Hyperpigmentation – discoloration of the skin, can be pink purple or brown but are FLAT – comes from skin producing too much melanin as it heals
Acne scars – damage to the skin’s tissue that results in either a loss or overgrowth of tissue causing craters, dents, or raised marks formed in the skin post acne where the skin could not heal
Both are post inflammatory responses of the skin from acne but completely different ant not interchangeable terms. Hyperpigmentation is not always permanent, where as acne scars are.
Your skin cells renew every 30 days, which is why most hyperpigmentation spots can fade during that time period. However, depending on how severe the discoloration is, it can take longer. Although your skin cells are renewing every 30 days it still retain 20% of its previous makeup. Just like a cut or scratch that scabs over, depending on how deep it is, the longer it will take to heal.
If you can’t wait for hyperpigmentation to heal on it’s own your only options are to either increase the production of new skin cells or to slow down or block the production of melanin. There are plenty of over the counter products or for more severe cases, dermatologist prescribed products and procedures that can be done to assist your recovery process. You may have heard of retinoid’s, which are a known for stimulating the production of skin cells and even help treat acne. You can find them in both prescription strength and at your local drug stores. As far as reducing melanin production, I would stray away from over the counter products that may result in skin bleaching and overall lightening. There’s many natural remedies/ingredients that you can try to slow down melanin production without compromising your skin, like aloe vera, lemon juice, turmeric and even tomato.
It’s also key to wear sun screen/avoid UV light during the healing process or when using products that may lighten the skin. Exposure can increase hyperpigmentation and make it worse. This has probably been the one of the biggest changes I’ve incorporated into my skin care routine and I truly believe has made a difference. I literally never used SPF and would spend hours out in the sun over the last summer since we moved. If you’ve been following my journey, you saw me try countless products, not once using an SPF and my results were staggering. Since I’ve incorporated it into my routine, I strongly believe it’s allowed the vitamin C and other products I’ve been using to help my hyperpigmentation heal. It’s also aided in preventing current breakouts from getting too dark, acting as a defense barrier. If you don’t already use have an SPF in your skin care routine, I highly recommend adding one.
Understanding acne post the initial breakout is important to your skin’s recovery and maintaining it’s natural glow. As the saying goes, there’s levels to this. Making sure you’re treating your skin with care before, during, and after breakouts will help your turn over time when one should occur. You only get once face, one set of skin. It’s the largest organ of your body, so make sure you’re taking care of it.
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