Acne and skin bleaching in Lomé, Togo


  • Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Dr Kombaté Koussake
BP 30284 Lomé Togo


Objective  This study aims at describing the clinical characteristics of patients with acne using skin bleaching (SB) products.

Patients and methods  This is a prospective study conducted over 8 months in three dermatology departments and one private clinic. All patients examined for acne were included in the study.

Results  The study included 119 patients examined for acne from March to October 2010. Among them 48 (40.7%) did SB. Hydroquinone was the first product used for SB (26 of 48), followed by topical corticosteroids (17 of 48). The elementary lesions were papules (99.2%), comedos (36.1%), pustules (63.9%), pigmentation (26.1%), scars (21%), and nodules (20.2%). The extent of acne on the face was observed in all patients (100%). The lesions were extensive among 43.7% of the patients. The extent of acne lesions was not statistically associated with SB. Other body areas concerned were the chest (20.2%), back, and shoulders (41.2%). The relative risk of having lesions on the back and/or shoulders when the patient practiced SB was 2.71 (CI: 1.08–6.84), which is significant.

Conclusion  The study suggests that the back and shoulders can be the main areas for acne lesions associated with the practice of SB. The influence of different types of product is unclear.