Are you fed up with the post-breakout pigmentation that haunts your clear-skinned days? Severe acne often leaves a parting gift. Find out when those dark marks will fade.
Spots send your skin into a tailspin. Moving through oily congestion to inflammation and redness, acne finally ends at Hyperpigmentation Station. Once you arrive there, are you stuck? Are dark marks permanent? Are they the result of picking your spots?
Before we get to the details, let us first reassure you that pigmentation from acne will fade. You can take control and help it fade faster. Several effective treatments don't even require a prescription.
First, let us introduce you to PIH.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
Hyperpigmentation can take many forms, but yours has been created as a side effect of acne inflammation.
Inflammation is part of your body's healing system. When your body senses danger, your immune system tries to isolate and attack the offender. When these healing processes are activated, another messenger gets transcribed and says, 'Make more tan.'
Scientists don't yet know the biological reason why the healing response triggers increased melanin production. We do know that it's triggered by inflammation, which is why UV-induced damage causes a tan. As you know, acne also leaves its 'shadow'.
Does pigmentation from acne eventually fade?
First, the good news: all pigmentation from acne will eventually fade. On the other hand, some spots take just a month to disappear, whereas others take up to a year.
The time it takes for your hyperpigmentation to fade depends on the depth and intensity of the trauma. Think of PIH as being similar to a cut that scars over. This will help you get a feel for skin recovery time.
All skin types are in a consistent state of change. Every day, you grow new skin cells that push the old ones out. This process runs on an average cycle of 30 days, which is why acne-induced hyperpigmentation has the potential to fade in just a month, depending on severity.
If your skin has suffered severe acne, hyperpigmentation will take longer to fade. This is because although skin renews every 30 days, it also retains around 20% of its old character. Perfection doesn't exist in nature. With 20% of your pigmented cells remaining, it takes longer for pigmentation correction to occur.
How can I fade acne pigmentation quickly?
Instead of waiting for acne-induced PIH to fade, you can take matters into your own hands. Do this by using skincare that:
- Increases your skin-cell turnover rate
- Inhibits your skin from creating more melanin
If you experience mild acne, you'll see great results when you add an exfoliating acid to your skincare routine:
- Alpha-H Balancing Moisturiser & Gentle Exfoliant contains 10% glycolic acid.
- PRIORI Advanced AHA Perfection Facial Gel contains 15% lactic acid and 1% salicylic acid.
If your acne is or was severe, we recommend a treatment combining both actives:
When treating areas of PIH, it's also important to avoid sun exposure during peak times and to wear daily sun protection. UV light is known to promote hyperpigmentation, so take care not to aggravate your condition.