Since the development of the surgical planing technique, as described by Kurtin,1 this method of skin abrasion for improvement of acne scars and other cosmetic skin defects has received wide acceptance. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists alike are employing this procedure on a wide scale. As with any new therapeutic modality, improvements in technique and determination of its indications must be accomplished.
Approximately one year ago, when I first utilized the planing technique, it was apparent that the method of applying ethyl chloride to the skin for topical anesthesia was cumbersome, variable in intensity of freezing, and left little time for the actual planing. The technique, as then applied, consisted of the operator's holding a bottle of ethyl chloride in each hand and an assistant's directing a stream of air to the area to be frozen. An alternative method employed the use of a blower mounted on a stand which