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Acne macules treatment

Updated February 21, 2019

Acne macules are not actual acne, but rather the reddened areas that remain on the skin after pimples have healed. For people with acne problems, the appearance of macules all across the face can make the individual appear to have a red, inflamed face. Although macules cannot be treated with traditional acne treatments, there are a number of methods for clearing them up quickly.

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An acne macule appears on the skin as a flat, red patch that remains after a pimple has cleared up. The macule can stay visible for as long as six months after the acne has been resolved. However, the macule is not an acne scar--once the macule begins to fade, it will disappear completely and not leave a mark on the skin.

At-Home Exfoliation Treatment

The most common and least expensive treatment to decrease the appearance of acne macules is adding regular exfoliation to your daily skin-care routine. Exfoliation is a technique in which the facial skin is gently abraded with a mild exfoliation agent in order to removed the top layer of epidermal cells. This surface layer is composed of mostly dead cells, and removing them exposes the live cells underneath. Regular exfoliation helps accelerate the disappearance of macules by slowly removing the discoloured, reddened tissue. Mild exfoliation agents can be purchased at most drug stores and supermarkets.

Professional Exfoliation Treatments

While at-home exfoliation treatments are beneficial, professional exfoliation treatments can also be useful in speeding the disappearance of macules. These methods include microdermabrasion, the use of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and enzyme peels. These methods of exfoliation must be administered in a spa or beauty salon and can be considerably more expensive than at-home methods.

Whitening Treatments

Facial skin-whitening products are another method used to speed the disappearance of acne macules. Whitening products work by suppressing melanin production in the reddened area of the macule and can quickly fade the appearance of macules.


The key to preventing the development of acne macules lies in working to prevent acne in the first place. One of the most effective ways of preventing acne is to establish an effective, regular facial skin-care regimen. Wash the face at least twice a day with a gentle cleanser and exfoliate at least three times a week. Use a moisturiser daily, especially one containing sunblock. Use acne spot treatments promptly if new acne lesions occur, and never leave make-up on overnight.

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About the Author

Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.

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