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July 1952


AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1952;66(1):123-124. doi:10.1001/archderm.1952.01530260126013

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There have been many agents and methods promulgated for the improvement of postacne and other depressed scars. Most have to do with repeated peeling applications of ultraviolet rays, resorcinol, phenol, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, carbon dioxide slush, etc. Many speak glibly of "peeling off" acne scars. This has always seemed extremely implausible to me, since it must be obvious to all that the epidermis regenerates itself, leaving the surface exactly as it was before. Because of the edema produced and consequent temporary lifting of the surface, the scars appear flatter, and the patient reports improvement. However, after the subsidence of the edema, the scars sink to their former level, and nothing has been accomplished.

In order to improve scars, one must produce destruction of the tissue around them and, by so doing, effect an apparent flattening. This is an illusion, of course. The scar is of the same depth as

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