Knowing The Difference: Acne Scars vs. Acne Marks
Dealing with acne can be highly distressing, and unfortunately it doesn’t end there. Pimples can leave marks and scarring on our face long after the initial blemish has disappeared. Although a pimple may be gone, you’ll have to deal with the scars and marks left behind. Knowing how to treat the damage that’s left on the skin may confuse most of us, and sometimes what seems like a scar may actually be a mark, also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Typically, scars leave a long-lasting textural change to the skin, while PIH creates a purple, grey, or brown mark.
It’s important to note: PIH is a discoloration condition and is not considered acne scarring; however, many people use the terms interchangeably even though they are actually quite different.
5 Common Treatments for Scars & Marks (PIH)
It’s important to understand the differences between scars and hyperpigmentation so you can treat the area properly and prevent further irritation of the problem area. Acne marks are more likely to fade away with time, unlike severe scarring.
The most common types of treatment for PIH and various acne scars include:
- Treatment for Boxcar Scars – these scars look like deep dents and are wider than most. They are also highly unlikely to fade on their own, but many have found success using professional skin treatments such as collagen-boosting procedures like BB glow and other skin-surfacing treatments.
- Treatment for Ice Pick Scars – these kinds of scars are the toughest to treat as they take root after the surrounding skin tissue is destroyed and are very narrow and deep. The most effective way to treat ice pick scars is through high strength chemical peels that resurface the affected area.
- Treatment for Rolling Scars – these scars have a wavy texture and look like tiny saucers on the skin. Laser treatments are the best way to resurface rolling scars, as well as fillers like Juvederm.
- Treatment for Hyperpigmentation (Acne Marks) – pigmentation is more of a discoloration than it is a scar. The good news is these dark marks will eventually fade with time, but you can do a few things to speed up the process in the meantime. Ingredients that contain salicylic acid and retinol are good for hyperpigmentation. Also, it’s important to use a broad-spectrum SPF whenever you’re exposed to the sun, as exposure to UV rays can make the mark appear darker.
Reclaim Youthful Skin with the Right Knowledge
Simply put, acne marks darken the color of your skin but the texture stays the same. In the case of acne scarring, there’s a clear impact in the make-up of the skin that results in changes to the overall skin texture. Regardless, any acne that is not healing properly should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage such as scarring or hyperpigmentation.
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