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June 1990

Papular Acne ScarsA Common Cutaneous Finding

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Wilson, Dent, and Cooper) and Pathology (Dr Cooper), University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville.

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(6):797-800. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670300097016

• One hundred thirty-three patients were examined for the presence of a cutaneous eruption consisting of small, asymptomatic, hypopigmented, follicular papules on the upper part of the trunk. The papules were present in 57% of patients who had a history of acne vulgaris and in 9% of patients who denied ever having had acne. Biopsy specimens from five patients revealed circumscribed, perifollicular or parafollicular lesions in which both elastic and collagen fibers were attenuated in comparison with those in normal adjacent dermis. These changes are consistent with scar. We conclude that the papules are a scarring process secondary to acne vulgaris and propose calling the lesions papular acne scars. They appear closely related to or identical with changes previously termed perifollicular elastolysis, postacne anetodermalike scars, and papular elastorrhexis.

(Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:797-800)