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Dermatology/post acne red marks


dear sir.i am rafsan and 18 years old.i have had acne for last 5 years.i have some mild acne scars on my face and so many post acne red marks.i tried many products but the red marks are not fading.please help me to get rid of this red marks.

Post acne marks, or macules, are commonly referred to as ďacne scars." Real acne scars, however, are the indentations or protrusions left behind by acne. Acne marks, on the other hand, are the flat red or brown dots left behind by pimples. They are also a type of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

(Treatment for acne macules is different from treatment for acne scars. We will be covering post-acne marks and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) here. To learn more about acne scars and their treatment options, check out this very informative site.)

Acne isn't the only thing that can cause discolored skin marks. Other dark spots and types of skin hyperpigmentation can come from aging, sun damage, and even using birth control pills.

Most of the time, acne marks and dark marks that you get from skin wounds will go away on their own. However, for some people, it can take anywhere from six months to many years for them to lighten completely. Other forms of hyperpigmentation (ones from aging, allergies, etc.) don't fade on their own and may even get darker as time goes on.

To treat these red marks and pigmentation issues, consider the following options:


Wearing sunscreen is essential, whether you are trying to fade marks or have no marks to fade whatsoever. It should be a part of your skin care routine because it protects your skin against the sun's harmful UV rays and prevents cancerous lesions.

If you want to speed up the fading of your hyperpigmentation, it is extra important to use sunscreen consistently. Sunscreen not only prevents sun damage, it helps prevent existing acne macules and other dark spots from getting even darker.


Exfoliating helps fade your acne marks faster by shedding old skin and bringing new skin to the surface. There are lots of options for exfoliation, such as scrubs and washcloths. I personally prefer chemical exfoliation because I feel it penetrates deeper, works faster, and is less physically irritating than manual exfoliation.

To get rid of red acne marks or hyperpigmentation, you can also consider using prescription retinoids, like Differin, Retin-A, or Tazorac. Prescription azelaic acid, like Finacea, is also known for lightening skin. On the other hand, if you donít want to use prescription products, you can try over-the-counter products with AHAs as the active ingredient. (I've had good results with using an AHA serum to fade old acne marks.)

Though exfoliation is one way to fade dark marks faster, be aware that these types of topical exfoliating products and treatments can cause irritation such as redness, peeling, and dryness. They can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, which makes wearing a good sunscreen that much more important.

Skin Lighteners

Aside from exfoliating to help skin renew itself faster, you can attack dark spots with skin lighteners such as kojic acid, licorice extract, arbutin, mulberry extract, and vitamin C.

Hydroquinone is also a skin lightener, however, because there are cancerous risks associated with this ingredient, it has been banned in Europe and Asia. Over-the-counter hydroquinone products have been pulled in the US market, but prescription products are still available.

Many Asian skin care products target the lightening and whitening of skin as well. However, before purchasing any of these products, make sure to check the ingredients to see if there are actually effective skin lighteners in the product.


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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


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