Fast Five Quiz: Treatment of Acne in Skin of Color

William D. James, MD


July 24, 2020

Figure 1. Acne, illustration.

The current guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) identify treatment of acne in persons of color as a known research gap. However, current consensus recommends benzoyl peroxide with a topical retinoid and/or systemic therapy for all adults and adolescents with moderate to severe acne. Benzoyl peroxide alone or in combination with erythromycin or clindamycin is recommended as monotherapy for mild acne.

Although topical antibiotics are used in many patients, monotherapy should be avoided to reduce risk for antibiotic resistance.

As noted in the AAD's 10 Tips for Clearing Acne in Skin of Color, benzoyl peroxide does not cause light spots on skin of color. However, it can bleach clothing, sheets, pillowcases, and towels.

Learn more about the AAD guidelines on acne vulgaris.


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