Acne Treatments for POC

People of color (POC) have a hell of a time with acne treatment. One of the biggest set back is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which can be severe among POC.

Enter a really cool study looking specifically at POC and acne treatment with an adapolene (0.3%) + benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) treatment 1 time daily for 16 weeks. Patients were given an oil control foaming face wash and an oil control moisturizer with 30SPF to use morning and night for the duration of the study. For the study, 20 Asians (control group), 17 African-American/black, and 13 Latin-American by self described decent enrolled. That’s pretty good enrollment numbers. Typically we’d like to see the number of control be higher than the target group of interest but 20:30 really isn’t that bad.

Findings: ” Patients with [skin of color] and moderate or severe facial acne reported high satisfaction with 0.3% A/BPO treatment and experienced good tolerability, improved [Quality of Life], treatment efficacy, and improvement in [Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation]”. Another big deal is that there was no patient discontinuation, meaning everyone finished which is fairly rare in any study.

Quick link:

The treatment they’re looking at is Epiduo Forte. It is a prescription only treatment, but its good to know that it works well for POC or skin of color while also dealing with the skin hyperpigmentation which can be worse than the acne itself.

Adapalene is a retinoid – if pregnant or trying to become pregnant do not use Epiduo Forte or any product that contains adapalene or retinoids.

Adapalene is available over the counter in much lower concentrations. A popular choice is ProActiveMD which has an Adapalene 0.1% gel. Benzoyl peroxide (which is everywhere and I’m not recommending one because they’re literally everywhere) can be very drying for some skin types and using a lower Adapalene concentration might be more useful.When in doubt always work up to a stronger concentration. ProActiveMD 0.1% Adapalene gel is $17.95. Differin Gel (0.1%) is available OTC for $13.99.

I used adapalene gels in middle and high school and they work really well. My face looked really good and cleared up pretty fast which kept me using it. It didn’t treat my body acne though and I had horrible acne which is why we used Accutane after I was older.

So people with darker skin don’t be afraid to look at Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide to treat that acne. It works on POC and it appears to work well.

This is not paid content and the links are not affiliate. I just saw a paper this morning and decided that it needed to be shared.

Lots of Love



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