Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Get Rid of Blemishes After Popping Zits

How to Get Rid of Blemishes After Popping Zits

Overview

There is a reason why dermatologists caution against popping zits. Not only can picking at the skin worsen breakouts, it can increase the possibility of developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH. This dermatological condition occurs when areas of inflamed skin overproduce melanin, resulting in dark spots and discoloration.

On the bright side, PIH blemishes are not true scars. They will eventually fade, but the process is gradual and can take up to a year, says the Skin of Color Research Institute at Hampton University. That said, there are some treatments that may speed up the process. These include topical fade creams such as hydroquinone and azelaic acid, and sunscreen.

Azelaic Acid

Step 1

Wash the treatment area with a mild cleanser to remove dirt, oil and makeup. Pat your skin lightly with a soft towel until the area is completely dry.

Step 2

Apply a thin layer of azelaic acid to the affected area. Azelaic acid is a prescription acne treatment that also lightens abnormally pigmented areas of skin. It is available in 15 percent and 20 percent concentrations under the respective names Finacea and Azelex, according to the book "Body Rejuvenation."

Step 3

Wash your hands, then apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to the treated skin.

Hydroquinone

Step 1

Cleanse the treatment area and pat dry with a soft towel.

Step 2

Rub a small amount of hydroquinone cream into the blemish. Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent that stops melanin production in abnormal--and normal--areas of pigmentation. When applying this medication, take care to stay within the discolored patch of skin. Hydroquinone is available in 1 percent to 2 percent concentrations over the counter and in formulations of up to 4 percent by prescription.

Step 3

Use soap and water to remove any extra hydroquinone cream from your hands. Apply broad-spectrum sunblock to the blemished skin.

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