Despite scarring being a recognized sequel of acne, the actual extent and incidence of residual scarring remains unknown. One hundred and eighty-five acne patients were included in this study (101 females, 84 males). Patients were selected from acne clinics and their acne scarring was examined. The scarring was quantified according to a lesion count and allocated a score. The type and extent of scarring was correlated to the age and sex of the patient, the site of the acne, the previous acne grade according to the Leeds Technique, acne type (noted in clinic at the original referral time) and duration of acne, before adequate therapeutic measures had been instituted. Results indicate that facial scarring affects both sexes equally and occurs to some degree in 95% of cases. Total scarring on the trunk was significantly greater in males, as was hypertrophic and keloid scarring in these sites (P < 0.05). There were significant correlations between the initial acne grade and the overall severity of scarring in all sites and in both sexes (P < 0.01). Superficial inflamed papular acne lesions as well as nodular lesions were capable of producing scars. A time delay up to 3 years between acne onset and adequate treatment related to the ultimate degree of scarring in both sexes and in all three sites. This emphasizes the need for earlier adequate therapy in an attempt to minimize the subsequent scarring caused by acne.
Layton AM, Henderson CA, Cunliffe WJ