Q. I have acne scars and red zones on my skin, mostly near my jawline and cheeks. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Shama Naaz
and medically reviewed by Dr. Chithranjali Ravichandran
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 26, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have what I think are acne scarring and red zones on my skin. Mostly near my jawline and cheeks. I use a face scrub and acne cleanser in the shower mostly daily and try to use something gentle like witch hazel after that. I do not use that every day, however, and I would like to clear it all up as I am very self-conscious about it. Once a month or every six months, I might use the home peel, and once a week or so, a face mask, usually Aztec mud or charcoal based. I do not know what to do to get rid of it.



Welcome to

From the picture (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), these are acne lesions and post-inflammatory erythema (redness) on your face.

Do you have any menstrual irregularities?

Hi doctor,

No, it is pretty consistent. I have a non-hormonal IUD for about more than two years, but this has been going on longer than that. And it never really decreases. Occasionally, I will have hormonal acne along my jawline or if I have too much dairy, but I limit that as well, and my diet is fairly clean.



Welcome back to

These are some Do’s and Dont's that would help you get rid of acne lesions and erythema.


1. You should use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil or Cerave gentle cleanser to wash your face.

2. Use Adapalene 0.1% gel (apply a thin layer of gel over pimples at night time after washing your face) - initially use it on alternate nights for three days, then apply daily.

3. Always use a non-comedogenic broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. It will help in reducing the redness.

5. Use a gentle moisturizer like Cerave facial moisturizer (as dry skin can cause glands to secrete more oil and can clog pores).

4. You should use skincare products that have the words

“non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and will not clog pores” on its label.

5. Drink plenty of water and avoid oily, fried snacks and food with a high glycemic index.

6. Clean your pillowcase regularly.

7. Always remove makeup before you go to sleep.

8. Stress is also one of the factors for acne flare-ups. Meditation can help reduce stress.


1. Do not use scrub daily. Please use it once a week.

2. Do not use an Aztec face mask as your face can become even more erythematous after using it and increase acne lesions.

3. Do not face more than twice because frequent washing of the face can strip natural oil and increase the activity of sebum-producing glands.

4. Do not try to remove the acne lesions by squeezing as it would further push down the sebum and result in a nodulocystic type of acne.

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