Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Remove Acne Discoloration

How to Remove Acne Discoloration How to Remove Acne Discoloration

Overview

Acne occurs when hair, oil or sebum and dead skin cells plug the follicles and interact with the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders, or NIAMS, the bacteria produce chemicals and enzymes that attract white blood cells that inflame the skin. Eventually, pimples or comedones can erupt on your face, back, shoulders or upper arms. Once they subside, your skin may be discolored. Discoloration can be unsightly and embarrassing, but there are a few steps you can take to improve it.

Step 1

Protect your skin from the sun, otherwise all other treatments to remove discoloration will be less effective, states the American Academy of Dermatology. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher at least 20 minutes before going outdoors or wear makeup with built-in sunscreen. Use other sun protection such as hats and sun-protecting clothing.

Step 2

Exfoliate your skin each day using a washcloth or a mild scrub that contains sodium tetraborate decahydrate granules or polyethylene beads. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin and increase skin cell turnover to help fade discoloration. Do not rub your skin too vigorously, however, as this can make your acne worse.

Step 3

Apply a cream or lotion containing alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid---alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids increase turnover of cells in the epidermis and help to block the formation of melanin, which darkens skin, explains Paula Begoun, author of "The Original Beauty Bible."

Step 4

Consult a dermatologist to learn about other options for remove acne discoloration, especially if it's deeper in the epidermis as opposed to superficial discoloration. Ask about treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser therapy.

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