How to properly heal pimples and acne scars?
Properly healing pimple scars, also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) or post-acne scars, requires patience and consistent care. The approach to treating and fading these scars depends on their type, severity, and skin type. Here are some steps you can take to address and heal pimple scars:
Protect Your Skin from the Sun: Sun exposure can darken and worsen scars. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days, to protect your skin from UV damage.
Topical Products: These include formulas with active ingredients such as Vitamin C, retinoids, and hydroquinone. Vitamin C can help fade hyperpigmentation and improve overall skin tone while over-the-counter or prescription retinoid creams stimulate collagen production. In some cases, hydroquinone creams may be recommended by a dermatologist to lighten dark spots.
“Topical retinoids are great, particularly for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, alongside a range of other disorders,” Dr. Sina Ghadiri, a dermatologist based in the United Kingdom and co-founder of Topiskin, contributes. “They increase cell turnover and help disperse the melanin in the skin.”
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Exfoliation: Gentle exfoliation with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) can help remove dead skin cells and promote skin renewal. Avoid abrasive scrubs, as they can further irritate scars.
Silicone Gel Sheets or Creams: Silicone products can help flatten and soften scars when used consistently. They are available over-the-counter in the form of sheets or gels.
Professional Treatments: Skincare professionals can provide more advanced treatments like chemical peels, laser therapy, or dermal fillers. These procedures can also be tailored to your specific scar type and are even available from the comfort of your home.
Avoid Picking or Squeezing: Avoid further trauma to your skin by resisting the urge to pick, squeeze, or scratch at scars or active pimples. This can worsen scarring and hyperpigmentation.
Diet and Lifestyle: A healthy diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can support skin health. Stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and manage stress, as these factors can influence skin condition.
Not all scars will completely disappear, but with consistent care and the right approach, you can significantly improve their appearance. If your scars are deep, widespread, or causing you distress, a professional can provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.