How I Got Rid of My Red Acne Marks With One Laser Treatment

Jessica Harrington

If you look at my skin today it's pretty clear. That's brought to you not by genetics or good skin care - it's all thanks to spironolactone. After having relatively clear skin in my teens, I suddenly started experiencing bad hormonal acne in my early 20s that I just couldn't get rid of until my dermatologist put me on 100 milligrams of the oral medication.

Now I rarely get a breakout, but I'm still dealing with the hyperpigmentation and acne marks leftover from that period. I use retinol and even incorporate the occasional chemical exfoliating mask and treatment to try and lighten that discoloration, but I wasn't noticing a huge difference. As it turns out, the type of acne marks I was trying to get rid of wasn't the type that responds to resurfacing treatments. They needed something more heavy-duty, like the zap of a laser.

I was visiting Joshua Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, when he explained it to me: the red marks on my face were from acne bacteria trapped under the skin - different from acne scars and dark spots - and take time to heal naturally because it requires the body to remove that bacteria on its own. Or you can enlist the help of the V-Beam laser, which is what I did.