Persistent Red Marks Left Behind Acne/Breakouts? Red Scars or What? (photo)

Dear all, I wonder is my redness mark 1) a flat scar? 2) post inflammatory erythema? 3) prolonged/persistent acne (still bacteria beneath)? 4) diluted vessels? 5) Rosacea? I had this redness since last July, almost 16 months now. Beginning is the deep red elevated area and now is flat red area. What treatment is the best for me? 1) Fraxel Restore 2) KTP Laser 3) IPL 4) Vbeam 5) Chemical Peels 6) Accutane or Viaminati 7) Antibiotics + Tretinoin I have tried Fraxel restore once, KTP twice so far

Doctor Answers 5

Options for treatment of red acne scars

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These acne scars are hypervascular and can respond to several treatments:


  1. Pulsed Dye Scar laser will reduce redness and vascularity
  2. PDSL will also help with inflammatory acne
  3. MelaPeel to lighten skin and further exfoliate area

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Persistent Red Marks After Acne

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Based on the pictures, it appears you still have active acne and that, quite frankly, you are picking at your acne lesions. The latter is probably the major reason why you have persistent red marks. Many of the treatments you mention are not necessary. Find a board-certified dermatologist that you are comfortable with and work on treating your acne more aggressively and on addressing the issue of picking.  Good luck!

Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Acne scars or what?

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Your photos helped a great deal.  You are still suffering from acne outbreaks and demonstrate a great deal of comedonal acne.  Laser treatments should be entertained only once the acne condition is under control, so start off with a board certified dermatologist who is knowledgable and comfortable with skin of color.  Your skin tones will definitely result in some erythema and pigmentation once the acne is controlled but take it one step at a time.  Over time, even those will fade if the acne condition is totally under control.  Hang in there!

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Persistent redness and skin texture change with acne breakouts is scarring

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The red spots on the photos look like the beginning of ice pick scars.  I would not suggest any procedures to "fix" the red spots.  What is needed here is excellent control of acne breakouts so that you don't get more scarring.  Please speak to your board certified dermatologist as soon as possible.

Doing procedures to improve acne scarring while you are breaking out may actually increase the breakouts.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Treat acne before acne scars

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It appears that your acne is still active. Get this under control before addressing acne scars. Seek the care of a board-certified dermatologist. Consider trying Accutane (isotretinoin) which potentially cures acne. It will be clearer which treatment is best for the scars when the acne is under control.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist

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.