Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 210-216

A morphological study of acne scarring and its relationship between severity and treatment of active acne

1 Department of Dermatology, Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Dermatology and STD, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Niti Khunger
Department of Dermatology and STD, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_177_19

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Background: Scarring is one of the most dreadful complications of acne for which patients seek surgical treatment. Objective: The aim of this research was to study the morphological features of acne scarring and the relationship between severity of acne and its treatment with type and severity of acne scars. Materials and Methods: This was a hospital-based, noninterventional, cross-sectional study carried out over a period of 1 month on 100 patients with post-acne scarring. A morphological evaluation of the types, sites, and severity of acne scars was done, and details of the severity and treatment of acne were recorded. Results: Of 100 patients included in the study, 61 were male and 39 were females. Females had an earlier onset of acne (15.8 years) as compared to males (16.5 years). The mean duration of active acne was longer in males (99.3 months) than that in females (74.4 months). Male patients had more severe acne vulgaris as compared to females (P = 0.0001). Of 100 patients, 52 started treatment 1 year after the onset of acne, and 18 patients had never taken any anti-acne medication. Morphologically, majority of post-acne scars were ice pick scars in 94% patients, followed by rolling scars in 86%, boxcar scars in 54%, and keloidal scars in 10% patients. Male patients had more severe acne scarring than females (P < 0.05). Of 54 patients with severe acne, 22 progressed to moderate grade and 32 patients progressed to severe grade of acne scarring. Significant reduction in the severity of acne scarring was observed in patients who received isotretinoin as compared to that in patients who received oral antibiotics. Conclusion: Majority of patients with active acne delay treatment, which leads to increased acne scarring. Ice pick scars are the most common type of acne scars, and keloidal scars are more common in males. Males have a longer duration of acne, they delay treatment, and have more severe acne scarring. Early introduction of oral isotretinoin may help to reduce the severity of acne scarring. Public education is essential to urge patients to seek early and appropriate treatment of acne that can reduce the incidence and severity of acne scarring and its psychosocial consequences.

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