How to Get Rid of Dark Acne Marks
The dark acne marks left on the skin after acne lesions heal are actually areas of residual inflammation known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Often referred to as PIH, these spots of skin discoloration can develop on almost anyone as a result of the papules, pustules, nodules and cysts associated with acne. They range in color from pink to purple or tan to brown.
Allow the spots to fade on their own. When the residual inflammation subsides, the dark acne spots will eventually disappear, explains the American Academy of Dermatology. However, PIH can take months to fade fully without treatment.
Invest in a skin lightening cream. Creams containing hydroquinone, a skin bleaching agent, are the best. They're available with or without a prescription. Regardless of the cream you choose, follow instructions on the packaging for best results.
Pick up a prescription cream containing a retinoid, advises the American Academy of Dermatology. Retinoids are typically used to treat acne, but the cellular turnover caused by the topical medication can also lighten dark acne marks. Retinoids are used in conjunction with hydroquinone and corticosteroids to provide similar results.
Consider facial skin rejuvenation. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are two skin rejuvenating procedures used to improve postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, notes Acne.org. Both procedures remove the skin's surface layer, stimulating the growth of new skin cells that lack the discoloration of the acne marks.
Try cryotherapy on your acne marks. With cryotherapy, dry ice is applied directly onto the PIH, which can cause it to fade, according to Acne.org.
Talk to your dermatologist about laser therapy. If other techniques fail to fade dark acne marks, your dermatologist may recommend laser therapy, notes the American Academy of Dermatology.
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