Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation also know as dark spots, acne marks, red spots black spots, pseudo scars, macules, etc. are marks left over from inflammatory types of acne. Some types of acne that leave behind dark spots include pimples, cysts, and nodules. Dark spots are basically apart of the healing process of inflammatory acne that was either picked at or is just having a difficult time healing properly. Inflammatory acne can also leave behind acne scars. Dark spots are sometimes mistaken as acne scars, but unlike acne scars dark spots can be treated with topical treatments and home remedies. Unless a scar treatment procedure is preformed acne scars take years to even begin to appear less noticeable and technically a scar is permanently underneath the surface. Dark spots however, are temporary and usually fade in a matter of months, but in rare cases dark spots can take years to go away.
Tips for preventing dark spots on face.
It is hit or miss as to whether or not a dark spot will form from inflammatory acne such as pimples. Causing irritation to a pimple does increase the chance of a dark spot forming. So, never pick at pimples. Picking at pimples not only causes more pimples to form because of irritation caused by picking and the transfer of oils from the hands/fingers, but picking also causes the pimples to become irritated making them more inflamed. The more irritated and inflamed a pimple becomes increases the chances a dark spot will form. Letting a pimple fully mature may decrease the chance of dark spot forming because it will cause the least amount of irritation. However, waiting around for a pimple to burst on its own is not very practical because it increases the chance that the pimple will burst at an inopportune moment. Wait until a pimple has fully matured and use the guide that we have outlined on a separate page to pop will hopefully prevent a dark spot from forming. Click here to learn how to pop a pimple correctly. Irritation caused by a sunburn may cause dark spots. Too much exposure to direct sunlight can also make a dark spot even darker prolonging the amount of time it will take for the dark spot to fade. Wear a hat to shade your face and apply a moisturizer or sunscreen that won’t clog your pores and contains SPF 15 or higher on days that you will be out in the sun for longer than ten to twenty minutes. Wearing sunscreen everyday is one of the best things you can do to make dark spots fade more quickly.
If you still have acne then the first step to get rid of dark spots is to make getting your skin clear your number one priority. There is no point in using a dark spot treatment when you have acne, unless what you are using to treat dark spots is also treating your acne and being incorporated into your acne routine. Beginning an acne routine asap means you will have fewer dark spots from acne in the long run.If you still have acne, for ways to incorporate a dark spot treatment into your routine Click Here To Expand.
Having acne there are a couple of options for incorporating a dark spot treatment into your acne routine to help get rid of more acne at the same time. Adding a 10% alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) moisturizer to your routine is the best option for treating dark spots and acne at the same time. Only incorporate an AHA moisturizer into your routine once you have been using benzoyl peroxide for at least four weeks. The skin has an adjustment period to benzoyl peroxide of about three weeks so, to make sure the skin has gotten completely used to the benzoyl peroxide give it some time before applying an AHA otherwise it will be too irritating. Test an AHA on your skin in small amounts before applying it in large amounts to the entire face. If the AHA causes little to no irritation then you can begin incorporating it into your routine to help fade dark spots, treat body acne, use it as a pimple spot treatment, and clear up any acne that may be left behind. However, if an AHA is too irritating to have the on your face in small amounts then try using it just on your body acne. If you find that an AHA is too irritating for your body acne then throw or give it away. An alpha hydroxy acid moisturizer is well worth the try, but if it is causing you too much irritation then putting up with the burn will give no benefit. If an AHA moisturizer does work for you then, do not add anything extra to your routine. Go ahead and begin replacing your regular moisturizer with a 10% AHA moisturizer three times a week at night. We recommend to use the Acne.org AHA+ moisturizer. Another AHA moisturizer that we recommend is Lac-Hydrin Five. An alpha hydroxy acid moisturizer that you can find at Walgreens or CVS that works pretty well is the Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion.
The only other option we recommend if your skin cannot stand an AHA moisturizer is to use a salicylic acid wash to replace your regular face wash at night three times a week after waiting four weeks for your skin to get used to benzoyl peroxide. The salicylic acid wash we recommend is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash (without the microbeads), this wash does contain a small amount of an AHA so once again test it in small amounts. If this wash is too irritating for you then once again give it away or toss it. At this point you should just stick with the regular moisturizer, cleanser, and acne treatment that we recommend in the routine because your skin is really sensitive so adding anything extra is going to make getting clear much harder. But you can try adding a regular salicylic acid such as the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash to replace your regular cleanser three times a week. A regular salicylic acid wash may help a little with dark spots and acne but don’t get your hopes up. Remember focus on getting clear then, begin to pursue treatment for your dark spots. Now, go to the acne routine page by clicking here if you have not already and begin following the routine we have outlined there asap.
Click Here To Collapse.
Please continue reading for ways to treat dark spots if you do not have acne.
Topical treatments for dark spots on face.
As previously mentioned dark spots will not last forever, and there are a number of topical treatments and home remedies that you can try that will sometimes more quickly fade dark spots. There are also professional treatments for dark spots that can be preformed by doctors and/or estheticians. No one treatment is the best for dark spots. You may have to try a variety of treatments to see what works best for you, or you may even need to use a combination of treatments. Always check with your doctor before trying any type of topical treatment or home remedy. Your doctor or esthetician also may be able to recommend a dark spot treatment that will work for your specific skin type. Talk with your doctor about the risks of using any type of dark spot treatment. There is a chance that a topical or professional dark spot treatment may cause breakouts, more dark spots, other pigmentation problems, or scarring.
The best place to start when attempting to fade dark spots more quickly are the types of treatments that will bleach the dark spots. Start treating dark spots using a bleaching agent called hydroquinone. A 4% hydroquinone cream from a dermatologist is the ideal treatment to start with when treating dark spots. You can also pick up a 2% hydroquinone cream from a local drug store. Another bleaching agent you can get a prescription for from a dermatologist and use in conjunction with hydroquinone or on its own to treat dark spots is a topical retinoid (tretinoin) in Retin-A creams such as Renova, Avage, or Differin. A less effective but also less irritating over the counter option for prescription retinoid treatments are found in retinol creams. Tri-luma is a topical prescription cream that combines multiple dark spot treatments into one. An over the counter options that combines multiple dark spot treatments into is RESIST Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel. Other bleaching ingredients used to treat dark spots on face that can be purchased over the counter include kojic acid and azeliac acid. Kojic acid may cause contact dermatis (an allergic reaction) if applied for a long period of time. Applying a 10% alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) such as glycolic or lactic acid moisturizer regularly (a few times a week to replace your regular moisturizer at night) may also help to fade dark spots by increasing the rate of exfoliation. Another over the counter option that increases the rate of exfoliate is beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid). If an AHA moisturizer is too irritating you can use a salicylic acid wash at night to replace your regular cleanser instead of an AHA. A salicylic acid wash is not nearly as effective as an AHA moisturizer, but it may have some effect on dark spots.
Home remedies for dark spots on face.
Some of the best home remedies for dark spots are lemon juice and organic apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice and organic apple cider vinegar are ingredients that increase the rate of exfoliation and may fade dark spots more quickly. Use the juice from half a lemon diluted in purified water if needed to reduce irritation once a week to treat dark spots. Drink the other half of the lemon juice in a warm glass of water to cleanse since lemon juice only keeps for a few days. To use organic apple cider vinegar make at least a half organic apple cider vinegar and half water (use more water if needed) mixture to apply directly to dark spots or the entire face once a week. Try using one remedy or the other, do not use them both at the same time. Before applying either remedy to the entire face test either remedy first on the back of your hand to see if it is too irritating. If there is a severe amount of irritation dilute the remedy with more water. Once you get a comfortable mixture that works on the back of your hand try testing a small on the side of your cheek your cheek. Once again add more water if any severe irritation occurs until you get a mixture that causes only a bearable sting. Be sure to only use organic apple cider vinegar regular apple cider vinegar is much too harsh and drys out the skin too much. For more home remedies for dark spots and acne click here.
The previously mentioned treatments and remedies for dark spots all make the skin sensitive to the sun. Continue to use a sunscreen even a week after using a dark spot treatment such as alpha hydroxy acid or retinoids.
Try any over the counter option or home remedy for dark spots for at least three months, if there is no change in your dark spots then make an appointment with a dermatologist to get the stronger prescription only options. If prescription only options do not work then ask a dermatologist about professional treatments for dark spots.
Professional treatments for dark spots on face.
- Chemical peels such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, Jeesner’s peels, and Trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
- Microdermabrasion preformed by a doctor or an esthetician.
- Laser treatments such as Q-switched laser, 595 nm LPDL, and 1064 nm QS Nd:YAG.
- Cryotherapy is when a doctor applies dry ice to help fade dark spots.
Another cause for dark spots on face besides acne and overexposure to the sun are birth marks. The treatments and remedies for dark spots are the same no mater what may have caused them.