Nevus Comedonicus Medication

Updated: Jan 27, 2020
  • Author: Marjon Vatanchi, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
  • Print

Medication Summary

Both topical and oral therapies have been tried. Improvement may occur with the use of topical retinoic acid, salicylic acid, or ammonium lactate lotion. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is not usually recommended because of the long-term treatment requirement, but it may be beneficial in preventing cyst formation.

In cases complicated by hidradenitis suppurativa, treatment for hidradenitis can be initiated. It may help with cysts that develop in the nevus comedonicus lesions. [44]



Class Summary

Topical retinoids are known to have effects on keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. This is believed to loosen comedones and facilitate extraction.

Tretinoin topical (Avita, Retin-A)

Tretinoin inhibits microcomedo formation and eliminates lesions present. It makes keratinocytes in sebaceous follicles less adherent and easier to remove. Tretinoin is available as 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1% creams and 0.01 and 0.025% gels.


Keratolytic agents

Class Summary

Keratolytic agents cause cornified epithelium to swell, soften, macerate, and then desquamate.

Ammonium lactate lotion (AmLactin, Lac Hydrin)

Ammonium lactate lotion contains lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that has keratolytic action, thus facilitating release of comedones. It comes in 5-12% strengths.