How to Clear Up Brown or Purple Spots From Acne

Updated April 17, 2017

Acne affects people of all ages. Severe acne breakouts often leave brown or purplish spots on the skin even after the acne clears. This happens because our skin reacts to injury through what is called post inflammatory hyper pigmentation. It's simply the skin's way of healing itself, and is a completely natural response. In most cases the spots will fade over time, but it can take up to 24 months. There are things you can do to lessen the appearance of brown, purple or dark spots as a result of acne blemishes.

Mix one part fresh lemon juice to one part fresh cucumber juice. Both are light bleaching agents and will lighten dark spots while you're waiting for them to completely go away.

Saturate a cotton ball with the juice and dab on affected areas.

Wait 15 minutes and then rinse your face thoroughly with warm water. Follow with your regular moisturiser.

Repeat twice a day, morning and evening, for several months or until your dark spots fade.

Cleanse your face with an over-the-counter alpha hydroxy face wash twice each day. Use a small amount in the palm of your hand and work up a gentle lather on your entire face.

Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.

Follow the cleansing with an alpha hydroxy serum. Apply a small amount directly to dark spots with the tip of your finger.

Finish with an alpha hydroxy moisturiser applied lightly to the entire face and neck.


One of the best ways to avoid dark or purple spots from acne is to reduce as much injury to the skin as possible. Avoid picking at acne blemishes and leave the removal of blackheads and whiteheads to your dermatologist. Lemon juice is very acidic and will dry the skin. If you have dry skin, substitute the cucumber juice with honey. Alpha hydroxy products are available at chemists, department stores or speciality skin care stores.


Use the lowest percentage of alpha hydroxy you need to get the results you want. Going too strong too quickly can cause stinging when applied.

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About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.