Updated: Dec 12, 2021
Even though it seems unfair, the skin of many people still bears the marks of acne. Acne marks seem like a double punishment, as first you have to lead with pimples, and after you have the scars which remind you of them. Acne scars represent one of the most widespread issues for dermatologists and especially for the teenage population.
Turning back to the origin, what causes pimple marks?
To understand those scars, it is necessary to understand acne. Acne is the lesion or pimple caused by hormones and enlarged oil-producing glands in the skin, which cause an increase in oil production and bacteria in the pores. Acne can appear on the face, neck, and upper body.
The red or brown marks that remain after these blemishes are called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks because they occur after the inflammation disappears. Normally, when skin tissue is damaged, as in acne pimples, an excessive amount of melanin can accumulate in this specific area. Melanin is a molecule responsible for tanning skin, and its production is triggered by sunlight due to a protective action. This melanin is responsible for giving tone to the skin. In acne cases, the created melanin excess remains after the pimples have healed and leave a mark on the skin. This hyperpigmentation process is more severe in dark-skinned people than those with a lighter skin tone, as skin pigmentation is more intense in darker skins.
The usual behavior of people against the apparition of acne is using face masks and lotions or even trying to remove them with their hands. However, this is not helpful and could irritate the skin further, making the future scars even more red and noticeable. Moreover, another bad decision is to tan your skin to make marks less noticeable. Although the sun may make your skin look temporarily homogeneous, it clogs your pores and can cause premature wrinkles and skin cancer later on.
However, how can we deal with this issue?
Fortunately, there are options available to fade these pimple marks to be less noticeable and sometimes invisible. There are some abrasive methods, such as plasma injections and laser peeling. Still, first, it is better to try other safer methods.
These spots can be treated with home remedies and creams. However, deep scars need more consistency and specific ingredients to help regenerate the skin.
Salicylic acid helps clear skin cells and accumulated dirt caused by acne from the skin's pores. It also helps reduce swelling and irritation in the area, which can minimize the appearance of scarring. It must be said that this ingredient is beneficial for all types of scars. It is an excellent addition to a daily skincare routine for most people living with acne and after the infection.
People with sensitive skin should try a product containing salicylic acid on a small skin area before using it on the entire face, as it may cause dryness or irritation.
Topical retinoids can block inflammation, reduce acne lesions and accelerate cell generation, reducing the appearance of the scar. What is more, retinoids may help lighten hyperpigmented acne scars, even in dark-skin people.
However, it is essential to know that retinoids are photosensitive compounds. So, after its application, sunscreen should be applied before going out.
ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are helpful to rid of dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores, which is highly recommended by dermatologists. AHAs are a milder form of acid that scrapes away the outermost layer of the skin to reveal the freshness one. This process also helps with discoloration due to scarring.
Lactic acid can act as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, helping to reduce the appearance of scars and smoothing the overall texture of the skin. Moreover, it can also help lighten dark scar tissue.
Even though many acne products contain lactic acid, this acid sometimes causes hyperpigmentation. Due to this potential side effect, it is best to test on a small skin area before using it.
This ingredient is also found in apple cider vinegar, making it a more natural and economical treatment.
Regarding natural remedies, the properties of Aloe Vera are excellent for moisturizing and soothing, allowing the skin to regenerate. It also reduces inflammation and induces discoloration of acne spots.
In addition, the most severe acne causes the toughest marks. So, in some cases that acne marks are severe or have been there for a long time, the treatment must be specialized and preferably prescribed by a dermatologist.
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