July 15, 2022

Post-Inflammatory Erythema and Redness: A Common Concern for Patients Undergoing Acne Scar Removal

What is Post-inflammatory erythema?

Post-inflammatory erythema or redness is a natural healing response from acne scar removal treatments. It occurs because new blood vessels are forming to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the recently treated site to facilitate healing. During this time, it is not wise to prematurely treat redness. Patients often ask about redness lasers, such as The V Beam, V-Star, Cynosure, Nd:YAG, KTP, and pulse-dye lasers. While these are popular for treating vascular conditions, such as rosacea, hemangiomas, and venous lakes, they should not be used to treat post-inflammatory erythema or redness early on during the healing process, as this could deprive your freshly formed skin from much needed nutrients circulating through your blood.

What is erythema. Patients with post-inflammatory erythema and redness.
Min, Seonguk et al. “Fractional Microneedling Radiofrequency Treatment for Acne-related Post-inflammatory Erythema.” Acta dermato-venereologica 96 1 (2016): 87-91 .

How do you deal with Post-inflammatory erythema?

It is best to be patient with post-inflammatory erythema and to allow your body to resolve redness on its own. If it persists for a very long time, way past the time that your scars have fully healed from acne scar removal treatments, such as Taylor liberator subcision, CROSS treatment, or filler injections, then this would be the appropriate time to do so.


Common Mistakes

Also, it is important to not confuse post-inflammatory erythema with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. One simple test you can do is to apply firm pressure to your skin to see if the color of your skin blanches (turns white) in response. If it does, then likely it is post-inflammatory erythema because you are essentially shifting the blood out of the area where pressure was applied. If not, then it is very possible that you have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin, since melanin does not shift with applied pressure. It is best that you seek medical attention immediately if you are uncertain about which condition you have. The longer you wait to get post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation treated, the harder it is to treat down the line.


How do we treat Post-inflammatory erythema?

We have one of the latest and best redness removal lasers available, known as the Fotona 4D laser. We are able to dial the energy settings to match exactly your skin type to maximize results while minimizing complication rates. If you have a question about acne scar removal today or post inflammatory erythema, feel free to give us a call so that we can figure out a treatment battle plan with you today!



Min, Seonguk et al. “Fractional Microneedling Radiofrequency Treatment for Acne-related Post-inflammatory Erythema.” Acta dermato-venereologica 96 1 (2016): 87-91 .

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