How to Remove Black Marks on my Face From Pimples? (photo)

Hi, This is the first time i got a big pimple and i started pinching it and the pimples spread over just like anything on my left cheek and the result is full of black marks which are just like chicken pox black marks. Could you please look into the below picture once and let me know the solution so that it will a great help for me. Thanks in advance, Sravanthi

Doctor Answers 14

The PIH will resolve in most cases

Thanks for the question and including the photos that show what we call post-inflammatory
hyperpigmentation or PIH as a result of the acne and your pinching or picking at them. You need a
consultation with a board-certified dermatologist to get your acne under control and to determine the
best treatment for the PIH. Over time, the PIH will resolve in most cases. Various bleaching creams,
including hydroquinone and some of the “active” fading cosmeceuticals can also work well here. Light
chemical peels also can improve PIH when needed, so find the right provider and see what will work best
for you.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Sunscreen, Hydroquinone, Lytera and chemical peels

You have what is known as PIH or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation- a super common condition that occurs in darker skin patients after the event of acne. The treatment of this condition is as follows-

1. Sunscreen and sunprotection- this forms the absolute cornerstone of management. You need to be on this for the duration of any treatment .

2. If you can get hold of HQ or bleaching cream (hydroquinone), I would use 5-7 % daily. For at least 8 weeks. 

3. If no HQ is available, Lytera is a good agent. 

4. Chemical peels such as glycolic acid can help. You will need 4-7 treatments over the next few months. 

5. Vitamin A such as tretinoin can help. 

The best treatment is a combination of the above. 


Dr Davin Lim 
Laser and aesthetic Dermatologist

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

How to treat discoloration from acne

Hi Sravanthi,

Thanks for the question. Acne is an inflammatory problem and the inflammation from acne bumps can irritate the color producing cells in the skin. This can result in darker (hyperpigmented) or lighter (hypopigmented) skin in the area of an acne bump. Discoloration from acne can be very frustrating for patients. Here is how I treat it.

1) Treat and cure the patient's acne. This is most important. The inflammatory process of acne must be shut down in order to prevent skin discoloration. Each patient is different, however, all patient's must be put on a successful regimen for their acne before the discoloration can truly improve.

2) Treat the discoloration. There are multiple ways to help with the discoloration. The most often successful and important are to practice sun protection with strict sun screen use and to use a fade cream such as hydroquinone. In addition to these basic treatment, select patients may benefit from chemical peels, retinoid creams, and laser treatments.

Hope this helps! Take care!

Tarek M. Fakhouri, MD
Sugar Land Dermatologic Surgeon

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Dark spots from pimples

You have what's called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).  It is very common in dark skin individuals following any type of inflammatory process (pimples, burns, cuts, chemical peels or laser treatments).  It can improve on it's own but you need to use sunscreen over it while it is healing and protect it from direct sun exposure.  Prescription strength skin lightening creams such as Hydroquinone 4% can also speed up the process.  It not meant to be used for long term as it can cause side effects.  Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a great options as it is safer on darker skin types, but will require multiple treatments.  Fractional lasers can also lighten the skin and is usually safer for darker skin types than traditional CO2 lasers (which can cause a lot of uneven pigmentation in dark skin individuals).  It can also improve the appearance of the scars as well.  A series of light chemical peels may also help but you have to be very careful with the chemical peels with your dark skin type since they can make the PIH a lot worse if they are the deeper peels.  Best wishes.

Treating Discoloration From Acne

Based on what I see in your pictures, it appears you have mostly discoloration (hyperpigmentation) from the acne lesions.  This is very common, especially in darker skin types. In addition to treating the active acne, there are treatments that can help fade the dark spots, specifically topical RetinA (tretinoin) and hydroquinone which can both help to lighten the color.  There are also office-based treatments such as Silkpeel Dermalinfusion which can help exfoliate the skin and improve the discoloration. I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss what will work best for your skin. 

Dark marks after acne

Discoloration after acne is called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (pih) in which several solutions may be beneficial:

-Topicals -may be a good place to start with lighteners.  however, often times pih is resistant to topicals

-IPL and laser treatment- sometimes, particularly in darker skin types, the discoloration can persist.  targeting the pigmentation can help even the tone of the patient

-Radiofrequency needling- a newer treatment which can be quite effective in post inflammatory acne hyperpigmentation.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Post Inflamatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

First, is to get the acne under control to prevent causing any further injury and discoloration.  Your skin tone is particularly prone to this issue and extra caution needs to be exercised in both preventing and treating this condition. You also need to use sunscreen daily to prevent further darkening.  Also a regimen including a Retin A product and a lightener such as Hydroquinone or kojic acid.  Lastly, light Q-switch laser or chemical peels can help hasten removal of the PIH.  Good Luck

Dr. Michelle Ellern

Michelle Ellern, DO
Livingston Physician

Pigmented acne scars - sun protection and skin care

Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation can follow acne breakout in patients with darker skin types. 
In brief, you need to get the acne better controlled, learn about what to do with breakouts in the meanwhile, use sunblock routinely and have the pigmentation treated of it persist even given the passage of time (usually with a "brightening" agent which suppresses melanin production like hydroquinone).
Go see your family doctor and involve a skin doctor if necessary.

Chien C. Kat, FRCS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Removing Dark Spots from your face

One of the best ways to treat these darks is through a combination of bleaching creams with hydroquinone and chemical peels.  Permea works but is best for lighter skin types.  Please see a cosmetic dermatologist with expertise in darker skin.

Dark marks from pimples

It looks like based on your photo you have developed hyperpigmentation or a darkening effect of the skin from inflammation. Try not to excessively pick your skin and make sure to wear sunscreen when outdoors. Additionally a skin lightening cream would be helpful.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 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.