What Are the Treatments for Facial Blemishes?

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Skin discoloration is common and can be caused by sun damage, aging, an injury or an illness. Unfortunately, facial blemishes are much harder to hide than skin discoloration on other areas of the body and can cause embarrassment and self-consciousness. Always schedule a visit with a physician prior to beginning a treatment regimen, as some facial blemishes may indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Laser Resurfacing

During laser resurfacing, your physician will remove the top layer of skin cells on your face to fully exfoliate your skin. This stimulates the cells underneath to produce collagen, which can give you a youthful glow in addition to evening out your skin tone. According to the University of Michigan Health System, laser resurfacing is a good option if your facial blemishes are the result of aging or sun damage. Depending on the severity of the discoloration, more than one resurfacing procedure may be necessary to completely even out your facial tone.


For some types of facial blemishes, your doctor may recommend surgery. Blemishes that are scaly, rough, flat, bleeding or red or brown in color should be evaluated by a physician immediately, as these are common characteristics of skin cancer. The Washington University School of Medicine’s Siteman Cancer Center warns that skin cancer may develop in areas where other blemishes, such as a scar or burn, are present. If your facial blemish has any of the characteristics of skin cancer, your physician may want to remove it immediately via a surgical excision.

Prescription Medication

Facial blemishes caused by acne can often be successfully treated with prescription medication. Your dermatologist may prescribe an oral medication, topical cream or both to combat your blemishes. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is no quick cure for acne blemishes. You must continue a treatment regimen for a minimum of four to eight weeks before you will notice results. Some acne medications are known to cause birth defects. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you should inform your dermatologist before committing to a treatment plan.

Over-the-Counter Creams and Lotions

If your skin discoloration is unrelated to acne, you may opt to use over-the-counter topical creams and lotions to help restore your natural skin tone. In some cases, such as with a sunburn or other injury, your natural skin color will return on its own once the injured skin heals. Until then, keeping your skin moisturized is important. Some topical creams and lotions also serve as a cosmetic cover-up to hide your blemish while your skin recovers.