Ask A Skin Doctor: Dark Acne Mark Removal

dark acne mark removal

Dear Doctor

Sir/madam? I’ve been suffering from acne for along time now. I started taking homeopathy but that left me with more acne and reddish skin in my both cheeks.

After takiing my aleopathy treatment, my acnes are totally gone but it left an unusual ugly reddish skin behind that looks very ugly on my skin.

The doctor gave me salicylic acid lotion but i don’t thing it’s gonna work or it is very slow reaction.

Please help me? This picture is of my scar.

post inflammatory hyperpigmentation 2

Dear Patient

Your picture is very unclear and I cannot tell whether we are dealing with a true acne scar or with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) which are the dark marks left on the skin after acne heals.

Salicylic acid lotion is effective for PIH because it exfoliates the skin. This means it loosens the glue that holds the dead cells on the surface of the skin together and so that these cells fall off and the brighter skin beneath is revealed. Salicylic acid also reduces inflammation and  this can help reduce the reddishness.

Most medications for acne need to be used for around 6 weeks before you say they are not working. I suggest you give the salicylic acid lotion this duration.

Dark Acne Mark Removal

In addition to using the salicylic acid lotion the following are used to treat the dark acne marks or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH):

SPF 30 Sunscreen

Broad spectrum sunscreens that offers protection from UVA and UVB rays and that have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above should be used every day.

Mild Chemical Peels

Mild chemical peels are also used for acne scars. These peels can contain AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) like 30% glycolic acid or BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) like salicylic acid.


Skin Brighteners

Examples of skin brighteners that can be used include:

a. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a natural antioxidant which reduces melanin production by the skin and gives it a radiant effect. It is found in products like Olay Total Effects tone correcting night moisturizer and Neutrogena dark spot corrector.

b. Vitamin B3 or niacinamide is another skin brightener used to reduce hyperpigmentation. It interrupts abnormal pigment formation by reducing the transfer or melanosomes to the skin cells. It is found in products like Olay Total Effects tone correcting night moisturizer.

c. Licorice extract in a skin brightening agent which also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in the Dark Spot Corrector Kit.


Retinols are found in products like the Dark Spot Corrector Kit and Neutrogena dark spot corrector.



Adopt an Acne-Free Lifestyle

Adopting an acne-free lifestyle can prevent the recurrence of acne and the formation of new dark marks. To do this you can do the following:


*Join a smoking cessation program if you smoke cigarettes

*Eat vitamin A rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables

*Avoid sugary foods like cakes and eat low glycemic index foods like whole grain bread. To learn more read How to Treat Acne at Home.

Dark acne marks skin brightener


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