Blunt Blade Subcision for Acne Scars Confers Lower Complication Rate, Higher Satisfaction Than Nokor Needle

acne scar atrophic scar
acne scar atrophic scar
Patients had a higher satisfaction rate with the blunt blade subcision than the Nokor needle for the treatment of acne scarring.

Blunt blade (BB) subcision is associated with a lower rate of complications and higher rate of patient satisfaction than a Nokor needle subcision for the treatment of acne scars, a recent study found. The findings were published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

A total of 28 patients (mean age, 30.46±8.15 years; 14 men and 14 women) with depressed acne scars were randomly selected and were treated with the Nokor needle subcision method on 1 side of the face and the BB subcision method on the other side. The researchers recorded pain severity, bleeding at needle entry site, and number of incisions for each patient. In addition, patient satisfaction was assessed at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after treatment, using a visual analog score from 0 to 10 as well as 5 scales. Complications were also evaluated at 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, and 2 months after treatment.

Pain severity was lower when patients received BB subcision compared with Nokor needle subcision (P =.041). A greater rate of intraoperative bleeding was observed with the Nokor vs the BB method (28.6% vs 7.1%, respectively; P <.05). Bruising was also higher with the Nokor subcision on days 3 and 7 (P =.031). At 6 months, improvements in acne scars were similar between the BB method and Nokor method groups (2.75±1.00 vs 2.39 ± 0.95, respectively; P >.05). Patient satisfaction was higher at 1 and 2 months after treatment when the BB method was used vs the Nokor needle method (P <.05).

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Limitations of the study included the small sample size, the use of only 1 treatment, and the inclusion of only patients from Iran.

According to the researchers, their study is important for improving patient care, considering treatment complications are “more important than degree of scar improvement in patients’ opinion at least for short time assessment.”

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Asilian A, Faghihi G, Asemi Esfahani A, et al. Comparison of two methods of subcision Nokor and blunt blade in acne scars treatment [published online May 18, 2019]. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi:10.1111/jocd.12981