How Long Does It Take For Acne Scars To Fade
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Acne breakouts can be a seemingly limitless source of stress and frustration, especially when they leave behind unsightly, unwanted scarring.;
Acne scars are a common issue for people with moderate and severe acne. If youre prone to breakouts, you may notice that as your pimples clear up, they leave behind dark spots, raised scars and rough patches on your skin.
Like acne itself, acne scars are treatable, although it often requires a lot of time to completely get rid of them.;
Below, weve covered how and why acne scars develop, as well as the different types of acne scars you may notice if youre prone to acne breakouts.;
Weve also explained how long it takes to get rid of acne scarring, as well as the specific steps that you can take to treat acne scars and stop them from developing in the future.;
How To Remove Dark Spots Caused By Pimples
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the medical term for dark spots caused by pimples, or other types of inflammatory damage, such as burns or eczema.
PIH is common among people of color, with over 65% of African Americans reporting symptoms. It is also more common in Latinx females than Asian, Indian, or white females. The spots tend to be redder in people with pale skin, and brown in people with dark skin.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association , although dark spots caused by pimples will clear, it may take months.
The first step is to treat the acne. A person can then focus on preventing further damage and using products, medications, procedures, and supplements to promote healing.
Regular skin care can help people deal with acne and its after-effects. Over-the-counter products are available to treat dark spots caused by pimples.
It is particularly important for people of color to find and use appropriate products for their skin.
One general tip is to avoid skin care regimens or products that could increase dryness and irritation. People should also use mild cleansers and lotions that will not clog pores. If the skin appears irritated after trying a product, they should discontinue use or consider only applying it every other day.
Although current research is not conclusive, studies have found promising results for:
- , including licorice root and mulberry
What More Can I Do To Prevent Acne Scars4
First, prevention is keyget rid of the clog and there is no acne. If you dont have new breakouts, you wont have new acne scars or marks.
Second, resist the urge to pick at your pimples.;Picking at your pimples increases the chances of inflammation, bacterial complications and permanent damage to the tissue surrounding your pores.
Third, make sure to apply sunblock SPF35 or higher whenever you are outdoors as a red scar can easily turn brown with exposure to UV light.
*An;atrophic scar;is an indented;scar;that heals below the normal layer of skin tissue. They form when the skin is unable to regenerate tissue. As a result, it leaves behind imbalanced scarring.
To learn more about atrophic scars and how to get rid of them quickly and safely, sign up for the FREE toolkit below:
Read Also: Does Adapalene Help With Acne Scars
What Type Of Scarring Do You Have
Gross says there are four different types of acne scars one can get: ice pick, rolling, boxcar and hypertrophic. Once you figure out what type you’re dealing with, it’s easier to choose the most effective treatment to getting rid of those scars.
Hypertrophic scars are raised scars. He says these are caused when the skin doesnt realize that the wound has healed and overproduces collagen.
If you’re still unsure about your scarring type, pay a visit to your dermatologist.
What Causes Red Marks
Before one scar would fade, a new pimple would surface. It was extremely frustrating and I couldnt find a product that would get rid of the acne scars. Mim P.
Inflammation occurs when the body increases blood flow to the tissue surrounding a clogged pore¹. It is the bodys natural response in fending off bacterial infection.
After the pimple has flattened, it normally takes 8 to 12 weeks for blood vessels to shrink back to its original size. The residual blood and dilated blood vessels cause the red mark and it is important to fade these red marks quickly.
The longer red marks linger, they get exposed to UV light, collect melanin and become stubborn brown marks.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Main Cause Of Acne
Lemon Juice Is Great To Remove Dark Spots
Image: 123rfBeing a citrus fruit, lemon has a high vitamin C content. It is also a famous ingredient in DIY home remedies for treating dull skin and extreme pigmentation. Applying a pack with lemon juice will benefit anyone with oily acne prone skin and it will fade away dark spots quickly.
Tip:Make a face mask of one tablespoon honey and one tablespoon lemon juice. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off.
Get Rid Of Acne Scars & Acne Dark Marks
InviCible helps get rid of acne scars and acne dark marks effortlessly under your regular skincare regimen.
Acne occurs when the bodys sebaceous follicles plug up with bacteria and dead skin cells. The inflammatory response leads to skin injury and scarring. Fresh spots typically settle down to form flat, reddish lesions called maculae. These can leave dark lesions that mark the spot. Some people develop a permanent acne scar that may be indented or sunken.
InviCibles ingredients were specifically chosen to help get rid of acne scars and fade acne dark spots:
- normalizes collagen production and helps improve acne scarring by making scars more flush with the surrounding healthy skin. Helps decrease production of dark pigment ;by 80%.
- anti-inflammatory ingredients like Aloe Vera and Licorice extract limit acne flare-ups.;Licorice extract also disperses the abnormal dark pigment responsible for dark acne marks. InviCibles all-natural complex,;ProBiosyn-4, contains both Aloe and Licorice extract.
InviCible is non-greasy, non-comedogenic, and . Since it does not contain common skin irritants like preservatives and fragrances, it is far less likely to cause a break-out than most other acne skincare products. InviCible does not contain
Due to its superior safety profile, InviCible was awarded the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and is one of only 300 products to be in compliance with the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Hypertrophic Acne Scars
How To Fade A Dark Mark
After your skin is inflamed, a dark mark may be left behind. Find out how to treat spots of hyperpigmentation.
When you have acne, an infection, a rash, or some other skin problem, you’re probably anxious for it to clear up. Yet even after these complexion woes heal, they may leave a visible reminder that they were once there a dark mark on your skin.
“Dark marks and scars are the result of inflammation and injury to the skin,” says Susan Massick, MD, a dermatologist with the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus. “This inflammation induces melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells of the skin, to produce more melanin, which results in darkening in the areas of inflammation. The dermatologic term for this is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH.”
Older people may also experience dark marks from hyperpigmentation, commonly called liver spots or age spots, but these are related to sun exposure.
Dark Mark: About PIH
Acne, the most common skin condition, is often to blame for hyperpigmentation. “When an acne pimple or blemish resolves, it can leave these dark marks,” says Dr. Massick. The hyperpigmented scars are not permanent, but they can be slow to fade. In fact, an acne mark may persist for as long as three to six months after the pimple has disappeared.
What Causes Acne Scars
Acne scars are caused by inflammatory acne lesions, such as papules , pustules , or cysts. According to Chang, there are several factors that contribute to the risk of developing scars. First, it may be genetic: if you have family members who have acne scars, you’re at a higher risk of developing them too. Your skin type also affects the types of scarring. Chang says those with lighter complexions may be more prone to acne erythema after inflammatory acne, while those with darker complexion patients may be more prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or brown blemishing.
Davis agrees and explains that melanocytes behave differently in darker skin because they are very sensitive to inflammation. She says that someone with fair skin may experience some pinkness or redness for a short period of time whereas those with darker skin will often have a brown spot or PIH that can linger on for months.
It’s obvious but bears repeating: don’t even think about touching a pimple. We tend to cause excess trauma that will worsen inflammation, resulting in scars. Chang says to avoid harsh scrubs and skincare products that can further irritate skin and to stop picking, popping, and squeezing acne as that will exacerbate inflammation. She warns that excess sun exposure can make acne blemishes darker, yet another reason to wear SPF 30 or higher every single day .
Recommended Reading: What Foods To Avoid For Acne
How Do You Prevent Acne Scarring
If you’re looking to prevent acne scars from happening in the first place , the best way is to treat acne lesions as soon as they appear. Over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are a great place to start, but if acne persists, ask your dermatologist about prescription medications like retinol, Aczone, or spironolactone.
Munavalli likes to treat acne with a topical prescription-strength retinol cream to clear clogged pores and decrease inflammation. He also recommends topical benzoyl peroxide washes at four-percent strength or higher to decrease bacterial growth.
Suntanning As A Treatment For Acne Scars And Dark Spots
Not a good idea. As mentioned above, excessive sun exposure or artificial tanning during an active breakout of acne will usually cause the darkening of the active acne pimples and post-acne dark spots. Therefore, if you have active acne, post-acne dark spots, or acne scars, be very cautious with your sun exposure! Using an oil-free sunscreen, SPF 30, is key as it will protect your skin and fade your existing dark spots faster. However, we also recommend limiting sun exposure altogether and wearing a hat and protective clothing when in the sun!
Recommended Reading: Why Has My Acne Gotten So Bad
Acne Has Left My Skin With Pimple Marks What Can I Do To Reduce Or Remove Them
It seems unfair but, for many people, even after the blemishes have healed their skin still bears the signs of acne. One of these signs is pimple marks caused by pigmentation issues, and they can be very distressing.;Thankfully, there are options available for lightening these pimple marks so that they are less noticeable and, sometimes, invisible. This article looks at the different measures you can try and also explains how the pimple marks come about in the first place.To find out more about how to reduce or remove scars caused by acne, read acne scarring.
How Can You Prevent Acne Scars In The First Place
Besides not popping your pimples under any circumstances, what else can you do to prevent acne scars and marks?
It may seem like a no brainer, but the best way to prevent acne scars is by preventing the acne in the first place. Severe cases of acne might require oral antibiotics or Accutane . You might be able to treat mild cases with alternatives, said Dr. Suzanne Friedler, a dermatologist at Mt. Sinai Medical Center inNew York City.
If acne is mild then it may be controlled with topical therapies, including topical antimicrobials and retinoids, Friedler told HuffPost Finds.
Reducing inflammation of existing pimples is key because its those deeper, more cystic spots that tend to leave behind permanent scars, according to Dr. Jeremy Fenton of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
If youre sensitive to hyperpigmentation, time is of the essence when you have a pimple. Fenton recommended using a targeted dark spot lightening cream when the pimple is at its peak before the discoloration starts.
You May Like: What Is Chest Acne Caused By
Why Do Acne Scars Happen
Scarring occurs as a result of injury to the skin and excess oil production, bacteria, and inflammation.
Zeichner explains, Inflammation in the skin tells our pigment producing cells to become overactive, explaining why pimples leave behind dark spots.
The hyperpigmentation that remains isnt permanent, but it can be uncomfortable for some people. It can also present differently, depending on your complexion.
is more common in patients who have darker skin tones, he adds. Whereas, fair skinned patients are often left with pink or red spots in areas where there used to be pimples. This post-inflammatory erythema heals on its own over several weeks.
Although most superficial breakouts heal on their own without leaving a significant mark, there are others that leave a more noticeable scar behind.
This is why its advised to avoid picking pimples. It can lead to more injury to the skin, which can lead to a greater chance of a scar, Garshick says.
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream Has Great Reviews
While this might sound like a fancy drink, Drunk Elephants Protini cream is a godsend for people with stubborn dark marks. On the higher end of the pricing scale, its arguable that the clean ingredients included in the product are worth the money.
“The gel-like texture of this cream allows it to hydrate and nourish the skin instantly, leaving you looking and feeling your smoothest,” Shereene Idriss, a New York City-based dermatologist told Allure, based on its ingredients.
Don’t Miss: What Acne Means In Different Places
How To Treat Dark Spots Caused By A Skin Care Product
When a skin or hair care product irritates your skin, the product can cause dark spots on your skin.
If you’re seeing dark spots, try using gentler products. They’re less likely to irritate your skin.
Products that are gentle on the skin are often labeled “for sensitive skin.” You may also see “fragrance-free” on the label.
When your skin in no longer irritated, new dark spots tend to stop appearing and existing spots often clear on their own over time.
Could a medication be causing your dark spots?
Dont stop taking it. That could make you very sick. Ask the doctor who prescribed the medication if discolored skin is a possible side effect. If it is, ask if you could switch to another medication.
Acne Scar Treatment No: Skincare With Niacinamide
Niacinamide is the magical treatment can tackle everything from wrinkles, acne, rosacea and pigmentation so its definitely one to look for on an ingredients list. Its a form of vitamin B3 and although its been popular with dermatologists for decades, its only just hit the mainstream when it comes to skincare you can buy.
It not only tackles the spots themselves but also the scarring that comes with it without irritating skin.
However, it’s important to be realistic with exactly how much it can do to change the skin texture. ‘Niacinamide can help with evening out pigmentation and reducing redness and inflammation. It typically won’t create major changes for indentations and deeper textural changes in the skin’, explains Dr Elbuluk.
Also Check: Is Dairy Bad For Acne
Acne Scar Treatment No: Dermal Fillers
Not just here to make you look like a contestant on Love Island, fillers can be used to help an array of skin problems, one of them being acne scars. A tiny amount can temporarily plump and smooth over any skin craters left behind from acne.
‘Dermal fillers are very good for indented scars’, says Dr. Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation Spokesperson. ‘However, depending on the type of filler used, the treatment will need to be repeated at regular intervals – most probably every six months – to maintain the results.’
Your skin’s initial reaction may be to bruise, swell up and go red but be patient and wait for the magic to happen. As acne scarring treatments go, this one isnt the priciest and is relatively non invasive and pain free. Hooray!
To find your nearest cosmetic dermatologist, head to the British Association of Dermatologists.
Effective Treatment Begins With Sunscreen
Whether youre treating the dark spots on your own or seeing a dermatologist, using sunscreen is essential when you’ll be outside. Applied daily, sunscreen can prevent new dark spots and patches. It can also help to clear existing ones.
Youll want to apply sunscreen to all skin that clothing wont cover.
To get the best result, dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you’re outside.
Sunscreen is essential to effective treatment
To get the protection you need to prevent dark spots, use a sunscreen that offers all of the following:
- SPF 30 or higher
- One of the active ingredients titanium dioxide, zinc oxide
- Non-comedogenic formula if you have oily skin
Also Check: How To Remove Redness From Acne