How to Treat Dark Spots Left After Acne
Acne is a form of energy to the skin that can leave behind pink, red or purple spots after the blemish has gone away, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These areas are known as hyperpigmentation. While these spots will fade with time, their noticeability can be a nagging reminder of a long-gone blemish. Treatments are available to fade or eradicate acne-related dark spots.
Wait until your acne lesion has fully healed. Acne scars can be mistaken for hyperpigmentation and vice versa. Because each is treated differently, it is important to correctly determine the type and cause of your dark spots.
Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or more on a daily basis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Because the sun can actually darken age spots, applying sunscreen can help to reduce the likelihood hyperpigmentation will occur.
See your physician and discuss the possibility of obtaining a prescription for a hydroquinone cream, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. This topical cream works to lighten the skin by reducing melanin production and is markedly stronger than over-the-counter lightening creams. Melanin is the brown pigment in the skin that can make you appear tan---and cause acne spots to develop. When applied to the skin, they can fade the dark spot after an average of three to six months.
Combine hydroquinone treatments with a retinoic acid or hydrocortisone application, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These applications can help to increase the effectiveness of the hydroquinone treatment. Ask your physician if this combination is best for treating your dark spots.
Undergo a superficial chemical peel every four weeks. A chemical peel is designed to reduce the acne mark's appearance, according to DermaNetwork. Chemical peels help to remove outer layers of skin, such as the pigmented areas of skin. These peels should be applied by a dermatologist or aesthetician and may require several applications in order to prove effective.
Undergo laser treatments to reduce areas of pigmentation, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Specialized lasers, such as the q-switched ruby, are designed to penetrate the skin and break up melanin concentrations that cause dark spots. Because laser treatments are not suitable for all skin types, the treatment may need to be conducted on a test patch of skin.
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