How to Reduce Post Acne Marks
Suffering acne in the first place is bad enough. Insult is added to injury when your acne clears but leaves behind spots. The spots can be red, pink or purplish on light-skinned people or tan to dark brown on those who have darker skin. Though these are often believed to be scars, they actually are not, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Your spots, unlike scars which are permanent, will eventually fade. This sometimes takes months, however. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can speed the process.
Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside, recommends the American Academy of Dermatology. This applies to everyone--even folks who have brown and black skin. The sun can darken your acne spots, called "postinflammatory hyperpigmentation" by dermatologists, and make them more noticeable. Use an oil-free product with an SPF of 30 or more that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Visit a dermatologist to discuss treatment options. He may recommend a bleaching cream with 2 to 4 percent hydroquinone, a series of four to six chemical peels, microdermabrasion in which the dermatologist removes the skins top surface layer with a machine, or laser treatment.
Make your own skin lightener by combining 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, a small peeled potato, half of a small cucumber and 1 tbsp. organic yogurt, according to Acupuncture Today. Blend the ingredients until you make a paste. Strain out any lumps. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a day. Apply the paste to affected areas and cover with two hot and damp towels. Rinse off after 15 to 20 minutes. Use a moisturizer after using the paste. Never use this treatment on skin that is sunburned, inflamed or sensitive. In the paste, the lemon provides bleaching action, the potato provides enzyme action, the cucumber is a cooling agent and yogurt provides lactic acid and helps in bleaching the area.
Use baking soda to exfoliate your skin and simulate microdermabrasion treatments. Mix 1 tsp baking soda with 2 tsp. filtered water. Rub the paste-like mixture on your acne scar. After 60 seconds stop and rinse. Follow up with a pea-sized dollop of olive oil to moisturize and soften skin texture, recommends The American Chronicle news service. Do not be overly aggressive with such a treatment--stick to once a week or less, as you can end up with new spots of discolored skin if you overdo it, warns the American Academy of Dermatology.
Utilize the ascorbic acid in pineapple to lighten your acne marks instead of the lemon juice mix. Puree ¼ cup and smooth it onto the affected area. Rinse after 10 to 15 minutes.
Stay hydrated. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day. Any dehydration, even if it's mild, can affect your body's ability to maintain skin health.
Get vitamin C by consuming citrus fruits, strawberries or green leafy vegetables. This supports collagen growth and can help speed creation of new skin cells as well as the shedding of old ones. Choose orange and yellow vegetables for their vitamin A, and green leafy vegetables for vitamin E and silica. Eat salmon or use flaxseed oil to get omega-3 fatty acids essential to skin health. Eat beef or pork to gain zinc. Include foods like meat, eggs, beans, leafy greens and enriched cereals to provide iron.
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