Battling acne can be such an emotionally daunting, expensive, and challenging process. So when you finally, one day achieve clear skin, whether with treatments, changes to lifestyle, or simply hormonal changes with age, there is such a relief to be felt. But often, while the acne is gone, we are left with pesky little reminders of the blemishes that once were in the form of acne scars and dark spots.
When it comes to treating these marks, it’s important to understand the difference between true acne scars and dark spots left behind by acne; yes, they are two different things. An acne scar is a true scar, in that there is a change in the skin’s tissue at the place where the blemish was (via Advanced Dermatology Memphis). When a pimple is particularly inflamed, the body responds to it like a wound, either creating too much or too little tissue in an attempt to heal it. When too much tissue is created, the scar appears raised, when too little tissue is created, the scar appears like an indent in the skin.
Meanwhile, a dark spot left behind by acne is just that: a dark spot where the skin has become hyper-pigmented in response to the healing process of the acne. Each of these can be treated, but they require different approaches.
Treating acne scars and dark spots
True scars, like the ones that are either raised or indented in the skin, often require professional treatments to create significant improvement in their appearance (via Advanced Dermatology Memphis). The most common of these treatments include chemical peels, microneedling, and lasers. Some over-the-counter treatments like Vitamin E oils and exfoliating products that contain retinol, azelaic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic and lactic acid can help, but to see major results, it is worth speaking to a dermatologist.
For dark spots, over-the-counter treatments can often make a big difference. Everything from Vitamin C serums to exfoliating creams and serums like the ones mentioned above can go a long way to reduce the appearance of dark spots and help your skin to heal itself (via WebMD). The key is to let these products do their thing by being consistent with use and application over time. Also, always make sure to wear a good sunscreen to help prevent further damage to the skin that can worse and even create new dark spots.
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