Skincare Q&A: Acne, Dark Spots, and Under Eye Circles

February 6, 2012  |  

You asked, and Dr. Dina D. Strachan, MD has answered. This board-certified dermatologist is a graduate of Harvard and Yale and currently holds a faculty appointment at NYU.  We recently asked readers to submit their skincare questions for Dr. Strachan. Check out her responses to questions about acne, dark spots and under eye circles.

1) I have been recently having issue’s with acne? This is new for me because my skin is normally clear. What can I do to prevent his from happening and remove the dark spots the bumps are leaving on my face?

Acne vulgaris is a common skin disease that often affects a person for the first time in adulthood. Genetic and hormonal factors are the primary causes. There is also some evidence to suggest that stress and a high-glycemic diet may also be triggers. In people with dark skin, acne lesions may leave behind brown spots that take many months to heal. Severe acne can also result in true scarring with depressed and raised lesions on the skin. There are different types of acne lesions and a number of precription medications and treatments. The best thing to do if you suffer from acne is to get evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist who can pick the best treatments and procedures for you.

2) I’m starting a natural treatment of apple cider vinegar on my skin for hyperpigmentation. Doest that really work?

There appears to be a lot of buzz about this as an effective home remedy for hyperpigmentation. I am unaware of any studies. It certainly might work. It probably results in some mild exfoliation which removes excess pigment.

3) Are there internal remedies for undereye circles -something to help stop the leaky capillaries?

I am unaware of any internal remedies for undereye circles. These circles can be challenging to treat as they have a variety of causes. Some people have truly darker skin under their eyes. This may be genetic or the result of rubbing the eyes from allergies. Some people have thin skin, or thinning of the eyelid skin as a results of aging, with increased visibilty of the blood vessels. We also lose volume in our cheeks and around our eyes and have hollowing of the body part of the eye sockets resulting in shadows. These are the reasons why it’s hard to find an treatment for this problem that works for everyone.


Have a question for Dr. Strachan. Email us at with the subject “Skincare Question” or Facebook us

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  • Dorothy Nissi

    I am an African American women that suffers from dark spots after my break outs. Citrus Clear works wonders for my face. After using the Citrus Clear Face Wash for a month I can defintely say I have seen improvement my dark spots are fading and now I am less reliant on make-up.

  • Reedmary

    hello i need help i have dark packs under my eye what should i do i am40 from brownlady1627

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  • Oburazz

    great article

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  • I’ve said that least 3259998 times. SCK was here

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  • Z

    The lady in the pic has make-up … her face and hairline dont match

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  • Gmarie

    A mild (and when I say mild I mean over the counter from rite aid) daily glycolic acid treatment from c booth combined with a drop or two of REAL vitamin e oil into my daily moisturizer has done wonders for my hyper-pigmentation/scarring. I’ve also taken to using a very thin layer of olive oil as my night time moisturizer, especially in the colder and dry winter weather. Also, don’t forget to exfoliate. twice weekly should help. good luck ladies!

  • OH MY!

    I was excited when I saw this article… and then not. No pointers except go to the dermatologist.

  • Jenn M Parks

    Ummm why did she even agree to doing this article when she didn’t plan to say anything…EYE ROLL…fade creams are great, over the counter ones will give you 2% actual fade power and from a derm 4-6%. Don’t touch and try not to pop any pimples…althought its hard…lol

  • MixedUpInVegas

    This wasn’t a particularly helpful article

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  • Lena_Hamoton01

    So the advice is what? Oh, she didn’t give any. Pointless article

  • This had no information at all….It was presented on twitter as if there would be ground breaking information here. #fail. BUT, I have tried using lemon juice directly from the fruit, and I can say that it truly works. use it No more than 3 times a week, never consecutive days. @situpsnstiletos:twitter

  • Ohh-Kayy

    So this doctor really didn’t give any advice on healthy skin care for AA women. Totally. Pointless. Article. Ugh!

  • Mo

    ummm i didn’t really get any good advice from this q & a

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  • Lt

    So what other tips can she give us to keep our type of skin looking healthy at least..

  • AnnTUp

    Skin Care Tip101-Keep your hands away from your face at all times. (that young lady in the picture might as well draw an acne beard on her chin and chucks)
    Wash  the umibiquous red sponge (you know the one, we all have one) weekly and replace it monthly.

    • AnnTUp


    • You are so right…..Bad habit I had…learned the hard way 🙁

    • OH MY!

      No, what is the red sponge?