Background. Atrophic scars, whether traumatic, postsurgical, or postacne, are distressing and difficult to treat. A freely available autologous agent that provides medium- to long-term correction of this problem would be welcome. There are very few endogenous chromophores in the skin for laser or light energy to target. A benign exogenous pigment implanted in superficial scars may be useful in presenting such a target for light energy, allowing selective injury to these scars and the possibility of new collagen formation.
Objective. To report five representative case reports that describe elements of two new techniques that may be useful in the management of atrophic acne scarring.
Methods. After drawing blood from the patient, this was immediately reinjected into premarked areas of atrophic scars. If there was substantial tissue deficit, this was either followed by repeated injections of whole blood at monthly intervals on three occasions or until adequate correction was attained and oral antifibrinolysis medication dispensed in addition to the blood transfer (hematogenous augmentation of tissue or the HAT technique). In the other circumstance, where the deficit was superficial, blood was implanted high in the tissue and used as a target for vascular laser or intense pulsed light in a technique termed the blood augmentation (with or without) stimulation of tissues by irradiation with light or laser energy or the Bastille technique. This is again repeated as required.
Results. Reasonable short- to medium-term correction has been attained in all five cases and there seemed to be a progressive improvement with each injection session. With the Bastille technique case there seemed to be progressive improvement with time, with the result at 4 weeks being substantially better than that at 2 weeks or at baseline.
Conclusion. These case reports suggest that blood may be a worthwhile augmentation agent and chromophore. Both these techniques deserve further investigation to determine the optimum parameters. They are so simple in their concept and technique that should they help to provide a medium- to long-term correction for atrophic scars and other depressions, such as expression lines and wrinkles, they would be worthwhile additions to existing dermatologic techniques.