Acne alone can be too much for you to handle. What’s worst then numerous dark spots or scars on your face? Apparently, acne is something you can’t run away from as long as you live. From time to time, your hormones will act up on you, certain foods might trigger those tiny bumps on your face, or various conditions and situational factors could make you break out.
Whatever the causes are for your flare-ups, one thing is for sure: you can do something about it. Before you rush to the nearest drugstore and buy anything you find with anti-acne in it, you need to understand anything that comes after acne, such as the spots and scars.
What’s the difference between acne scars and the dark spots acne leaves behind, anyway? Are the treatments different? Can you still get rid of them? Here are 10 things you should know about acne scars and dark spots.
1. There Is A Difference Between The Two
Most people mistake dark spots for acne scars, mainly because both leave a mark on the face. However, these two are different skin conditions.
Any red or brown hyper-pigmentation that shows up after an acne lesion is due to temporary inflammation. These dark spots may be annoying to look at but it will take two to three months for them to go away.
Don’t worry, if it doesnot fade in three months, it will disappear in time, so you have to be patient.
On the other hand, acne scars are permanent, unless you are willing to spend a fortune, just to get rid of them. It comes in various shapes and forms. Some acne scars come in raised forms, while others could be thick, look like an ice pick scar, or form into a keloid.
Between the two, you would rather go for dark spots, right?
2. It’s All About The Texture
What is the key different between acne marks and acne scars? To understand better, check the texture.
A post acne mark has a changed pigmentation, but does not change the texture of your skin. This means there are no pits or pocked area created. You just have to be patient, since it will fade in time.
If there are any changes in the texture of your skin and suddenly, there are craters or potholes on your face, then you have acne scars. It is permanent and something you have to live with, unless you are willing to spend for expensive treatments.
3. Acne Marks And Scars Can Be Due To Several Factors
What causes dark spots and scars on your face? Here are some of the culprits:
- Your Genes. Have you heard of, “It runs in the family?” If your mom, dad and siblings experience acne marks, then you will most likely have it too. Let’s face it, ladies. Sometimes, some women are just lucky to have the good genes.
- Sun. Even if you have good genes, exposing acne could lead to dark spots on your face. Hence, it is important to wear sunscreen at all times, even if the sun isn’t out.
- Mismanagement Of Acne. Your instincts will tell you to get rid of acne immediately. Apparently, ending a pimple’s life too soon could lead to issues more serious than acne itself. Let acne take its natural course, with a little help from technology and medications, of course.
In other words, some are within your control, which you can avoid, while others are pre-determined.
4. The Formation Of Acne Scars And Dark Spots
Acne is due to inflammation of the skin. When your skin opens up and closes back together during the healing process, the result could be abnormal tone, pigmentation and texture on your face that is different from the rest of your skin.
This is post-inflammatory pigmentation alteration and it may stay in your skin for quite some time. If you have lighter skin, the broken blood vessels will leave you with red or purple marks.
The case of acne scars is different. There are instances where acne decides not to leave a dark spot on your face. Instead, it wants to make a statement and there is no stopping it, thereby destroying the normal skin tissue and replacing it with fibrous tissue. Since the acne ranges from moderate to severe, it teaches our body to make this amount of tissue that could lead to scars. Too much tissue results to hypertrophic or keloid scar while too little tissue gives rise to atrophic scars.
5. There Are Different Types Of Acne Scars
You already know that acne scars come in different shapes. Here are five common types of acne scars:
- Hypertrophic – Creates a raised area within the boundary of the original wound. This type of scar usually diminishes in size and appearance over time.
- Ice Pick – The most common form of scar that forms pit on your skin. The appearance is usually narrow and looks like an ice pick.
- Keloid –This is a raised type of scar and extends outside the boundary of the wound. In most cases, keloid scars are bigger than the original inflamed blemish.
- Rolling – Creates an indention on your skin that looks like a wave. It is also wide with shallow depth.
- Boxcar –Has well-defined edges that look like a box, hence the name. It usually appears on the cheeks or temples.
6. Acne Marks Are Easier To Treat
They requireless invasive treatments, too. The truth is, acne marks will fade over time. You just have to be patient and wait it out. If you want to get rid of dark marks on your face faster, then here are some of your options:
- Topical Creams – Topical creams with glycolic acid are an effective way to speed up the fading process. This ingredient promotes the turnover of the skin surface and at the same time, evens out your skin tone. They are also affordable and available in most drugstores.
- Skin Lighteners – Aside from topical creams, skin lighteners are also effective in getting rid of dark spots on your face. Hydroquinone, retinol, licorice, vitamin C and kojic acid are some of the popular skin lightening ingredients found in most products. It reverses hyper-pigmentation and stops further discoloration from happening. Unfortunately, skin lighteners don’t work well with acne marks that are pink or red in color, which are not related to your skin’s melanin.
- Chemical Peels –this type of treatment uses mild solutions for skin refinement and regeneration. Dermatologists also use glycolic acid in chemical peels because of its proven effect in treating acne marks. However, they may recommend other types of peels according to your skin type and treatment goals. For best results, the chemical peel is combined with other forms of treatment.
7. Treatments For Acne Scars Is More Intense Than Acne Spot Solutions
Acne scars are permanent. However, this does not mean you should live with them forever. You have to thank those science guys with brilliant minds for continuously coming up with solutions that could help you get rid of scars, for good.
Acne scar treatments are more expensive, more intense and require a number of visits to the dermatologist before you see the results. Available treatments include:
- Dermal Fillers–Fills your scars to elevate the depressed areas and make the surface of the skin even. Dermal fillers are not permanent and only last for about a year, so you’ll need to re-do this treatment.
- Steroid Injections –Effective for keloid scars. Steroid injections use cortisone and injects into the scar to make it flatter and softer.
- Punch Excisions – if you have ice pick acne scars, then this treatment is for you. Your doctor will cut out the scar using a cookie cutter-like device, then stitch it back to remove the scar permanently.
- Laser Treatment –The most sought after type of treatment against acne scars. Laser treatment uses light energy and focus on the affected areas to treat scars.
There are also different types of laser treatment available depending on the type of scar that requires treatment.
Treating acne scars could also be a combination of one or more treatments, depending on the severity of the scars and your treatment goals.
8. You Can Do Something About Acne Marks And Scars
Prevention is always better than a cure. Instead of going through the process of laser treatment or applying topical creams on the affected area, here are steps you can do to prevent spots and scars from invading your face in the first place:
- Exfoliate Your Skin Often. This could get rid of dead skin cells and speed up cell turnover to facilitate healing.
- Treat Acne From The Beginning. Don’t wait for it to get worse before taking action.
- Consult A Dermatologist.They can help you come up with appropriate solutions to treat acne and stop it from leaving spots and scars on your face.
The bad news is, you will have to live with acne spots and scars on your face at some point in your life. The good news is, there are available ways to get rid of it permanently. It’s time to stop hiding your face and get back to enjoying life again.