How to Remove Dark Spots From Acne on Black Skin

Improve the aesthetic appearance of your skin by removing unsightly spots.
Improve the aesthetic appearance of your skin by removing unsightly spots. (Image: sexy African-american woman image by MAXFX from

Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its brown color. Acne scars are hyper-pigmented areas that have a build-up of melanin. It is easy to overstimulate melanin production in a person of color and cause dark spots to appear. These pools of concentrated melanin usually occur after an acne flare-up. However, there are steps to help alleviate dark spots on darker skin tones and measures to help prevent dark spots from reoccurring.

Things You'll Need

  • Salicylic acid face wash
  • Hydroquinone
  • Sunscreen
  • Benzoyl peroxide

Cleanse your face with a face wash that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid will chemically slough off dead skin cells, increase cellular turnover and expedite scar healing. Most salicylic treatments are available in 2 percent strength at your local drugstore. If a more potent dose of topical salicylic acid is required for stubborn acne scars, consult your dermatologist.

Use a cosmetic bleaching agent on the dark spots to even out your skin tone. Use a hydroquinone topical cream that has cortisone to treat dark spots. Hydroquinone helps diffuse heavily pigmented spots and decrease the formation of melanin on the skin. Most hydroquinone formulas are available over the counter at 2 percent to 4 percent concentrations and show significant success of evening out the skin. Cortisone helps relieve the dryness and itchiness that the hydroquinone medicine can cause.

Ask your dermatologist about laser treatments. Laser treatments burn away dark spots on your skin by using a pulsating light that will break up the melanin build-up. You will need a number of laser treatments over the affected area because dark spots on darker skin tend to be more resilient. The dermatologist will determine what kind of laser to use to reduce the chance of over-exfoliation and bleeding, which can result in blistering and possible scarring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consistently apply sunscreen when going outdoors, and use one with an SPF of 15 or more. Melanin is a key component in your body's defense against sun exposure. However, this defense can manifest itself as dark spots and an uneven skin tone.
  • Prevent acne from forming. Clean your face regularly with a face wash that contains benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide will dry up and remove acne, thereby lessening the chance of it forming dark spots.

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