What Causes Body Acne During Pregnancy
Many women experience acne during pregnancy. Its most common during the first and second trimesters. An increase in hormones called androgens can cause the glands in your skin to grow and produce more sebum an oily, waxy substance. This oil can clog pores and lead to bacteria, inflammation, and breakouts.
What Are The Different Types Of Acne Scars
Due to its inflammatory and bacterial aspects, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after acne is considered its own category in the world of discoloration and scarring. “This differs from sunspots or hyperpigmentation that is the result of an increase in melanin from UV exposure and environmental stressors lead to free-radical damage that can manifest as brown spots,” Dr. Sarkar explains.
If there’s been too much skin warping by the original pimple, it may cause a scar that looks indented. Or on the other end of the texture spectrum, “when the blemish heals a little too well, you can get an excess of skin added that forms a bump or raised scar,” says Dr. Sarkar. “Either way, acne scars cause a textural change that leaves hills and valleys on the face that bother people greatly.”
Acne scars are slightly different than other pigmentation and texture changes. Many people can have acne without any resulting scab or textural change. “The lesions that tend to form scars are the ones that are really inflamed or really large,” says Dr. Sarkar. She notes that the deeper, more painful acne bumps that have a lot of contents within them tend to be the ones that leave a mark or scab behind. “The worse the acne, the more likely your skin is to have acne scarring,” Dr. Sakar adds.
What Are The Key Ingredients
BakuchiolNatural ingredient with skin healing capacity. Stimulates the effect of retinol.
Niacinamide/Vitamin B3Very effective skin-restoring ingredient that can visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and dullness.
Ingredients:Aqua, Niacinamide , Glycerin , dicA cimaxenarT , C13-15 Alkane , Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , Dicaprylyl Carbonate , Ethyl Macadamiate , Behenyl Alcohol , Glyceryl Stearate , Butylene Glycol , Silybum Marianum Seed Oil , Tocopherol , Lactobacillus/Coconut Fruit Juice Ferment Filtrate , Lecithin , Bakuchiol , Xanthan Gum , Caprylyl Glycol , Hydrogenated Lecithin , Allantoin , Glycine Soja Oil , Hexylene Glycol , Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract , Glycine Soja Sterols , Citric Acid , Sodium Phytate , Malic Acid , Phenoxyethanol , Ethylhexylglycerin .
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Salicylic Acid Is The Acne Scar And Dark Spot Fighter You Need
Image: 123rfThis ingredient is one of the best known acne fighters out there and it even works for post acne skin concerns like dark spots. Salicylic acid is an exfoliating agent that will remove acne causing bacteria and even slough of dark spots along with other dead skin cells.
Tip:Use a salicylic acid face cleanser and then a spot treatment infused with the ingredient for best results.
Dermalogica Post Break Out Fix 15ml
Targeting stubborn discolouration left by past blemishes, the formula promotes skin clarity and even tone.
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For blemish-prone skin, Dermalogica present the Post Break Out Fix, a topical rescue salve that provides targeted care to fade and lighten the look of red pigmentation left behind by spots.
Ideal for applying to both new and old marks and areas of pitted scarring, the gel-cream harnesses a blend of salicylic acid, hexylresorcinol and carob seed extract to exfoliate and resurface, encouraging a brighter, clearer and more even looking tone. Squalane provides moisturising benefits and strives to stabilise the skin barrier for a smoother and softer surface.
AM and PM. Apply a small amount directly to your post-breakout spot. Repeat until the mark fades.
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Microneedling To Get Rid Of Acne Marks Or Dark Spots
Microneedling is a cosmetic treatment that involves making small punctures in the skin to trigger the skinâs natural healing response, which in turn, helps produce additional collagen. As the skin heals itself and produces more collagen, it smooths out, reducing the appearance of acne scars. Microneedling is best for atrophic depressed scarring as these depressions in the skin require additional collagen. Treating acne scars with microneedling is even more effective when done in conjunction with PRP treatment. Micro-needling with PRP helps amplify and speed up treatment results and reduce redness and swelling. PRP treatment includes drawing blood from the skin and separating the blood from the plasma. The enriched plasma is then prepared and injected into the skin or hair follicles. One of the greatest benefits of treating acne scars with microneedling is that it can be used to treat any skin tone, unlike laser treatments which exclude darker skin tones. Additionally, microneedling is safe for those with sensitive skin and does not irritate the skin.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Dark Spots At Home
For many people, at-home treatments can quickly get rid of dark spots. These take the form of products available over the counter and DIY remedies. Some lighten dark spots by exfoliating the affected area to reveal healthy, unpigmented skin cells beneath. Other products inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that triggers melanin production. As the skin cells that form dark spots lose their ability to produce more melanin, they eventually fade.
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Can I Permanently Remove Acne Scars
Dr. Garshick says the potential removal of acne scars typically depends on the type of scar and the extent of the scarring. “For example, faint discoloration may fade with time and can certainly be improved with topical treatments alone, while deep ‘ice pick’ scarring won’t go away with topicals,” she says.
It’s best to approach acne scars with multiple different treatment modalities that address the different components, so work with your dermatologist to sort out the best regimen for your level of scarring.
In addition to the aforementioned ingredients that you should add to your scar-reducing regimen, Miami-based board-certified dermatologist Annie Gonzalez, M.D., puts equal emphasis on what to avoid when treating acne scars. She steers her patients clear of cleansers and toners containing alcohol, which, she says, can dry out the skin and make the sebaceous glands produce more oil to compensate, thus causing acne and potentially resulting scars.
“It’s also important to note that using too many treatments at once, using extraction tools by yourself, and over-exfoliating can make acne scars worse,” says Gonzalez. “Doing these things could cause inflammation, which may lead to a new acne outbreak. In addition, the skin may become red, which may highlight the appearance of an acne scar.”
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When To See A Doctor
If you find that youre developing dark spots frequently, or if the appearance of these dark spots is affecting your day-to-day life, its time to speak to your healthcare provider.
If youre concerned about your dark spots and dont already have a dermatologist, you can view doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Creating a treatment plan with your dermatologist can give you a realistic perspective of dark spots caused by pimples. Having a plan and a professional to call on can make all the difference.
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Undergo Laser Or Light Therapy
Medical spas and dermatologists offer a slew of laser and light treatments geared specifically at clearing the skin. Though it takes time to see results and multiple treatments are usually needed, infrared lights and blue and red light devices can help heal and clear breakouts. Even better, they can target scars in addition to current and future breakouts. “Your board-certified dermatologist can help you find the right laser for the type of scars you have on your back,” says Nazarian. Red scars, black scars, or bumpy scars are all treated differently.
Other treatments, such as those utilizing LED lights, can work to improve the overall texture of the skin. “LED red light is an anti-inflammatory light that improves circulation and collagen formation, and may improve the appearance of acne scars with continued use,” suggests Nazarian.
So Here’s What I Would Suggest You Do:
1. You need a cleanser that’s specifically formulated for dark spots.
This kojic acid soap was made for people like us who have medium to dark skin tones with dark spots from acne.
Use this soap twice a day.
2. Remove your dead skin cells to prep your skin for enhanced penetration.
Here’s one fact: skincare products will not work if your skin is not well-exfoliated.
I’d suggest using a toner for this. It contains AHAs that can get rid of dead skin and help penetrate the actives of the other products you’re using.
Use this twice a day as well but avoid sunlight. Apply sunscreen when outdoors.
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What Treatments Do Dermatologists Offer
1. For faster results, try a laser resurfacing treatment.
Dr. Henry recommends the Fraxel Dual laser or Lutronic Infini laser for acne scaring, specifically for rolling or boxcar scars. Both lasers create micro injuries in the skin , which activate the production of collagen as they heal.
If you’re noticing more post inflammatory redness than brown pigmentation, ask a derm about the VBeam or IPL laser, both of which target the red capillaries.
2. Do a chemical peel.
In-office chemical peels, like the Sensi peel by PCA and the VI Peel, can improve skins tone and texture, helping to reduce the appearance of scars. While these can be good for rolling and boxcar scars, ice pick scars may require a more intense peel, like TCA cross therapy. In this treatment, high-strength TCA is applied to the base of the scar to induce healing.
3. When in doubt, ask your derm about cortisone.
For raised scars, Dr. Henry often treats acne scarring with a shot of dilute cortisone to reduce inflammation and help flatten the scar.
4. Fillers are a temporary but effective option.
5. You could ask about dermabrasion, too.
The process, which essentially sands down the skin with an exfoliation tool, will even out the skin by reducing the top layers of the skin allowing it to appear more even overall, Dr. Gohara explains.
6. And then there’s always surgery.
Laser Resurfacing Treatments Target Dark Spots And Scars
Image: 123rfLaser resurfacing treatments are actually painless and non-invasive. These treatments can specifically target dark spots in the deep layers of your skin and bring them to the surface. After which a chemical peel can be used to take off the dark spots.
Tip:This treatment can not only treat dark spots in at least four sittings but can also reduce excessive facial hair.
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Its Never Too Late To Treat Those Scars
Although its not possible to get rid of your acne scars quickly, its never too late to treat them. Teenage patients may have to wait until their early 20s before undergoing treatment to make sure theres little risk of future acne flare-ups.
While theres no real way to get rid of acne scars naturally and at home, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of getting acne scars:
- Quit smoking or dont start smoking.
- Keep your hands off of your face. Resist the urge to pick or squeeze your pimples.
- Treat your acne as soon as possible to reduce the chance of scars.
Scarring can happen at any age, no matter if youre a teenager and your hormones are changing or youre an adult. Sometimes when adults lose weight or lose elasticity in their skin as they age, scarring from years past becomes more evident.
Occasionally, we will actually remove a pitted scar that we know wont heal well with standard treatment using a technique called punch excision, she says. This is where the whole scar and hair follicle are removed prior to resurfacing.
Another treatment that may be helpful before any of the lasers or peels is called subcision, a procedure that involves releasing a scar thats bound to the muscle or deeper tissues so that it can move freely again. Both of these techniques are used with deeper scars to bring them to the surface to enhance their response to the laser, chemical peel or microneedling.
Dont Irritate Your Skin
Be as gentle as you can! This will not only make your pimple marks, fade away but it will also reduce their chances of returning. Products that are mild for your skin can help lighten your pimple marks and blemishes. And remember, only use products that suit your skin type.
When the damage caused by pimples is too severe, your skin may respond with too much or too little new skin. This is how stubborn scars appear. If you are left with scars that look like little depressions or raised areas, they wont go away unless they are treated by a dermatologist.
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How To Prevent Acne Scars
The best prevention for acne scarring is to optimize acne treatment with a good skin-care routine, a healthy diet, and an appropriate treatment regimen, says Shah.
Since reducing skin inflammation can lessen scars, dont ignore an acne problem even if its mild.
You should treat acne with over-the-counter creams or facial washes containing active acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If these dont work, see a board-certified dermatologist, the Mayo Clinic advises.
Regular use of a topical retinoid like tretinoin, adapalene, or tazarotene has been shown to both prevent and reduce the appearance of acne scars, and these are commonly prescribed by a dermatologist as part of an acne skin-care regimen, says Shah.
Prevention also involves being gentle with your skin and avoiding practices that could irritate your skin and exacerbate inflammation.
Dont pick at your acne, and avoid using any skin-care products that are abrasive, like scrubs and loofahs or washcloths, warns Shah. She also encourages daily sunscreen use to reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Treatment Options For Acne Marks
Acne scars are best prevented from forming by using an acne treatment that works for your skin.
However, there is a wide range of treatments available for reducing the appearance of acne marks already present.
Treatments differ based on your scar type and whether they can be administered at home or need to be performed by a healthcare provider.
Below, weve compiled a list of treatment options based on the type of scar youre aiming to treat.
Consult with your healthcare provider to determine what path might be best for your skin.
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Essential Oils For Acne Scars
Essential oils are often recommended when it comes to acne scars home remedies.
Essential oils support skin health by reducing inflammation, redness, and balancing skin tone. This makes them particularly beneficial for acne scars.
There are several essential oils that are typically used for acne scars:
- Tea tree
- Carrot seed
Most essential oils need to be diluted before being applied to your skin . To use them, you just need to add a few drops to a carrier oil such as almond or jojoba oil and apply the mixture to the affected area at least once a day .
You may begin to see positive results within just a few months of consistent daily use of essential oils, but it can take up to a year for scars to completely heal.
What Are The Best Treatments For Acne Scars
Luckily, there’s a bevy of gels, creams, and treatments that can bring blemish-induced discoloration down. Dr. Sarkar says that collagen-building ingredients will generally help acne scars, so she looks to retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids when treating her patients.
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
“Retinoids, a vitamin A derivative, help to increase collagen, even out skin tone, and prevent future acne,” she explains. “Vitamin C is a brightening agent and an antioxidant, and it has been shown to build collagen as well. Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids help to resurface the skin to even out skin tone.”
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Will The Clinical Discoloration Repair Serum Make My Skin More Sun
No. However, we recommend limiting sun exposure because when your primary goal is to minimise discolourations, its important to be sun-smart. Avoid the sun as much as possible, apply sunscreen daily and consider hats, sunglasses, and beach umbrellas which can all prove helpful, whether you are using a discolouration and uneven skin tone serum or not.
Try Retinol To Reduce Dark Spots
Image: 123rfRetinol is one of the best ingredients to fade dark spots. It is already known to transform skin texture and recover any damage that the skin has undergone with regular application. Retinol penetrates deep into the skins layers to treat dark spots that arent even that visible yet. Your pores will also look refined and acne will get under control after including a retinol cream or serum in your skincare routine.
Tip:Consult a dermatologist for a retinoid cream according to your skin type.
How Are Acne Marks Caused
According to Dr. Garshick, When acne breakouts severely penetrate the skin, they can damage the skin and the tissue beneath it. As the acne clears, the body works to repair this damage. Minor abrasions to the outer layer of skin dont tend to result in scarring because the body can more easily regenerate the skins original structure. But when the dermis is deeply affected, the skin must produce new collagen fibers, resulting in new tissue thats often different in pigmentation and texture than the original portion of skin.
She warns, Acne marks can be formed from picking at acne and related scabs. While popping pimples can indeed flush out the excess debris and cells, it can further irritate the dermis and affect the surrounding tissue. This can lead to more aggressive breakouts and, eventually, scarring.
Dr. Garshick enumerates the three types of acne scars:
Atrophic scars These scars appear as small indentations in the skin. They occur when the skin does not make enough fibroblasts in the healing process. Fibroblasts are cells that play a crucial role in wound healing and the synthesis of collagen.
Hypertrophic scars These occur when the skin makes too many fibroblasts as the acne spot heals, causing a raised scar.