What is Acne Scarring and Hyperpigmentation and How Do I Treat It?

After a battle with acne, we are often left with residual marks. Whether it’s a true acne scar, of which there are different types, or hyperpigmentation, this blemish can last even more time than the pimple itself. While a nuisance, it’s not uncommon, but with the proper routine it’s possible to prevent future scars and improve the appearance of current ones. However, to battle the beast you first need to know what exactly you’re up against!

 

Hyperpigmentation vs. Acne Scars

Hyperpigmentation is a dark discoloration on the skin caused by excess melanin. There are three different types: sun spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and melasma. The most relevant to acne-prone skin types is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a consequence of the inflammation acne creates.These marks can appear pink,red, or purple on lighter skin tones. Deeper skin tones will exhibit brown or black dots. If left entirely untreated, these marks will fade naturally, but it can take six months to a year to do so!

And what are acne scars? Acne scars are areas of pitted or raised skin, which can appear on the face or body. They’re produced by deep trauma in the skin.There are multiple kinds of scars, which all differ in shape and appearance. The severity of scarring, however, is determined by the depths and quantity of the scars. Minimal trauma can also be amplified by picking or popping the blemish, which means that small blemishes can develop into moderate or severe scars. The scar itself is produced when the body attempts to heal itself.

When inflammation in the skin is particularly severe, collagen and elastic tissue cannot renew properly. Since the cells can’t heal effectively, you’re left with a scar. Raised acne scars, also known as keloids, occur when the skin creates too much collagen. Instead, pitted scars, such as icepick and boxcar scars, indicate an insufficient amount of collagen. A combination of raised and pitted scars exist as well and are known as rolling scars.

The Cause

Since everyone’s skin is unique, some individuals are simply more likely to experience scarring. Beyond genetics, which can increase or decrease your likeliness, there are other causes. The first is delayed treatment, which is why a consistent skincare routine is so essential to skin health. If acne is left untreated, scars tend to form. So if you find that you’re struggling with acne, don’t wait to seek out proper treatment!

Finally, if you’re someone who picks and touches your skin a lot, you’re especially vulnerable to scars. While it can be difficult to resist the temptation to pop that pimple, this is a MUST to avoid future scars. Since we know that scars are the result of skin trauma, it’s important to allow your skin the time to heal naturally. The gentler you are with your skin, aka more hydration and important skin regenerating nutrients, the better!

Recovery and Treatment

The first step is to understand that everyone’s skin is different. For me, it took over a year for most of my cystic acne scars to clear, but my skin is not perfect by any means. Apart from topical treatments, it’s important to support your skin from the inside out! But with time, the proper treatment, and a lot of patience, you skin will heal.

When it comes to uneven skin tone, namely the elimination of hyperpigmentation, your best tools will be cocokind’s TURMERIC Spot Treatment and SPF. Turmeric is known to brighten and even skin tone, which helps make those dark marks less apparent by reducing excess melanin production. By making any marks less visible, the skin will eventually start to even out. SPF (of at least 30!) can also be immensely helpful. Each time the sun hits dark spots, even more melanin is created, so it’s important to ensure that new marks don’t form, and old ones don’t darken. These steps not only prevent the potential for new spots, but also help kick start the minimizing of current ones. We recommend brands like Goddess Garden or Coola for your sunscreen.

For acne scars, we recommend our Organic Facial Repair Serum, which contains organic coconut oil, organic avocado oil, organic rosehip oil. Filled with antioxidants, this moisturizer helps regenerate the skin. Additionally, the high concentration rosehip oil is the true champion when it comes to the reduction of acne scars. Known for its renewal properties, rosehips help the skin both rejuvenate and lock in moisture. Another option for your moisturizer can be the Chia Oil, which is deeply hydrating and packed with omegas. This moisturizer delivers major antioxidants to your skin, which helps with its repair process.

While acne scars can be frustrating and also discouraging, time and patience is important. Using a consistent skincare routine that delivers antioxidants and hydration, as well as eating a clean diet and drinking tons of water, will also help tremendously!