DermNet NZ

Facts about the skin from DermNet New Zealand Trust. Topic index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Solar comedones

Solar or senile comedones arise on the face of the middle-aged and elderly. They affect areas that have been exposed to sunlight over a long period of time, particularly the cheeks, which may become yellow and leathery (solar elastosis).

The comedones may be open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads). There may also be larger cysts.

Solar comedones are not related to acne vulgaris and do not usually become inflamed. They are however very persistent.

Solar comedones Solar comedones Solar comedones
Solar comedones

Favre-Racouchot syndrome

Solar comedones in association with elastosis (yellowish thickening and furrows) is also known as Favre-Racouchot syndrome. It may affect the skin around the eyes, the temples and the neck. It is thought to be due to a combination of sun exposure and heavy smoking.

Favre-Racouchot syndrome Solar comedones Solar comedones
Solar comedones Solar comedones
Image from Dr S Janjua
Solar comedones
Image from Dr S Janjua
Favre-Racouchot syndrome


If these measures are unhelpful, the comedones can often be removed by cautery, diathermy or laser treatment. They may recur and require further treatment from time to time.

Related information

On DermNet NZ:

Other websites:

Favre-Racouchot syndrome (Nodular Elastosis With Cysts and Comedones) – Medscape Reference

Books about skin diseases:

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Author: Dr Amanda Oakley MBChB FRACP, Dept of Dermatology Waikato Hospital

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If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.