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September 1974

Pomade Acne in Black Skin

Arch Dermatol. 1974;110(3):465. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630090091033

To the Editor.—  Plewig et al1 reported the proneness of black skin to develop pomade acne, and, recently, Kaidbey and Kligman2 demonstrated that artificially induced coal tar acne in blacks differed from that in whites in that it was hardly inflammatory.I want to confirm both observations. Verhagen et al3 reported that pomade acne, or "vaselinoderma" as we called it, was so common in Kenya (East Africa) that we saw 41 cases in two years. We found that this was invariably due to a widespread practice of treating the face of African children frequently, up to twice daily, with petroleum jelly (Vaseline). We have since no longer counted the cases, but they continue to represent 1% to 2% of dermatologic outpatients. In the great majority, lesions consisted only of open comedones, with minute inflammation, although there were a few exceptions to this rule.Almost all our cases

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