Treating acne, acne scars, dark spots, and large pores with radiofrequency
It sounds like your use of retin-a is at least helping to surface the deeper acne lesions so you are less likely to develop deep and inflamed acne papules that might scar. I would recommend continuing that and avoiding the sun which may give dark spots. If you would like something that will fade dark spots, shrink pores and improve any little acne scars, I have seen great success with the EMatrix fractionated radiofrequency heating. We use it on darker skin types frequently and have seen no problems healing. It requires 3-5 treatment sessions depending on severity of the problem, and possibly 2-3 x/year as maintenance. We use numbing cream prior to starting the treatment and warn our patients to expect a little peeling, swelling, rawness for a few days. I know some dermatologists in NYC who probably have this device. The difference between doing this treatment vs. a chemical peel (mandelic or sal. acid best for darker skin types) is you will get more significant and faster improvement, and the improvement in scars and pore size will last longer. The chemical peels would be my second choice but need to be repeated for more months initially, and more often for maintenance. Finally, I would also suggest you avoid sugar and lactose-rich dairy in the diet which both are linked to worse acne.