What is the difference between an acne scar and a dark spot? This is one of our most frequently asked questions, and one of the biggest misconceptions regarding post acne marks.
I think most of us assume that anything left behind by acne that doesn’t go away is an acne scar. This is what I always believed to be true, and it’s probably why several products I had tried that I thought didn’t work, actually did work – I was just trying to treat the wrong issue!
We’re going to go over both popular skin issues in detail so we can better understand the 2, and how to treat them.
Not everyone who has acne will develop acne scars, they usually occur when there are particularly bad blemishes that leave normal skin tissue destroyed. Pimples are essentially wounds on our skin, and when they’re severe, our body responds by creating too much or too little tissue to replace what was damaged.
When too much tissue is produced, it forms a hypertrophic scar. Too little tissue leads to pitting of the skin, or an atrophic scar. These types of scars are very uneven in texture and can be quite hard to cover up or disguise. Unless you treat these, they will not go away on their own.
Dark spots, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, are discolorations in your skin from the inflammation of your skin during the healing process of a bad breakout. Pimples cause stress to your skin which can result in an overproduction of melanin, leading to a dark hue left on the skin, even long after a pimple heals.
There are other factors that can contribute to dark spots as well. For instance, the sun can play a part in causing our skin to produce an excess of melanin, which is why we should always wear sunscreen!
Dark spots can be covered with makeup, but they often still leave a dark shadow underneath making it quite challenging to be completely inconspicuous. They do eventually go away on their own, but left untreated - that can take 6 months.
To help fade dark spots faster, you could try our Dark Spot Corrector, with active ingredients alpha-arbutin, kojic acid, niacinamide and daisy flower extract. Click here to read more!
One of the worst things you can do to a pimple is to pop it or pick at it. Once you do this, the pimple has a much harder time to heal as it becomes an open wound that then needs to scab before clearing up.
Picking at your skin can also lead to dark spots and scarring, because you’re inflicting more trauma to the skin tissue. When you do this, your skin reacts by healing improperly.
Instead of popping your pimples and creating a bigger, longer lasting blemish that could potentially damage your skin, try applying a topical treatment to reduce the redness and swelling. Tea tree oil works great as an immediate and long-term fix for a pimple. It will immediately make the blemish lighter and less noticeable, plus it kills the acne bacteria which destroys the infections and aids in the skins healing process.