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How to Get Rid of Acne Scarring and Fade Pigmentation?

woman in holding vitamin serum in her left hand and posing
Photo: Mikhail Nilov

Congratulations, your skin is finally clear and free of the annoying pimples and acne. Now, when they are completely gone, the only problem left is scarring. Certainly, you can cover skin imperfections with a layer of makeup. However, makeup will not camouflage uneven skin texture, it will only make it look more prominent. The only real solution is actually to make the scar less visible naturally or fade it away. Acne scars tend to get less visible with time, but it is possible to quicken up this process. Still, before starting any treatment, it is best to understand the real reason behind scarring and the removal mechanism.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH is the medical term used to describe the dark mark and skin unevenness left after the acne is gone. In the beginning, the scar looks red, turning dark brown or even purplish with time.  If you have a darker skin complexion, then you are more prone to get darker acne scars. Usually, the pigmentation lasts somewhere between three to five years, though it may stay for longer periods of time. 

Severe acne scarring may be more common when the surface of the pimple is damaged by scratching or "popping". This promotes inflammation and causes the skin to raise more pigment melanin onto the surface of the skin, as the body tries to protect the sensitive area. The higher level of melanin leaves the skin with dark spots in the place of post-acne.

a bunch of skin care tools that are laying on a plain background
Photo: Content Pixie

What are the Most Common Types of Acne Scars?

While most acne scars are flat, and pigmented, some of them may appear higher or lower on the skin. This creates an uneven texture on the surface of the face, which is harder to conceal. Therefore, preventing acne before it begins is very important. If the acne process has already begun, it is crucial to treat it at an early stage, before the appearance of deep scarring.

Other acne scars, which are commonly called hypertrophic scars, are even more visible on the skin, as they are more raised and developed. They are even harder to battle, but nothing is impossible. Though, you may need a little help on the side, and a well-planned course of scar treatment.

Best Post-acne After-Care and Treatments

Now, when we know that it is important to start the treatment early in the healing period when the acne pimple is not inflamed anymore, it is completely healed and flat. To speed up the healing, use anti-inflammatory remedies like Hydrocortisone and Vitamin E. Both of them reduce inflammation and swelling, preventing the forming of the actual acne scar. Avoid using any damaging procedures during this stage, as they can lead to more pigmentation and scarring. Don't forget to consult your dermatologist before starting any kind of skin treatment.

Once your skin is completely healed, has no sign of inflammation, you can start using other remedies like Vitamin C. It is a potent antioxidant that prevents melanin synthesis or melanogenesis, and so it reduces hyperpigmentation. Retinol and Hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine will stimulate collagen synthesis, and it will even out post-acne skin bumpiness. 

woman applies moisturizer on to her hand
Photo: Content Pixie

Best Ingredients that Help Reduce Acne Scars

Some skin care ingredients may help you on your way to even skin. To make them work better, pair them with regular face moisturizer. One of the best ingredients that improve skin texture is Mandelic Acid. This ingredient also plays a huge role in the cell renewal process.

Another great acne scars treatment is Azelaic Acid. It has a very gentle, but very effective exfoliating nature. It is even recommended for people with Rosacea. For severe cases of acne scarring, and for keloid scars, use a powerful combination of Retinoids and Hydroquinone.

How to Maintaining Scar-Free Skin?

Maintaining scar-free skin is yet another battle for healthy skin. The most important rule here is a potent sunscreen with an SPF. Invest in a good-quality product with at least SPF 90, and don't forget to re-apply it regularly. Post-acne skin is sensitive and prone to sunburn. Plus, UV exposure may make the pigmentation more severe, so it is crucial to protect your skin from the sun.

Photo: Content Pixie

  • Develop a Skin Care Routine, and Stick to It
Now, when the acne is gone, we want to avoid relapse, and a thorough morning and evening skincare routine is going to prevent new blemishes and pimples from reappearing. Consult your dermatologist and develop your personal routine that suits your lifestyle and skin type. Stick to the routine and don't skip the steps.

  • Cleansing And Moisturizing is a Must
Give special attention to the cleansing process in your routine. Skip the harsh scrubbing, opting for gentle chemical peels. Use them once a week to release your skin from the dead cells, refreshing its appearance. Follow the cleansing with a rich moisturizer in the evening, and SPF-based cream for the daytime.

  • Check your skin regularly with a Dermatologist.
It is important to stay in touch with your dermatologist throughout the whole healing process. A professional doctor will help you with wound healing, tell you if you need any additional topic treatments, and do extra exams if necessary. It is important to check in with your dermatologist regularly, even after your acne is completely gone.

Hopefully, their skincare tips will help you during your acne treatment process. Remember to don't pick on your skin and squeeze the pimples, even if they annoy you too much. Prevention of acne and acne scarring is better and easier than cure. 

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