Healing Acne Scars - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic
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Healing Acne Scars

Healing acne scars might be one of the more difficult things to manage in skincare. One of the most common questions we receive is “how do I fade acne scars?” It’s actually a super loaded question because the term has been lumped into one giant category. However, while a pimple is the root cause there are actually two main responses from the skin that could occur. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and/or post-inflammatory erythema. Truth is, the pigmentation will go away with the proper home care and continual peel treatments but you will need to practice patience as these types of things won’t magically disappear overnight, unfortunately.

healing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
As acne heals, it will often turn dark red and even purple before it begins to lift and transform into flawless skin.

Do you want clear skin?

What Is PIH or Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

PIH is the overproduction of melanin in the skin triggered by the skin’s natural response to inflammation. If you don’t know what melanin is it’s the protein that gives the skin, hair and eyes color. It also causes freckles, birthmarks and what is commonly referred to as age spots. (We actually produce more melanin as we get older so these “age spots” pop up.)

Common causes are acne, a cut, cold sores, rash or sunburn. Healing acne scars with PIH is made worse from sun exposure so the theory that “the sun treats acne” is actually a terrible idea unless you want some lovely PIH!

PIH is usually flat and it is darker than the surrounding skin. Discoloration can range from light to deep brown or even black.

What is PIE or Post-Inflammatory Erythema?

PIE (Post-inflammatory Erythema AKA Redness).

We are all guilty of picking at our pimples (no matter HOW MANY TIMES we were told not to), and then feeling even more guilty when our skin just became even more red and aggravated afterwards. I’m sure you’ve already met Post-inflammatory Erythema, or PIE, before. This pink – red discoloration on your skin is caused by blood vessel damage within inflamed skin. Healing acne scars with PIE is not impossible!

Treatments + Prevention for Acne Scars

Now that we know the differences and causes I am sure you are wondering how to treat each of these types of marks. While both PIH and PIE can fade on their own, it can take months to do so and it depends on the severity of your acne. You have to understand that it may also never go away.

Acne scarring is a bit tricky since there is actual damage to the pore/follicle but don’t give up because there is hope!

Mandelic Acid for Healing Acne Scars

You might be wondering, what in the heck is Mandelic acid? Well, it sounds a bit like “mandolin,” but no, it’s not a small stringed musical instrument.

It’s actually a gentle giant in the world of skincare. And, if you ask any of our clear skin clients about Mandelic, they may break out singing songs of praise for this exfoliating elixir.

Mandelic enhances brightness in two ways:

  1. It inhibits the melanin-producing enzyme tyrosinase to block pigment from forming.
  2. As mandelic acid exfoliates dead cells from the surface, it helps lift existing pigment.

And because it’s non-irritating, it won’t trigger hyperpigmentation in sensitive or dark skin tones the way some acids can. The key to lightening acne scarring in our products is the Mandelic. Mandelic acid also pairs beautifully with topical vitamin A.

Vitamin A peels impactions more rapidly while Mandelic kills bacteria and reduces the chances of scarring. Our A Plus Refining Serum includes a formula of 10% Mandelic and 3% Vitamin A. This is one of our most sought after serums that is also great for anti-aging.  

How to Treat the Acne Aftermath

First thing firsts, please take a moment to understand that this process will take time. Healing acne scars is a process. Just like with acne, there won’t be any magical product or skincare routine that will get rid of discoloration and scarring overnight. Be patient with your skin, and the results will follow.

It takes time and scars continue to lighten daily.

Apply sunscreen! Every single day. Period. Sunscreen is our best friend in many ways, and ESPECIALLY so when it comes to treating and preventing hyperpigmentation. UV radiation affects how pigment appears on our skin, effectively making us more prone to hyperpigmentation and prolonging the healing process even more.

Wear SPF always — make sure you are using a great SPF… like UV shade or Ultra UV Shade

No new breakouts — stay diligent with your skincare routines. It’s difficult to lighten scarring when you continue to breakout, creating more new scars to work on.

The severity of your post-acne scars is largely dependent on the intensity of your skin inflammation. When you pick your acne, you’re basically creating more chances for bad bacteria to enter your skin and cause more irritation and infection. The more bacteria inhabiting your skin, the deeper and longer your scars will be staying. Do not pick — picking intensifies the scars.  Leave the picking to us.

A Final Note

As upsetting as healing acne scars and PIH can be, these conditions can be successfully treated with an effective skincare routine – the key is patience and consistency.

The bottom line is to not give up hope on treating your acne scars. While acne scarring may be difficult to tackle, it’s definitely not impossible to heal and we are here to guide you through your healing every step of the way. Are you ready to go all in for clear skin? Schedule your appointment today to get started on YOUR clear skin journey! Be prepared to be patient. PIH takes a long time to fade, no matter where you’re at in the process. Steady and consistent treatment is your friend.

Cheers to Clear,


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