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What is Acne Cosmetica ?

The acne that develops from using pomade is called "acne cosmetica" or "pomade acne." It occurs when pomade blocks pores and acne develops on the scalp, forehead and/or temples-places where pomade comes into contact with the skin. Pomade acne usually consists of blackheads and whiteheads, with perhaps a few papules and pustules.A recent survey of acne patients with skin of color revealed that almost half, 46.2%, use pomade (oil or ointment for hair) to style or improve the manageability of their hair and that 70.3% of the patients using pomade developed forehead acne.

Treatment of Acne Cosmetica or Pomade acne

For pomade acne, treatment consists of these options:

  • If using pomade to decrease scalp dryness, try applying pomade one inch behind the hairline.

  • If using pomade to style or make hair more manageable, try applying pomade to the ends of the hair only to avoid contact with the scalp and hairline.

  • Stop using pomade.

Once use of pomade stops, pomade acne should clear. If it persists, be sure to see a dermatologist.

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