Why do my pimples leave red marks? Sometimes another pimple forms in the same spot as the red marks, why?

Doctor Answers 2

Why does acne leave red marks? And why does a pimple come back in the same spot?

Post-inflammatory Erythema (PIE) indicates redness, or dilated capillaries, as opposed to Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), which is brown and implies melanin deposition in the skin. Hint: Pressing on the skin with a clear glass slide or similar will temporarily push the blood out of the capillaries, removing any PIE so that you can tell how much PIH is there! Almost everyone has a mixture of both.

Redness that acne leaves behind takes a long time to resolve (this can be 3 to 6 months after the blemish appeared). Any red discoloration will fade with time, and other treatments do not typically add a lot; however, medications that fight inflammation may reduce redness to a variable extent. Procedures such as vascular laser treatments may help, but the passage of time usually does the trick!

Acne can come back in the same spot because of local factors that increase susceptibility to breakout in a certain area of the face—such as sitting chin-in-hand while reading or working on your computer. Often, a pimple recurs in the exact same spot because there is still inflammation deeper in the skin, which makes the spot vulnerable to the usual acne influencers, such as hormones, stress, diet or local irritants. 


San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Acne leaving red marks on skin

This is how the skin heals. Time will improve this or a vascular laser such as Excel V or VBeam will expedite the healing and decrease the chances of PIH.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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.