Acne scars and dark spots: What you need to know for clear skin
Beauty High: What's the difference between an acne scar and an acne mark? Are there any treatments for reducing the appearance of acne scars?
Dr. Hevia: Marks can mean different things to many people. Scars, by definition, are permanent. In the case of acne scars, we're talking about defects of the skin known as "pock marks," or dents. These defects respond best to fillers.
What can we do to diminish the appearance of acne marks?
Acne marks are usually the discoloration of the skin after a blemish has subsided. They typically fade on their own within 2-3 months. Sometimes, chemical peels can speed up the removal of marks, and cortisone injections to the pimple, especially early on, can reduce or eliminate the mark that follows.
What treatment do you recommend for dark spots?
I love to talk about brown spots, also referred to as "dark spots." That is a subject many people don't understand. There tends to be a lot of myths and misinformation about dark spots and how to treat them. The treatment performed on dark spots will depend on how dark the spots actually are. For example, you might have someone who is very light in skin tone and has brown spots – it doesn't look good. This is a classic example that a laser treatment would not work for. Often times, these patients will go through the laser treatment and by the end it appears the spots have become lighter, but after two weeks, the spots appear again. Therefor, for the lighter color dark spots, you would either do a chemical peel or use a bleaching regimen product to lighten the spots.
However, when you get to the medium, darker spots, they respond well to laser treatment. Patients can receive laser treatment to get rid of the bulk of the dark areas and then, after one week, you can either use a chemical peel or lightening agents to further lighten the entire face.
What exactly is a stretch mark and is there anything we can do about them?
Stretch marks are scars from the inside out. There is, to this day, no product that is going to get inside the dermis of the skin (where the damage occurred to cause the stretch mark) and remodel your collagen to such an extent that your stretch mark will disappear. Remember that stretch marks do improve. Many that are still in the purplish red zone tend to fade out. What's not going to work for stretch marks is once you've reached the final stage of white stretch marks, that's where you've reached the end point as far as the collagen.
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