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It is not uncommon to see red spots left behind when the pimple subsides. This often worries our patients who are eager to get rid of the red marks left behind by the pimples.
Q1) What are these red spots left behind by the pimples and how it is different from scars?
Acne is an inflammatory process which also digs deep into the skin layers. As a result pimples may leave behind pigmentation/black spots or redness and at times, textural changes like icepick, rolling or boxcar scars may form.
The ‘red spots’ left behind when the pimple subsides is known as ‘post inflammatory erythema’. This is not a permanent type of scar and can be managed by medical treatments.
Q2) What is the best way to prevent such red spots or marks?
Prevention is better than cure. It is important to treat pimples / acne to prevent such marks or red spots.
Salicylic acid and Glycolic acid based cleansers may be more helpful.
Sunscreen application is a must even indoors.
Retinoids, both topical and oral are helpful in preventing or even to some extent in treating these red spots. It should be a part of your prescription and is essential for scar prevention. Please read more about topical retinoids on our blog - Frequently asked questions about Retinoids.
Please consult a Dermatologist at the earliest signs of acne to prevent red spots or marks.
Q3) What are the treatment options for red spots caused by pimples/acne?
There are few best options for treating red spots/marks
AHA and BHA containing creams exfoliate the skin and also help in reducing the inflammation to some extent. One has to be careful as these products can cause dryness and irritation.
Topical retinoids- As discussed above, topical retinoids can disrupt the inflammation - redness cycle. Careful application under supervision of a Dermatologist is essential to prevent retinoid dermatitis which can increase redness temporarily. On long term usage, patients do notice improvement in redness and spots
Chemical peels- AHA/BHA peels and retinol peels are helpful in reducing the red spots. They have an additional benefit of preventing new breakouts and managing to give an additional glow as well.
Gold Toning - at Dr. Divya’s Skin and Hair Solutions Clinic in Bangalore, we offer 532nm Gold toning Laser which is very useful in reducing the redness and improving the depth of the acne scars. Spectra Gold toning is an approved treatment for post acne erythema or redness.
PDL- Lasers have been found to be effective but they are not so easily available.
Q4) How much time does it take for the red spots of pimples to go?
It may take anytime between 6 weeks to 6 months for the red spots of pimples to fade away. Procedures make it faster for the spots to go away.
At Dr. Divya’s Skin and Hair Solutions Clinic, we offer customised solutions for the treatment of acne and red spots or marks left behind by the pimples.
Visit us at our clinic or book an online consultation at: +91 9620638388.
Monday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM Sunday: Closed