Dealing with the redness and inflammation is just the first part of the struggle once you have acne. The second part is dealing with the stubborn hyperpigmentation and acne scars.
The red or brown pigments you see on your face after having acne lesions are post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIG). It results from broken blood vessels as a result of the inflammation. It can also be due to sun exposure which supercharges the pigment-producing cells called melanocytes leading to reddish, brownish, or purplish marks on your skin.
The way this hyperpigmentation appears vary from one person to another. People with darker skin tone may have brownish to purplish skin pigments while those with lighter skin tone may have reddish marks on their skin. It takes several months for these marks to disappear.
How to Get Rid of Acne Marks
There are several skincare products you can try to get rid of these pigments.
Products containing glycolic acid are effective. This ingredient is known for its ability to even out the skin tone. Other ingredients to look for are retinol, kojic acid, and licorice.
Another option that you have is to undergo chemical peels. This procedure promotes skin regeneration and helps get rid of the stubborn acne marks.
Just like the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, acne scars also result from the skin's inflammation. However, they are caused by more serious cases of acne.
These scars develop as part of the skin's healing process. The skin forms new collagen fibers to repair the damaged skin tissue. But the result is not the smooth, flawless skin you used to have. The body can produce too much collagen resulting to hypertrophic scarring or less of it, resulting to atrophic scarring (a perfect example is the 'ice pick' scar).
Unlike hyperpigmentation, acne scars are permanent. You can only get rid of them by undergoing certain procedures from your dermatologist.
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
Unfortunately, you cannot easily get rid of these scars unless you visit your dermatologist for a procedure. Your trusted skincare specialist may advice any of the following:
- Steroid Injections – acne scars are injected with cortisone to soften and flatten them
- Dermal Fillers – this is applicable for atrophic acne scarring. In this treatment, acne is filled with substance to elevate the depressed areas on your skin.
- Punch Excisions – this is helpful for deep acne scarring like ice pick scars. This involves numbing the affected site, cutting the scar, and stitching it to close.
If any of these procedures doesn't sound appealing to you, then the best way to go is to prevent acne scars from forming. You can do this by resisting the urge to pick or squeeze the pimple and seeking help from a skincare specialist especially on severe cases of acne.