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How to Get Rid of Acne Discoloration (Everything You Need to Know)

Just when you think you have gotten rid of acne, it leaves a lasting impression in the form of discoloration, commonly referred to as hyperpigmentation or acne scars. So, how do you transition from active acne to flawless skin?

This guide will explore everything you need to know about how to get rid of acne discoloration, including the science behind it and an array of effective treatments.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Hyperpigmentation is a common skin issue that occurs post-acne or due to other skin traumas, requiring targeted treatments for effective management.
  • Understanding the underlying causes of hyperpigmentation, like sun exposure and hormonal changes, is crucial for choosing the right treatment.
  • Clinical treatments with low-pH acid can effectively promote faster skin cell turnover and reduce hyperpigmentation.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive approach to skincare, effectively treating active acne while addressing lingering effects like hyperpigmentation and scars.

Woman removing face mask to show acne scars

The Basics: Understanding Acne Discoloration

Before diving into how to get rid of acne discoloration, it's crucial to understand what you're dealing with. Acne discoloration can manifest in several ways, such as dark spots, red or pink patches, or even more severe scarring. This discoloration occurs as a form of skin pigmentation known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Types of Acne-Related Discoloration

  • Dark Spot: Often appears as a flat, discolored patch of skin.
  • Post-Acne Hyperpigmentation: General darkening of the skin caused by acne.
  • Red or Pink Patches: Typically fade over time but can linger if not treated.
  • Scar: A more permanent type of skin damage that may require specialized treatment.

What Causes Discoloration?

Acne breakouts often cause skin discoloration, but other factors can also contribute. These include excessive sun exposure, which can cause age spots, and skin trauma that leads to darker skin tones.

How Skin Type Affects Discoloration

Different skin types may experience acne discoloration in unique ways. For example, darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation due to excess melanin production.

Dark skin tone woman with acne discoloration

Treating Acne Discoloration: An Array of Options

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when getting rid of acne discoloration. However, you have many treatments to choose from, broadly categorized as over-the-counter remedies and more advanced procedures.

Over-the-Counter Solutions

Over-the-counter (OTC) products can be an effective first step to treat mild to moderate discoloration.

  • Retinoids: These promote cell turnover, helping new skin cells replace the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. This process can help treat acne scars.
  • Chemical Peels: Usually containing a low-pH acid, these peels promote skin cell turnover and can help reduce hyperpigmentation.
  • Vitamin C: This antioxidant helps in collagen production and can brighten your skin, reducing the appearance of dark marks.
  • Products Containing Hydroquinone: This skin-lightening agent can treat your acne discoloration by bleaching the dark spot. However, it should be used with caution on sensitive skin.

Advanced Procedures

For those with moderate to severe discoloration, more intensive treatments are available.

  • Laser Treatment: Lasers can penetrate the outer layer of skin and stimulate collagen and elastin, which helps treat more severe types of scarring.
  • Microdermabrasion: This technique uses tiny crystals to exfoliate the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting new skin cell formation.
  • Collagen Induction Therapy: This involves using needles to puncture the skin and stimulate collagen production, which can help treat various types of skin concerns, including acne scars and hyperpigmentation.

How to Protect Your Skin and Prevent Further Discoloration

Prevention is always better than cure. Here's how you can protect your skin and prevent acne from getting worse, which is the key to minimizing further discoloration.

  • Sun Protection: Use a broad-spectrum SPF to protect your skin from the sun. This prevents dark spots from forming and helps maintain an even skin tone.
  • Skincare Routine: A balanced skincare routine that moisturizes the skin barrier while controlling breakouts can help prevent acne and subsequent discoloration.

Woman putting skin care cream on face

  • Avoid Skin Trauma: Picking at your skin or aggressive scrubbing can cause skin trauma, exacerbating hyperpigmentation and acne scars.
  • Incorporate Products That Promote Healthy Skin: Skin care products that promote cell turnover and collagen production can help in maintaining healthy skin and preventing new scars.

Myths and Misconceptions: What Doesn't Work?

It's easy to fall prey to quick fixes and myths, especially when dealing with something as concerning as acne discoloration.

Myth: Lemon Juice Can Lighten Skin

Acidic home remedies like lemon juice are often touted as quick solutions to lighten dark spots. However, they can irritate the skin and cause further discoloration, especially for sensitive skin.

Myth: All Types of Acne Cause Scarring

Not all acne will result in scars. Cystic acne is more likely to cause long-lasting scars than other types of acne, like black or whiteheads.

Myth: Tanning Can Hide Discoloration

Tanning may temporarily darken the surrounding skin, making dark spots less noticeable. However, it's simply a form of skin pigmentation that can exacerbate the discoloration and lead to other skin issues.

By debunking these myths, you can focus on treatments that work for your skin type and specific skin concerns.

Woman lying on tanning bed

The Natural Route: DIY Treatments and Lifestyle Choices

While clinical treatments and over-the-counter solutions are commonly used, there's also a place for natural remedies in treating skin discoloration.

  • Dietary Changes: Eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants can promote healthy skin, which can, in turn, help treat and prevent acne and post-acne hyperpigmentation.
  • Tea Tree Oil: This natural remedy can treat active acne breakouts, and its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce red or pink patches on your skin.
  • Aloe Vera: Known for its healing properties, aloe vera can help treat the acne while soothing the skin, potentially helping with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Green Tea Extracts: Rich in polyphenols, green tea can help clear acne and reduce the signs of hyperpigmentation by increasing cell turnover.

By incorporating some of these natural remedies and lifestyle changes, you can augment the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

The Role of Exposed Skin Care in Managing Acne Discoloration

Managing acne and its after-effects requires a targeted approach. Exposed Skin Care offers an extensive range of acne treatments that focus on active pimples and blemishes and the dark spots and scars that often linger long after the acne has healed.
Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

Here's how Exposed Skin Care can benefit you:

  • Treat Hyperpigmentation: Exposed Skin Care offers products specifically designed to eliminate hyperpigmentation. Unlike common skin-lightening agents that can irritate the skin, these are formulated to be gentle yet effective.
  • Get Rid of Acne Scars: The brand provides a suite of products to treat acne scars best. These formulas work by stimulating the renewal of skin cells, encouraging the skin underneath to heal and thereby diminishing scars.
  • Even Out Skin Tone: The range includes products that contain essential ingredients to even out your skin tone, helping eliminate dark spots caused by acne.
  • Clinical Treatment With Low-pH Acid: Their line includes a low-pH acid that can effectively treat acne and skin conditions, promoting skin renewal while simultaneously managing hyperpigmentation.
  • Holistic Approach: Exposed Skin Care takes a comprehensive approach to skincare, tackling the root causes of acne and the factors causing the dark spots and uneven tone.

Exposed Skin Care offers a targeted approach to treating active acne and managing post-acne hyperpigmentation and scars, facilitating an all-around healthier complexion.


Navigating the world of hyperpigmentation treatments can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it's crucial to understand that hyperpigmentation is a form of skin discoloration that occurs post-acne or due to other skin traumas.

It's a common skin issue that requires specific attention, especially when dealing with products that promise skin-lightening effects. Understanding the underlying factors that cause hyperpigmentation is the first step towards effective treatment.

Various factors, such as sun exposure and hormonal changes, can exacerbate the condition. Treatments with a low-pH acid have proven efficacy in treating this condition by accelerating the rate at which skin renews itself.

One noteworthy brand that has shown promising results in treating active acne and its lingering effects is Exposed Skin Care. Their range of products addresses these skin concerns while also working to promote a more balanced and healthy complexion.


What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a form of skin discoloration that occurs after acne has healed or due to other skin traumas.

What causes hyperpigmentation?

Factors like sun exposure, hormonal changes, and inflammation can cause hyperpigmentation.

Is hyperpigmentation different from acne scarring?

Unlike acne scarring, hyperpigmentation is often easier to treat if addressed early.

How effective are clinical treatments with low-pH acid?

Clinical treatments with a low-pH acid effectively promote faster skin renewal and reduce hyperpigmentation.

What role does Exposed Skin Care play in treating hyperpigmentation?

Exposed Skin Care offers targeted treatments that tackle active acne and hyperpigmentation and scars, offering a holistic approach to skincare.