August 19, 2023

Where Are Solar Comedones Usually Found?

Whether you're an avid sunbather or have had chronic skin damage from years in the sun, you may get a surprise pop of solar comedones. Known as senile comedones or Favre-Racouchot syndrome, these black spots aren't acne. They're the result of long-term sun exposure and typically found on sun-exposed areas like the face, neck, and forearms. They're also more common as you age because your skin becomes less resilient and more susceptible to UV radiation.

Solar comedones are clogged hair follicles, and appear as small bumps on the skin. Unlike regular acne, they're not painful or inflammatory. They appear symmetrically along the temple and around the eyes, though they can also show up on the neck, earlobes, and forearms. They're typically seen in middle-age and older adults, affecting about 6 percent of people ages 50 and over.

There are two types of comedones: open and closed. Open comedones, also known as blackheads, appear dark because they're oxidized sebum, which isn't dirt. Closed comedones, on the other hand, are clogged pores that have closed over and look like white or flesh-toned dots.

Despite the fact that they're benign, solar comedones are annoying and sometimes difficult to extract. To remove them, you need to apply numbing cream and have the lesions manually removed with a tool. The best way to prevent them is by wearing sunscreen, and by avoiding prolonged time in the sun. You can also use retinoids, which unclogs hair follicles and promotes cell turnover, to reduce the appearance of solar comedones.


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