Dark spots left behind from old acne can make it appear that blemishes still exist, long after acne has resolved. Dark spots, called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, can occur on any skin color. However, the most commonly develop on skin of color. NYC acne expert Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is frustrating and can be tricky to treat on your own. The best way to fight dark spots from acne is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Ask your dermatologist about prescription retinoids, such as Tazorac, which have been shown to light post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation while simultaneously treating and preventing active acne from forming.”
Tazorac, and other prescription-strength retinoids, work by regulating skin cell turnover. For the purpose of treating active acne, they help to keep pores clear of excess oil and debris that could otherwise attract acne-causing bacteria. At the same time, they help to turn over the pigmented cells of the skin, which contribute to the appearance of dark spots from acne.
If dark spots do form from acne, there are treatments that effectively remove them from your skin. At-home prescription medications (such as hydroquinone), chemical peels, and laser resurfacing treatments (such as the Fraxel laser) help to even out skin tone and remove dark spots from acne that have formed on the skin.