcutaneous tissues. A needle or cannula cuts through these strands and releases the tethered skin.

The trauma to the underlying skin with the needle or cannula will also set off the body's natural repair process to lay down new collagen which will further improve the appearance of the scar.

The Treatment Process:

A personalized consultation guides your treatment plan.
Initiation of a tailored skincare routine to maximize results and minimize complications.
Cleansing of the treatment area to remove dirt and makeup.
Local anesthesia is administered.
A needle or cannula is inserted at an acute angle adjacent to the scar, effectively transecting fibrous bands.
The number and intensity of subcisions may vary based on the patient's response and the area being treated.

How Many Treatments Are Required?

The number of sessions needed depends on the severity of scarring and the patient’s ability to regenerate collagen. Generally, three to six visits, spaced at least one month apart, are recommended for moderate scarring.

Conditions Treated with Subcision:

  • Subcision can effectively address a variety of skin concerns, including:
  • Depressed scars (from acne, trauma, or surgery)
  • Depressed bound-down scars (from acne, chicken pox, trauma, or surgery)
  • Depressed skin grafts
  • Wrinkles
  • Cellulite dimples (cellulite reduction)
  • Please note that deep ice-pick scars are typically excluded from subcision treatment.

Who Is Not Suitable for Subcision?

  • Subcision may not be recommended in the following cases:
  • Patients with a history of hypertrophic or keloid scars
  • Individuals who have taken systemic oral retinoids (e.g., acitretin, isotretinoin) within the past 6 months
  • Those with bleeding or blood clotting disorders
  • Individuals with active bacterial or viral infections

Complications of Subcision:

While subcision is generally safe, possible complications may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Temporary pain or tenderness
  • Hypertrophic or keloid scars (more likely in certain areas)
  • Infection
  • Temporary post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Suboptimal response or lack of improvement in scarring
  • Nerve or blood vessel injury (more likely in specific sites)

Treatments Combined with Subcision:

Subcision can be effectively combined with various treatments to enhance results, including:

  • Topical retinoids
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for collagen enhancement
  • Microneedling (Dermapen)
  • Chemical peels
  • Fractional laser treatments (e.g., Clear and Brilliant)
  • Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers and bio-remodeling injections


Dr May Marr Cosmetic Physician Lennox Head


Dr May Marr is a Flinders University Medical School graduate and a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She has a long-held interest in aesthetic medical procedures and evidence-based skin care. She holds a passionate belief that people should have access to procedures and products that are research-backed, ethically prescribed and skilfully delivered.

Dr Marr has trained with Dr Jacque Le Coz at the Institute of Mesotherapy in Paris. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Dermatology from the Australian Institute of Dermatology and in 2020 completed her Dermatology Fellowship.

The ethical, educational and procedural standards that Dr Marr brings to aesthetic medicine have been recognised by some of the largest aesthetic companies in the world. She holds advanced injector status and her extensive clinical experience sees her regularly called upon as an industry educator.