How to Prevent Getting Dark Spots From Acne

by Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated July 18, 2017

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When your pimples disappear, your acne-related problems may not be over. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your skin may be left discolored with pink, purple, brown or red spots. With the right skin-care products and lifestyle practices, you can help prevent getting these spots to preserve your face's naturally radiant, clear complexion.

Wash your skin every morning and evening with a water-soluble cleanser formulated without oil or waxes. This helps clear your pores to prevent clogging, which can lead to whiteheads and blackheads and increases your risk of dark spots.

Smooth on an over-the-counter acne topical treatment. Early treatment with such over-the-counter treatments prevents pigmentation problems and scarring. Make sure your skin-care treatment is formulated with effective acne-fighters, such as benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or salicylic acid.

Stay out of the sun, and wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater if you do go into the sun. The academy says this helps prevent the darkening of acne trauma regions or existing dark spots.

Exfoliate your skin once a week. Use a skincare scrub made with retinol or glycolic acid, or an at-home microdermabrasion kit. This helps slough off surface skin cells to help remove any dark pigmented cells and keep your skin its natural hue.


  • Without treatment pigmented acne spots will fade on their own within 12 months.

Photo Credits

  • PavelKriuchkov/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.