Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Don't make this mistake when dealing with hyperpigmentation.

I'm grateful to have been free of active breakouts for a little while now.   But my skin still  demonstrates tell tale signs of the acne that once plagued me.  I read something recently that may provide insight to why my skin still has discoloration issues over a year after treating my acne.

The reason why my current circumstances are the way they are is because I failed to act quickly.  You see, I was so focused on addressing active breakouts that I rarely paid attention to the post acne scars.  This cost me big time. Because now I'm hearing that waiting too long to address discoloration could make things worse.  Think of a new acne scar in the same way as when you get a stain on your clothes.  The longer you let it sit, the deeper it sets in.   The deeper scar sets in, the harder it is to get out.  

When my brother was in high school, he suffered a gash to the face which required several stitches. The moment he was released from the hospital, he immediately sought out remedies to prevent long term scarring.  He settled on topical application of vitamin E.  From that moment on, he applied pure vitamin E oil on the scar a minimum of once a day.  Years later, no evidence of the scar exists. He took fast action and it paid off for him.

I, on the other hand, believed that my scars would organically fade on their own.  I also rationed that I'd take care of the scars all at once after the pimples were addressed.  If I could go back and do things different, I would take a completely different approach.  Waiting until my skin was completely clear was a bad idea.  Instead, I'd to start addressing discoloration as early as possible.

What I should have done was incorporate exfoliation methods that both address the acne and the scarring.  In the past, I had the misconception that exfoliating would aggravate my pimples.  I admit that I was wrong.  Turns out that removing old, dead skin cells is an effective acne fighting strategy.

Skin peels and retinol containing products are at the top of the list.  They promote rapid cell turnover and travel down to the deeper layers of the skin.  This means that the skin below the surface is being addressed.  I've recently learned of an ingredient called azelaic acid which dual powered in the fight against acne related pigmentation. First, it has high anti-bacterial qualities, which is a must if you're addressing active (and future) breakouts.  But not only that, azelaic acid also has the ability actually face scars as well!  It's also considered a safer alternative to hydroquinone because, although it lightens scars, azelaic acid doesn't bleach skin.

These days, exfoliation is a huge strategy for me.  But that wasn't always the case.  I used to think exfoliation would aggravate acne and make things worse.  Boy was I wrong.  Anyone reading this who suffers from active acne and hyperpigmentation, there's still hope.   Treat the issues early and often.  Couple your fade products with targeted exfoliation and you've got a solid regimen for clear, even toned skin.

And don't forget other necessities such as a bomb sunscreen that you vow to wear each and every day to keep  future pigmentation at bay.

  1. Great post! I too suffer from hyperpigmentation and it is a pain. More so know that I am older. I went to the dermatologist this past summer and she suggested a product that contains azelaic acid in it along with kojic acid too. It is a solid face bar that has been working for me. Its called PCA pigment bar. As with anything you need to be consistent with it for it to be effective but I have noticed that it has helped lighten my old scars, and along tin retinol, I do see improvement. I will link you to the product so you can check it out.

  2. Also use products that contain glycolic acids to help exfoliate. And sunscreen is a must to stop the new scar from getting any darker. Great tips. By the way, you have me totally sold on that biophase cleanser.