How to Fix Red Skin Blotches in Photoshop

Written by paul kemp
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Adobe Photoshop includes a variety of tools that allow you to make small but significant photographic touch-ups, such as red-eye removal and blemish healing. Certain touch-ups, however, are difficult to achieve effectively with just the tools. Splotchy skin and redness can ruin an otherwise great picture. Fortunately, you can eliminate unsightly redness and splotches using a combination of the program's adjustment layers and masking techniques.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Digital image

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  1. 1

    Open Photoshop. Open the image you want to correct using the "File > Open" command.

  2. 2

    Open the "Layers" palette and click the "Create a new fill or adjustment layer" icon---which looks like a black and white circle---at the bottom of the palette. Choose "Selective Color" from the flyout menu that results.

  3. 3

    Choose "Reds" from the "Colors" drop menu in the palette that opens up. Slide the "Magenta" arrow to the left until the splotches begin to fade. Choose "Magentas" from the "Colors" menu. Slide the "Magenta" arrow left again until the splotches fade further.

  4. 4

    Reselect the "Layers" palette and click on the white layer mask to the right of the "Selective Color" adjustment layer. Select "Edit > Fill" from the application menu and set the "Use" drop menu to "Black" in the resulting dialogue box. Click "OK." This will hide the selective colour changes you made temporarily.

  5. 5

    Select the "Brush Tool" from the Tools Panel. Set the "Hardness" to 70 per cent in the Tool Options Panel above the canvas. Adjust the "Size" as necessary for the areas of blotchiness you are going over. Click and drag over the blotchy areas with the brush. Your selective colour changes will be applied only to the areas you brush over, allowing the rest of your image to retain its natural colour.

  6. 6

    Save your work using "File > Save As" from the application menu.

Tips and warnings

  • Repeat Steps 2 through 5 a second time if redness and splotches remain after the first pass.

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