How to remove post acne brown spots

There are two types of post acne marks: Acne scars and Brown Spots. Scars are a result of damage to the dermis. Brown Spots are a result of excess pigmentation. The rest of the article will focus on the treatment of the post acne brown spots, which is far more common than post acne scars.

Sometimes, after acne clears up, it leaves small, flat dark marks in place of where the pimples was. These marks are due to excess pigmentation that is a result of the inflammation induced by the acne. Pressing or squeezing pimples can also contribute  inflammation which will worsen the post acne brown spots. People with darker skin types are particularly vulnerable to post acne brown spots.

There are 2 main treatment options for post acne brown spots:
1. Wear a sunblock on a daily basis. This will prevent the sun from further tanning and darkening the dark spots.
2. Apply a skin lightening cream to the brown spots once or twice a day. Effective skin lightening creams are prescription medication and include products like Hydroquinone and Retinoids.

Lightening the post acne brown spots can take weeks to months.

46 thoughts on “How to remove post acne brown spots

    1. Good day Joel

      There are various treatment options depending on the type of scarring. These could include Medical Skin Needling with Platelet Rich Plasma, various Surgical interventions, Topical applications and Glycolic Acid Peels.

  1. Hi!
    I have few post acne scars and im using skinoren for them but after its use I feel my skin turning red with small pimples. Should I continue usinh this cream?

  2. Hi Sister Spence.
    A couple of years ago I’ve started getting hair in my lip and chin area. To the point where I have to tweeze every 2nd day. I’ve also seen that pimples started appearing under the chin and has now caused acne scarring. Will laser help to fix my problem.

  3. Hi doc
    I am 24 years black south African having problem of acne for more than 4 years now. In august this year I consulted dermatologist n he gave me cyclidox pills n skinoren gel. The problem is the dark marks on myface are still appearing n still having pimples everyday. One of friend suggested that I have to use family planning pill is it useful. How effective is cyclidox n skinoren gel?

    1. Good day

      These medications are one of many treatment options for Acne. It may be that you require a more effective treatment option. Please consult with the Dermatologist.

  4. Hi

    Doc i have these brown pigmentation marks below my eyes on my cheecks and the dermatologist has prescribed reatcnyl but when i use it my face burns what can i do.

    1. Hi
      You can apply Retacnyl every third night until you are able to tolerate using it daily. Alternatively dilute a small amount in your moisturizer and apply as above until tolerated.

  5. Dear Dr Louw
    I recenlty had mild acne and now it is under control however there are 5 tiny acne spots/scars (flat and light pink to red).

    My gp has put me on retacnyl 0.5% and cyclimycin.
    Would the retacnyl tretinoin assist with reducing the scars or is there a more effective approach.

    1. Hi
      Retacnyl will help to some degree depending on the severity. Medical skin needling with Platelet Rich Plasma is one of the most effective treatments for scarring.

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