“Phew.” Unfortunately, that sigh of relief is often replaced with another sigh of despair. Your pesky pimple finally flattens and dries up but leaves an indelible mark. We feel you. These brownish or reddish marks are very frustrating as they wreak havoc on your clear complexion.
In this article, I will share with you how to prevent these blemishes from forming. If you suffer from blemishes, I’ll also teach you how to fade them more quickly.
Is it a Scar or a Mark?
Acne scarring and marks can both occur after a breakout. However, they’re both very different.
Acne scarring occurs due to poor healing of skin after inflammation. Abnormal collagen forms over the acne sites, causing depressed or raised scars. Sadly, these textural defects are permanent. Mild scars may improve with dermaroller and microneedling treatments. However, deeper scars can only improve with medical treatments such as lasers.
Acne marks are a form of skin pigmentation. This occurs as a response to inflammation caused by the acne. Pigment cells are stimulated to produce melanin where there was inflammation. Reddish spots indicate presently inflamed areas. Brownish spots indicate inflammation in the past with present melanin deposition.
How can I Prevent Post-Acne Marks from forming?
The key preventing post-acne marks is to prevent acne from getting a foothold on your skin. This is achieved through a combination of good skincare products, a proven skincare routine and medical grade facial treatments.
Skincare products effective for acne-control include a gentle water-soluble cleanser, an oil-based makeup remover and a leave-on exfoliant. The cleansers will gently cleanse your facial of dirt, excess oil and makeup which clogs your pores.
The leave-on exfoliant improves skin cell turnover and helps shed dead skin cells from the surface. They typically contain hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which reduces the red acne marks and chance of pigmentation.
It’s a myth that acne is caused by dirt on your face. You should wash your face only twice a day and not excessively. Excessive washing strips your skin of its natural oils. This stimulates your skin to overproduce sebum which further clogs up your pores.
Scrubs and home remedies such as rubbing lemons on your face absolutely do not work. In fact, they worsen matters by sensitizing your skin, causing marks to last longer than they normally would.
Regular medical grade facials by trained aestheticians, especially those containing a light chemical peel, are extremely helpful in preventing acne.
Firstly, blackheads and whiteheads are gently and comfortably extracted from your skin. Next, a light chemical peel is performed using AHA or BHA. This helps to chemically exfoliate your skin. Lastly, medical grade LED light further soothes and reduces post-acne marks.
How can I Fade my Post-Acne Marks more quickly?
In addition to the steps above, here are some tips on how you can fade your post-acne marks more quickly:
- Apply sunscreen daily.
I know that UV light is a potent stimulant for pigmentation, especially at areas of inflammation. A broad spectrum sunscreen reduces the formation of new melanin while your body works hard to clear existing marks. Sunscreen also prevents early skin aging and skin cancers. Win-win!
- Use products which contains antioxidants.
Antioxidants help our skin combat environmental stressors such as pollution and strengthen its defenses. Clinical grade Vitamin C serum, containing high dose Vitamin C, is our favourite when it comes to fading post acne marks.
- Don’t pick at your acne or marks
I know how tempting it is to pop your pimple or pick at blemishes. However, doing so can make your pimples and the subsequent inflammation worse. We recommend leaving extractions to well-trained aestheticians. They will assess each pimple to see if they will benefit from extraction.
- Suitable laser treatments are very helpful
Well-selected laser treatments such as Fotona Pearly Laser and Clear+Brilliant Laser helps to reduce acne marks and blemishes by accelerating skin turnover. While these marks may take many months or even years to fade, they disappear much more quickly with the aid of certain laser treatments. I will take a look at your condition before recommending the most suitable laser treatment.
I hope you’ll never have to suffer from acne marks and blemishes. But if you do, at least you now know how to deal with them more effectively!