Post-acne erythema treatment: A systematic review of the literature

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022 Apr;21(4):1379-1392. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14804. Epub 2022 Feb 3.


Post-acne erythema (PAE) is a common sequela of acne inflammation, and it refers to telangiectasia and erythematous lesions remaining after the acne treatment. Although some PAE lesions may improve over time, persisting PAE might be esthetically undesirable for patients. The efficacy of various treatment options for PAE has been investigated in many studies but there exists no gold standard treatment modality. In this study, we aimed to give a systematic literature review on various treatment options for PAE, the advantage of each modality, and compare their efficacy, safety, and feasibility. By using the selected keywords, we carried out a systematic search for articles published from the inception to 28 April 2021 in PubMed/Medline and Embase databases. Of the 5796 initially retrieved articles, 18 of them were fully eligible to be enrolled in our study. In this study, we found that light and laser-based devices were the most frequently used treatments for PAE. Generally, pulsed-dye lasers were the most commonly used laser devices for PAE. Neodymium:yttrium aluminum-garnet lasers were the second most commonly used modalities in treating PAE. Topical treatments such as oxymetazoline, tranexamic acid, and brimonidine tartrate are promising treatments in reducing PAE lesions. In our study, no severe side effects were found. In conclusion, both laser devices and topical agents seem to be effective for PAE lesions; however, further randomized clinical trials are needed in this field.

Keywords: acne; erythema; laser treatment; topical administration.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / etiology
  • Brimonidine Tartrate
  • Erythema / drug therapy
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Dye* / therapeutic use
  • Lasers, Solid-State* / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Brimonidine Tartrate