Having suspected this for a long time, today I went digging into research to see if men really get deeper and worse acne scars than women. But first some background.
Scars form when the lower, thicker layer of the skin called dermis is damaged. To repair the damage, the body forms new collagen fibers resulting in a scar. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body, responsible for the plump look of the skin. The new scar tissue has a different texture and quality than the surrounding tissue.
As pimples heal, they can leave scars with a depressed or indented appearance. Such scars are called atrophic scars. This kind of scarring occurs when underlying structures like fat and muscle that support the skin are lost.
Coming back to men and acne scars. Here’s what I found.
- Owing to higher levels of the hormone testosterone in their blood, men’s epidermis (top layer of skin) and dermis (lower layer of skin) are thicker.
- A man’s skin is 25% thicker than a woman’s.
- With thicker skin, men also have more active oil-producing oil glands (sebum). That makes them more susceptible to developing pimples in the first place.
- Thicker skin scars deeper. Thinner skin forms better scars than thicker skin.
Is there anything positive going on for men or is it all downhill?
- Thicker skin keeps men looking younger way longer than women. Men have more elastin and collagen than women which gives their skin firmness and elasticity. This means that a man’s skin is able to resist signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness better than a woman’s. At the same age, a woman’s skin is 15 years older than a man’s.
- Men can use stronger skin treatments with higher concentration of actives and still be okay.