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Comedonal Acne

By Rose Erickson ; Updated August 14, 2017

As the Mayo Clinic states, comedonal acne is a common form of acne. Although it is most typical in the teenage years, it occurs in people of all ages, from child to adult. It can be associated with changes of hormones caused by pregnancy, menstruation cycles or stress. Since comedonal acne can have a lasting emotional and physical impact, it is important to understand what comedonal acne is and how it can be treated.


According to Derm Net, comedonal acne describes acne that mostly consists of whiteheads and blackheads. Blackheads are named for the dark plug that blocks the pore. They are open comedones. Whiteheads are closed comedones that are raised and flesh colored. Typically, comedonal acne resides on the chin and forehead. Comedonal acne can be found anywhere a pore resides on the body. This includes the face, neck, shoulders, chest, thighs and back.


As the Mayo Clinic explains, comedonal acne occurs when a hair follicle on the skin becomes blocked by oil, bacteria and/or dead skin cells. This typically happens when the body produces excess oil. Excess oil production can occur when hormones fluctuate. In addition, bacteria and heredity are factors in oil production. Although your diet may have an effect on comedonal acne, it is not caused by greasy foods or chocolate.

How to Treat at Home

Experts at Derm Net say that topical medications can be used to treat comedonal acne at home. These medications come in spot treatments and creams. The effective acne fighting ingredients in these products should include benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, salicylic acid or glycolic acid. To use, apply once or twice a day on the entire area affected. Treatment may take months before improvement is noticed. In addition, treatment should be continued as part of a long-term daily regimen.

Dermatologist Treatment

The Mayo Clinic suggests a consultation with a dermatologist if comedonal acne is persistent or begins to scar. A dermatologist may treat acne several different ways. Topical treatments containing tretinoin or adapalene may be prescribed. He may choose to treat with antibiotics or birth control pills. He may even decide to use a combination of these treatments. Light and laser therapies as well as chemical and microdermabrasion procedures are also forms of acne treatment.

How to Prevent

Wash skin with a gentle cleanser every day. As the Mayo Clinic advises, over washing should be avoided because it can aggravate comedonal acne. Always use oil-free and non-comedogenic products on the skin. This prevents clogged pores. Refrain from touching the face and keep hair and objects like telephone receivers away from it. Avoid masks, toners and scrubs as they can irritate skin and worsen acne. Since sweat can contribute to comedonal acne, do not wear tight hats or clothing.

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