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Author: Dr Amanda Oakley MBChB FRACP, Dept of Dermatology Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand, 1999.
A solar or senile comedo (plural comedones) is a small skin coloured papule found on the face of a middle-aged or older person. Solar comedones affect areas that have been exposed to sunlight over a long period of time.
The comedones may be open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads). They do not usually become inflamed.
Solar comedones are not related to acne vulgaris.
Solar comedones and larger pseudocysts occur in association with solar elastosis, which causes yellowish, leathery skin and deep furrows. This appearance is also known as Favre-Racouchot syndrome. It may affect the skin around the eyes, the temples and the neck. Favre-Racouchot syndrome is thought to be due to a combination of sun exposure and heavy smoking.
If these measures are unhelpful, the comedones can often be removed by electrocautery or laser ablation. They may recur and require further treatment from time to time.
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