Atrophia Maculosa Varioliformis Cutis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Atrophia Maculosa Varioliformis Cutis (AMVC) is a condition involving the spontaneous appearance of depressed scars on the face[1] occurring over a period of months to years. It appears to only affect children and young adults, is considered to be quite rare, normally occurs on the cheeks, temple area and forehead, and is not well understood nor presently treatable. Case reports indicate the scars deepen over time but remain relatively superficial, and with the frequency of new scar appearance diminishing over time.

AMVC is quite difficult to diagnose, for reasons including the depressed box and ice pick scars being very similar to that caused by Acne vulgaris. A confident diagnosis can be made if such scars recently appeared without present acne and without a history of acne. Otherwise the correct diagnosis is usually not made, and even doing so provides little benefit as there is no treatment. It has been suggested in case reports that the condition, although rare, is likely underreported.