Acne Scars and Dark Spots: Care and Treatment
As if dealing with pimples, whiteheads or blackheads isn’t enough. Now, your recent breakout has left behind craters, bumps or marks on your skin. It’s like a constant reminder of a bad date! The good news? Acne scars and dark spots can fade away and disappear into distant memory (kinda like that bad date!) Check out our comprehensive guide to healthy, clear skin:
What’s the Difference Between Acne Scars and Dark Spots
Let’s start with what acne scars and dark spots have in common:
1. They’re the long-lasting aftermath of a short-lived blemish.
2. They’re often caused by picking and popping at skin eruptions and traumatizing the skin (Acne Prevention Tip #1: Zit popping may be trending on YouTube of late, but don’t do it!).
3. They’re a universally hated part of breakouts.
Beyond these three things, acne scarring and acne dark marks are actually quite different. Here’s more:
What is an Acne Scar / What Causes an Acne Scar?
An acne scar is by definition a permanent textural change to the skin. This change occurs because of the body’s response to acne. When the immune system detects an acne lesion, it attempts to heal it, just like it would for any other wound on the skin. If this process happens correctly, your blemish will fade away without a trace. However, if the lesion is extremely deep or inflamed or because picking or squeezing made it worse, the body can struggle to heal acne. Specifically, it will replace the normal tissue with more fibrous tissue. When too much tissue is formed, a raised, bumpy scar will appear on the skin. This is called a keloid or hypertrophic scar. When too little tissue is formed, a depression is made in the skin. This is called an atrophic scar or, more commonly, “pock marks”.
Skin experts actually categorize atrophic scars even further, as follows:
1. Ice pick scars have jagged edges and are deeper.
2. Rolling scars have rounded edges around broad depressions.
3. Boxcar scars tend to be broad and rectangular with clearly-defined edges.
Will Acne Scarring Fade on Its Own?
At Smooth Synergy, we often get asked if acne scars can fade naturally. Again, the changes to the skin are considered permanent. However, acne scars can seem to almost disappear in time and with the proper acne scarring treatment.
What is an Acne Dark Spot / What Causes a Dark Spot?
Acne dark spots are quite different from acne scarring. While an acne scar represents a textural change to the skin, a dark spot occurs when there is an added infusion of melanin into the skin cells. Specifically, any skin discoloration that remains after a skin blemish has healed is considered a dark spot (also called an acne mark, acne dark mark, dark mark). It’s officially referred to by skin experts as Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH. These dark marks can come in a rainbow of colors, including red, purple, grey or brown marks. They occur because of an overzealous immune system. Basically, the body’s anti-inflammatory response to the blemish (which helps it heal) has an unwanted side effect: increased melanin production. The result is dark spots on the skin.
Will Acne Marks Fade Naturally?
The answer is yes; however, dark marks can be visible for up to 3-6 months. With proper acne treatment, we can speed up this process dramatically.
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars and Dark Spots
There are several highly effective noninvasive procedures for treating acne scars and dark spots:
- Cosmetic fillers (acne scars only)
Dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, Restylane and Belotero, work to fill in depressions in the skin caused by acne scars.
2. Microdermabrasion (acne scars and dark spots)
An excellent physical exfoliation treatment for resurfacing the skin and improving the tone and texture of the skin.
3. Microneedliing with PRP (acne scars and dark spots)
Fine needles penetrate the skin with protein-rich plasma, which trigger the body’s natural ability to heal and smooth out the skin.
4. Chemical Peel (acne scars and dark spots)
A chemical solution removes the top layer of skin to reveal the healthy, new skin underneath. Great to even out skin texture and tone and resurface the skin.
Acne Scars and Dark Spots: Treatment at Smooth Synergy, NYC
At Smooth Synergy, our first goal is prevention of acne. If you have acneic or congested skin, Smooth Synergy offers a comprehensive menu of treatments designed to bring back balance to your skin. We also offer highly effective treatments, including cosmetic fillers, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and microneedling with PRP, if you are suffering the aftereffects of acne. Call us at 212-397-0111 to speak with an expert in beauty about which acne scarring or hyperpigmentation treatment option is right for you.