Like a lunch date that’s overstayed their welcome, boring you with tales of their ex, scars and hyperpigmentation hang around for long periods of time, which leads to much frustration (and sometimes a lack of self-confidence).
We want to avoid these two skincare woes as their marks can linger for years, but there are a few tactics you can employ to get back to bright, even skin.
Types Of Hyperpigmentation
Melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are some of the most prevalent kinds of hyperpigmentation.
- Melasma. This is a type of skin condition that develops during pregnancy and is thought to be caused by hormonal changes. This hyperpigmentation can affect any part of the body; however, it most typically affects the stomach and face.
- Sunspots. Also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, these are common occurrences. They're linked to long-term overexposure to the sun. They usually emerge as patches on sun-exposed areas such as the hands and face.
- Hyperpigmentation after an inflammatory reaction. Caused by a skin injury or inflammation, acne and ingrown hairs are common reasons for this.
What Is The Difference Between Scarring And Pigmentation?
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – or acne scarring in more severe cases – is the most common problem for blemish-prone skin types. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the formal name for those irritating red marks that often appear after a bout of bacne has gone away. While they may appear to be scars, they aren't. These are caused by skin inflammation, which causes an increase in pigment production as your complexion heals — and should decrease gradually over time.
Another prevalent kind of scarring is caused by ingrown hairs or razor bumps. A pus-filled, discoloured lump might form as a result of ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs are more prone to become infected since they're uncomfortable, itchy, or painful, especially if they're plucked at or rubbed. Post-inflammatory skin damage and scarring may occur as a result of this.
On the other hand, acne scarring is caused by an excess of collagen, which is usually the result of acne (rather than ordinary blemishes) and appears as a raised, bumpy, or pit-like scar. This type of scarring is far more challenging to treat and may require more than simply over-the-counter medication. Before attempting to minimise more severe scarring at home, we recommend consulting your dermatologist.
This post-acne redness is more common in certain skin types and tones. Because of the greater quantities of melanin in the skin, darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation. This means that anytime there is a trauma, the melanin cells respond quickly by producing more melanin in order to resist and protect against the trauma.
The good news is that there are various solutions for treating acne scars and pigmentation, ranging from expert treatments to at-home hacks.
How To Tackle Scarring And Pigmentation
Here are four incredibly effective ways to reduce pigmentation, including hyperpigmentation and acne scars:
Fillers can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns, including acne scars, and aren't just for making you look like a Love Island winner. A small amount can be used to fill and smooth any acne scars temporarily.
Indented scars respond well to dermal fillers. To preserve the results, the treatment will need to be repeated at regular intervals, most likely every six months, depending on the type of filler used.
Your skin may bruise, swell, and turn red at first, but be patient and wait for it to heal. This isn't the priciest acne scarring therapy, and it’s also one of the least invasive and painless as far as cosmetic procedures go.
Radiofrequency With Microneedling
This potent combo uses radio waves to deliver pulses of light energy to small needles that gently penetrate the skin to help fill in the indentation acne scars leave behind.
The goal is to make skin look brighter and tighter, with scars appearing smaller and lighter in colour and a smoother skin texture.
Unlike IPL, another popular procedure, this may be used on people of all skin tones and has minimal downtime, with redness lasting only an hour or two.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
Both for hyperpigmentation and dark spots, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are great strategies to diminish pigmentation and smooth texture.
Glycolic, lactic, and citric acids are the most common AHAs. They operate by dissolving the skin's dulling stratum corneum (oldest, thinnest layer of skin) to reveal the younger, more radiant skin cells beneath. With regular use, this increased cell turnover aids in the fading and minimisation of scars.
Start with a reduced dose if you're new to AHAs to give your skin time to adjust.
Vitamin C is a milder yet efficient approach to lowering pigmentation, but it's challenging to get right because it's finicky and loses its brightening properties when exposed to water.
When looking for a vitamin C solution, make sure it's stable - this will provide good everyday protection from environmental aggressors while also increasing collagen formation and minimising the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.
Retinol, often known as vitamin A, is commonly used in anti-ageing products, but it can also be used to clear pores and remove scars. It's a more progressive procedure, but it's well-liked for making skin look brighter and smoother.
It works by encouraging the synthesis of skin-essential 'scaffolding' to boost collagen and elastin for smoother, rejuvenated, and more even skin – but it can have a drying or irritating side effects, so it's best to start with tiny dosages to give your skin time to adjust.
Start with a mild retinol to help boost cellular turnover and improve skin’s texture – wonderful for scars and sensitivity!
Final Tips For Scarring And Pigmentation
The best way to treat scars and pigmentation is to avoid them in the first place. The best prevention tips include:
- Maintain your body with a daily skincare routine.
- Avoid picking spots, ingrown hairs, or razor bumps, as this can result in scarring or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Always (always, always) apply SPF30+ UVA and UVB protection and avoid spending long periods of time in the sun.
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