Treating Dark Spots Left After Your Acne Heals

How to prevent hyperpigmentation during and after an acne breakout.

We work with many clients to successfully control their acne breakouts but treating the dark spots that are left behind after the pimple is healed is just as important. 

These dark spots are called “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation” and can be as upsetting as the acne itself. This hyperpigmentation can appear slightly different in different skin types however it usually presents as a slightly raised and dry brown spot. Most often from a far it still looks like acne which is why prevention is key. 

So what causes this hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when our skin has suffered some type of injury such as a cut, scrape or acne, which causes the skin to become inflamed. As part of the healing process the skin can over produce melanin, the protein in the skin responsible for the skins colour. Unfortunately this dark discolouration remains long after the acne is healed.

There is good news though!

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is not real scarring and not permanent, it’s often referred to “pseudo scarring” because though it does mark the skin it does not damage the follicle.

Though these darks spots are not permanent and will fade over time it can take up to 12 months or longer and many find this extremely frustrating, however there are steps you can take to help prevent the hyperpigmentation from occurring.

Treatment options include:

Exfoliating - it’s very important to clear away all dead skin cells and encourage the skin turn over new skin cells. The quicker this is done the quicker the dark spots will fade, this will also help prevent acne breakouts. 

There are a number of safe and effective ways to exfoliate your skin and coffee scrubs on your face is not one.

  1. A gentle oat based exfoliator 2 x 3 times a week can easily be incorporated into your skin care routine. 
  2. Microdermabrasion offered as one of EASTND’s many natural skin treatments. Performed with a diamond tip, this mechanical exfoliation removes the upper layer of dead skin cells, taking exfoliation to the next level.
  3. Chemical Peels, when done correctly by a professional is very effective in lightening the appearance of hyperpigmentation and preventing further acne breakouts. This treatment can have downtime anywhere from 5-7 days however is the deepest exfoliation you can get.

Microneedling - is a non invasive skin treatment that uses 12 tiny needles to create small channels in the skin. In the days that follow the skin recovers and heals, it’s this process that stimulates collagen production and new skin cells. 

The increased cell turn over and faster skin cell production replaces the damaged, hyperpigmentation spots and best of all safe for all skin types.

Proper skincare products - finding the right skincare products for at home use:

  1. Bakuchiol Serum - a safe effective natural alternative to retinol products. Though there are many benefits to Bakuchiol it actually inhibits the production of melanin, it is reported that it suppresses the hormone responsible for melanin formation in the skin. 

Incorporating bakuchiol serum into your skincare routine does not   only help to stop acne breakouts but will also reduce the production of melanin decreasing the dark spots left after the pimple heals. 

2. Niacinamide / Vitamin B3 - a 5% niacinamide cream is another highly effective skincare product in treating acne, prevention of acne flares and reducing the effects of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

3. Sulfur soap -  An effective exfoliant sulfur removes dead skin cells cleaning the skin preventing oil from clogging the pores and again preventing pimples from developing. The exfoliating properties of sulfur helps in the prevention of hyperpigmentation. 

4. SPF - a quality non toxin sunscreen is the number one way to protect your skin from further damage and hyperpigmentation.

The Wellness Exchange caries a line of sunscreens you can trust!  

Well these are all important steps in preventing hyperpigmentation due to acne, implementing preventive steps for acne breakouts is always best.

Take this as an opportunity to have a professional natural skin rejuvenation treatment with our medical aesthetician at EASTND.


MONCTON at 1.506.830.8333 or email at [email protected] 

CHARLOTTETOWN at 1.902.367.5300 or email at [email protected]

Karen, Medical Aesthetician

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