How to deal with severe post acne mark?
March 30, 2010 7:38 AM   Subscribe

I have a really big red mark leftover from acne, and it won't go away. What's the best way to treat it?

I popped a pretty big zit on my right temple, which left a very large red mark (about a 1/2" diameter red circle). I left it alone for the last 3 weeks, and it hasn't really improved.

Recently, I put some 2% salicylic acid solution on it, which made it scab over and peel off. It looks pretty much the same afterwards. I'm not sure if this is helping it or making it worse. Any advice as to the best way to proceed?
posted by fatty magoo to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Did you put neosporin on it while it was healing?
posted by anniecat at 7:55 AM on March 30, 2010

Response by poster: I did. However, at this point, I think it's mostly "healed" (i.e. not bleeding or going to get infected), and I don't think neosporin will help.
posted by fatty magoo at 8:03 AM on March 30, 2010

Best answer: I would suggest using a dab of calamine lotion on the big red spot in the morning and at night, it should take the redness away quickly, as well as the side benefit of making your side less oily!
posted by banannafish at 8:09 AM on March 30, 2010

Vitamin E oil for helping with scars. I find it helps, I don't know what studies say. You may also want to look at Merderma (I think?) which is touted to heal scars.
posted by kellyblah at 8:15 AM on March 30, 2010

I often get brown spots after acne has healed, and I use a glycolic acid peel. However, you might just want to go to a professional for a peel. I think you should also put sunscreen on it before going outside.
posted by anniecat at 8:22 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

It will likely fade with time, but I'd definitely wear a very good sunscreen while this is happening (high ppd/high spf). This will help SIGNIFICANTLY, in my experience, with pigmentation issues. Also, an AHA treatment might help speed up the process. You could also look into using a retinoid.
posted by LittleKnitting at 8:56 AM on March 30, 2010

I would listen to Kellyblah. I have also used 100% cocoa butter, and drink a lot of water. Keep your skin moisturized and put lotion on it regularly. Stuff like salicylic acid is for when you have the pimple or want to remove deadskin. the spot is healing now, so you need to put the moisture back in. Cut down on red meat for the time being and eat lean protein. That helps a great deal whenever I have any kind of scars, from cuts, pimples, etc.

For the future, if you're over 25, don't pop the pimple. Instead, put a dab of tooth paste on the spot for a sec or leave it alone and increase your water intake and decrease your fat intake. The scars you get in general tends to last longer as you get older.
posted by icollectpurses at 9:11 AM on March 30, 2010

You could try using a product with hydroquinone in it. I've been using this by Murad to try to lighten some hyper-pigmentation I have going on, and it helps with acne scarring too.
posted by JenMarie at 9:42 AM on March 30, 2010

Scars like that can take up to a year to fully disappear. My dermatologist recommended Mederma (it's sold over the counter), but you have to be exceptionally disciplined to use it as indicated. I assume that your acne is otherwise under control; if not, it's a bad idea to put any product on your face before consulting your dermatologist.
posted by halogen at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2010
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:23 PM on March 30, 2010

You want Philosophy's On a Clear Day Retinol Clarifying Lotion. I love this stuff -- I get red marks that last forever, and they vanish in a few days with this.

If you want something cheaper, you can also get a smaller tube as part of Philosophy's Completely Clear Skin System. Maybe trying another retinol product from the drugstore would work?
posted by runningwithscissors at 4:38 PM on March 30, 2010

Response by poster: Calamine lotion worked really well. It took a lot of the red out within hours. I'll have to try some of these other suggestions for more long term things.
posted by fatty magoo at 4:52 PM on March 30, 2010

This isn't a long-term solution, but if you want it to go away for a few hours at least, put some Visine (the eye drops) on it. It makes the blood vessels shrink (in eyes, but also skin).
posted by Houstonian at 9:10 PM on March 30, 2010

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