How can I treat these red marks to make them disappear? (photo)

Over the last few months I have developed these red dots on the sides of my face/ cheek and jaw area and they have not faded or gotten better. They are flat and smooth to the touch for the most part so I'm not sure if I should treat them as acne or something that is more sensitive.

Doctor Answers 5

Acne Resolves With PIE (Post Inflammatory Erythema) & PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

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There are several points that need to be made in your case. 

First, that it is best to deal with any residual red and brown spots AFTER active acne is brought under strict control.

Second, as part of the resolution and healing process of acne (or other inflammatory skin conditions, resulting from trauma, surgery, infection, etc.) there is an expected period of skin discoloration, first redness, known medically as postinflammatory erythema, then skin darkening, known as postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.

The red spots usually go through stages from bright reds, purples, etc. and the hyperpigmented spots typically go from really dark browns to fawn colored to eventually fading.

This entire process of fading may take anywhere from six weeks to six months (sometimes even a year), during which coversticks may be required or bleaching creams may be helpful. 

Now, it is difficult to say from a two-dimensional photo, but there does not appear to be any significant scarring, and besides any superficial depressed regions usually fill in over time without any need for intervention.

You would do well to seek evaluation by a board certified dermatologist who can prescribe an appropriate anti-acne regimen, and will also be able to tell you if you in fact have any permanent scarring at this time. 

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Red Acne Scars

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The V-Beam laser would be the best laser for your acne scars. It will take a few treatments but it is the best laser with no down time and with minimal discomfort.  The V-Beam laser is the gold standard of lasers.  Best, Dr. Green


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You still have active acne and need to be treated with prescription medication if you desire your skin to clear up.  There is a chance that once the acne fades, red marks will be left behind ("scars").  These marks can be treated with several laser treatments such as the VBeam or IPL ("photofacial").  Be well.

Estee Williams, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

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Acne on Sensitive Skin

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Get the acne under control, I suggest you see a Board-Certified Dermatologist.  The redness can be treated by a vascular laser such as a Vbeam or an IPL (intense pulsed light.)  Avoid the sun when you have redness like that, as it can get post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Marla M. Klein, MD
Lake Oswego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Active acne- treat acne and consider V Beam or Vascular lasers

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You still have active acne. Consider seeing a dermatologist for control. The red flat and smooth scars are the easiest to treat- V BEAM laser can help. 

All the best

Dr Davin Lim 
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.