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Skin Care and Diseases

Blood vessels broken?

07/19/2006

Question:

I have acne fulminans, and it is getting better so I know in a couple of months I will be fine. However, I have some questions about scarring. I have been taking accutane for this so I cannot do anything laser for 6 months afterwards. Anyways, I am going to have a lot of redness and scarring afterwards and was wondering what can be done? Also, with acne fulminans you get a lot of cyst-like acne. Anyways, last night I was doing something where I was under a lot of strain, and I could feel blood rushing to my face and my face filling up or something (weird feeling). Afterwards, I looked in the mirror and some of the dark red spots on my face were now a real dark purple, and all the places where I had cyst-like acne was now a dark purple color. Is this permanent? This morning I cannot tell if there has been any change so now I am really worried. Is this something where the blood is just on the surface of my face and needs some time to go back down (couple of days) or did I break many blood vessels and am now stuck with these scars. Please let me know, thanks.

Answer:

I am glad to hear that your acne fulminans is coming under control.  I think you can be optimistic that the red areas where cysts and abscesses have been will return to normal color in six months to a year.  The scars of course will be there but they will be far less noticeable, and I think you will be pleased with the outcome.

Any time there is exertion there is increased blood flow to the periphery, and that probably accounts for your discoloration.  The scarred areas have increased numbers of blood vessels to assist in the healing process.  These in time will diminish, giving you more normal color. 

The leadership in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania has been in the forefront of working with acne of all kinds.  I would suggest that you might like to contact James Leyden, M.D. Professor of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania (email address:  jjleyden@mindspring.com).

Good luck!  I think you should be optimistic.  The scars will be slow to heal, but they will look much better as time goes by.

 

 

 

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati