Comedogenesis: Some Aetiological, Clinical and Therapeutic StrategiesCunliffe W.J. · Holland D.B. · Clark S.M. · Stables G.I.
Hypercornification is an early feature of acne and usually precedes inflammation. It is associated with ductal hyperproliferation, and there are many controlling factors such as androgens, retinoids, sebum composition and cytokines. Cycling of normal follicles and of comedones may explain the natural resolution of comedones and, in the longer term, resolution of the disease itself. There is a need to tailor treatment according to comedonal type. Suboptimal therapy can often result from inappropriate assessments of comedones, especially microcomedones, sandpaper comedones, submarine comedones and macrocomedones. Macrocomedones can produce devastating acne flares, particularly if patients are inappropriately prescribed oral isotretinoin. Gentle cautery under topical local anaesthesia is a useful therapy in the treatment of such lesions. The newer retinoids and new formulations of all-trans-retinoic acid show a better benefit/risk ratio.
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