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  • Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the United States.  It is more common in African American and Hispanic women compared to other races.

  • Acne can present with blackheads, whiteheads, red and puss-filled bumps and cysts. Hyperpigmentation and thickened scars are more common and distressing symptoms in darker skin patients.  

  • It is caused by a combination of genetic predisposition, hyperproliferation of the follicular epithelium, excess sebum production, inflammation, and proliferation.

  • Acne has been associated with high glycemic index diets, dairy products, and saturated fats.

  • Treatment is focused on reducing acne and minimizing dark marks while avoiding excess irritation that can occur with therapy. 

  • Topical agents: Adapalene, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, dapsone, ​hydroquinone (spot treatment), tazarotene, tretinoin,

  • Procedures: Chemical peels, laser (more limited data)


Alexis AF, et. al,  Treating Acne in Patients With Skin of Color.  Med Surg. 2018 Jun;37(3S):S71-S73.