Acne scars or hyperpigmentation? (Photos)

I've been suffering with problematic skin since I was 12, I am currently 23. I've tried pretty much most of the prescribed topical creams and lotions and was also put on birth control to help keep my hormones in check. Nothing has ever really helped. I was diagnosed with PCOS, so my acne is hormonal. I have a lot of redness on my cheeks that are always there and was wondering if this was hyperpigmentation? What treatment/products would help me?

Doctor Answers 5

Deep acne scars and ematrix RF

I would suggest sublative treatments followed by PDL to help reduce the acne and redness on your face. Ematrix will help with deep pitted acne scars. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Acne Scars and hormonal Acne

I would suggest you consult a physician who is an expert in acne scars.  I would inquire about Spironolactone for the acne if it is hormonal.  For the redness I would suggest V-Beam laser followed by eMatrix for the acne scars.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

I see 2 main aftermath issues

The color change your are seeing is really a combination of broken blood vessels leading to redness/darkness and contour changes of the skin (scars). You will not get much benefit from "hyperpigmentation" approaches like topical bleaching creams or simple exfoliators. You really need to focus on addressing the redness and the scars. Like others have mentioned, you will likely be looking at a combination approach to improve the appearance of these marks and dark spots. Lasers for blood vessels, Lasers for scar resurfacing, micro needling, subcision are all good options to consider. So go see a local expert and have them discuss with you what the have available to offer. But just keep in mind that a simple cream is not going to cut it. And know ahead of time, that it will be a process over several sessions. Best!

Miguel A. Gutierrez, MD
Torrance Dermatologist

Redness of skin from acne

You are a good candidate for Excel V treatment. This helps acne and it associated redness. It also will help minor pigmentation. If scarring is still a concern after these treatments, Infini can be used for further improvement.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Here's what will help with acne scarring-lasers, subcision, fillers, RF, microneedling/prp

These are called macular erythema  or red scars. I recommend a formal evaluation in with an expert in acne scarring. A combination treatment would be best for this. Laser resurfacing, vascular lasers, subcision, fillers, radiofrequency/sublative, microneedling/PRP and even some small surgical procedures will improve these. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

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