Luckily, not everyone experiences deep pitted scars as a result of their acne. However, many people are still left with other marks on their skin after the acne lesions are long gone. These red marks from old acne are referred to as post-inflammatory erythema. They commonly present after acne resolves and can be tricky to cover up with makeup. Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Post-inflammatory erythema, or the mark marks from old acne, often improve with time. However, the improvement can take up to a year, and the redness does not always completely resolve. Topical retinoids can help the skin to repair itself more quickly, though vascular lasers are the gold standard for improving red marks from old acne lesions.”
The two most effective lasers for improving the appearance of red marks from old acne both work to collapse the tiny superficial blood vessels that contribute to the appearance of redness. At the Clear Clinic, we find that the KTP laser and the Laser Genesis are the most effective treatments for post-inflammatory erythema. The VBeam is another vascular laser that can be used to collapse the tiny blood vessels. For most patients, a short series of KTP laser and Laser Genesis treatments is sufficient to improve the skin’s appearance. Neither treatment requires any downtime or special aftercare; these laser treatment can both be performed over the lunch hour or before social plans. Once the red marks have improved, they are permanently removed from the skin.