How to Reduce Skin Redness & Scarring

Carol_Anne/iStock/Getty Images

Any number of conditions can leave scars and rough red patches on your skin. Acne lesions, rosacea, dermatitis and sunburn can leave a mark on your skin that may be unsightly and uncomfortable. While cosmetics can relieve some of the awkward appearance, you can take steps to reduce the redness and scarring with over-the-counter and prescription medications and treatments. Talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies, however, to make sure they don't interfere with any other treatments you may be undergoing.

Remove the entire top of your skin with a chemical peel. Dermatologists apply chemicals to your skin that literally eat away the surface, leaving fresh skin exposed. After a short period of healing, the skin appears clean and unblemished.

Get collagen injections if the scars left indentations in your skin. Collagen is injected directly at the site of the scar and fills in the area so that it lies flat with the rest of your skin. Injections must be repeated every three to six months though to maintain the smoothness.

Choose from a wide range of laser procedures that are less invasive than chemical peels and other abrasive treatments. The intense light from the laser is designed to remove the top layer of skin, but with less pain. New skin grows back in the areas that were hit with the laser. Laser treatments usually take longer, however; you might need four to six treatments to reduce redness in one spot. Some laser treatments are permanent and others must be repeated every few months.

Use an over-the-counter cream that contains alpha-hydroxy acids. According to, products are designed to reduce inflammation and remove the dead skin cells causing the redness. New skin can grow back quicker as the alpha-hydroxy acids stimulate skin regeneration.

Find OTC products that won't irritate your skin further. Look for botanicals and natural ingredients that could be used on a baby. According to the National Rosacea Society, products that contain fragrances, menthol, alcohol and witch hazel may burn sensitive red skin and should be avoided.