Acne in skin of color: practical approaches to treatment

J Dermatolog Treat. 2010 May;21(3):206-11. doi: 10.3109/09546630903401496.


Acne vulgaris, one of the most commonly encountered conditions in dermatology, affects individuals in all racial and ethnic groups, yet clinical presentation varies among different skin types. Acne, particularly when it is severe, may significantly impact an individual's quality of life and psychological well-being. Potential sequelae, such as postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and keloid scarring, occur more frequently in individuals with skin of color and may be long lasting or permanent. Acknowledging the potentially long-term physical and emotional scars caused by acne vulgaris, attention has focused on management strategies that limit the disease to an early stage. Early and efficacious treatment of acne in skin of color patients may minimize pigmentary abnormalities and keloid scarring. By recognizing racial and ethnic differences in clinical presentation and potential sequelae, treatment regimens may be tailored to ensure favorable outcomes for patients of all skin types.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications
  • Acne Vulgaris / diagnosis
  • Acne Vulgaris / therapy*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cicatrix / prevention & control
  • Dermabrasion / methods*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Care / methods
  • Skin Pigmentation / drug effects*
  • Skin Pigmentation / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Retinoids