How to get rid of post-acne on the face


Post-acne on the face is an extremely unpleasant phenomenon, because of which many people begin to complex. Dealing with it is not easy, but modern medicine has found ways to deal with scars and pigmentation on the face.

What is post-acne

Post-acne is a variety of scars, secondary skin changes that have arisen where there were acne (acne). In turn, acne is an inflammatory skin disease that manifests itself as small black or white nodules (comedones), purulent pustules, etc.

Trying to get rid of acne as soon as possible, people often only aggravate the situation. Squeezing a pimple, a person does not think that he is making an irreparable mistake. After all, traumatizing the skin around acne, disrupting the healing process just leads to post-acne, which is no less difficult to deal with than acne, and masking it is even more difficult. Severe forms of acne, requiring long-term treatment, also leave behind noticeable traces.

Types of post-acne

Stagnant spotsSpots of red, purple or blue. They appear mainly after trying to squeeze out acne or blackheads, if a person has weak capillaries and has a tendency to form vascular “asterisks”.
HyperpigmentationDarkening of certain areas of the skin. The body turns on a protective reaction to squeezing acne – the formation of melanin, which makes the skin darker.
Enlarged poresThey look like microholes, there are a lot of them. One of the typical manifestations of post-acne, caused by the active production of sebum, which accumulates in the pores, which causes them to stretch.
Atrophic scarsIndentations, pits that make the skin appear to be wavy. Located below the level of healthy skin. There are rounded, square, chipped. Formed at the site of damage to the skin with a lack of collagen. The most common form of post-acne scars.
Hypertrophic scarsScars of pink or purple color protrude above the skin, corresponding to the wounds in size and shape. This unnatural growth of fibrous tissue is formed when collagen is overproduced.
Normotrophic scarsFlat, on a level with healthy skin, almost do not differ from it. They do not cause deformation of the dermis and epidermis, but if left unattended, they can go into more severe forms.
Keloid scarsConvex neoplasms of a red, pink or bluish hue, with a smooth shiny surface. The most severe type of scars. May cause a feeling of tightness, pain, itching.
AtheromaA soft and elastic tubercle that rises above the skin. In fact – a cyst caused by blockage of the sebaceous glands. Sometimes there is a hole on the surface of the atheroma, through which the fatty substance with which it is filled leaks, with an unpleasant odor.
MiliumDense spherical nodule of white color. They can be both congenital and formed on the background of post-acne or other skin diseases. Formed due to excess secretion of the sebaceous glands. 

10 best ways to treat post-acne on the face

If you wish, today you can minimize the consequences of post-acne, or even get rid of them without a trace. Modern cosmetology offers a wide range of products for skin restoration – from pharmaceutical ointments to hardware procedures.1.

1. Pharmacy products

Of the pharmaceutical products in the treatment of post-acne, preparations based on azelaic acid can be used: Azelik, Skinoklir, Skinoren. Azelaic acid acts as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, and in addition, reduces pigmentation.

The preparations can be used as a means to eliminate stagnant spots and pigmentation. 

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2. Peelings

Both chemical and mechanical peels can be used to treat post-acne.

In the first option, acidic chemical compounds are applied to the skin for a certain time, which cauterize the upper layer of the epidermis, which leads to its rejection and stimulates renewal. The skin is smoothed, thickened, the tone of the face is evened out, the sebaceous pores are cleansed.

Most often, median peeling is used with penetration into the middle layers of the skin, but you need to prepare for it – take a course of superficial peels. Median peeling is used to eliminate such manifestations of post-acne as pigmentation, stagnant spots, small scars. 

Mechanical peeling is skin resurfacing using abrasive compounds: coral or diamond powder, grains of sand, crushed fruit pits, etc. Dead cells are removed, skin pores are cleansed of fat and impurities, and the relief is evened out. Mechanical peeling is relevant for skin roughness, pigmented and stagnant spots, small scars and scars2.

3. Mesotherapy

These are injections of biologically active complex preparations (vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and nucleic acids). Getting into the layers of the epidermis and dermis, they stimulate metabolic processes, remove toxins and start skin regeneration, nourish it and moisturize it.

The procedure is indicated for pigmentation, enlarged pores, small post-acne scars.

4. Plasmolifting

Plasmolifting is an injection of your own blood plasma. Thanks to the procedure, skin cells are renewed, receive intensive nutrition and hydration, which helps to even out the skin texture, remove age spots, and reduce scars.

The procedure is recommended in combination with other aesthetic correction methods.3.

5. Fractional RF exposure

This procedure is an exposure to the skin with an alternating electric current of the radio frequency range. In this case, electrical energy is converted into thermal energy. Thus, the production of new collagen and elastin is stimulated, which ensures a gradual smoothing of the skin. Improves blood circulation and lymph flow.

The procedure gives the greatest effect with fresh, not old scars.4.

6. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a mechanical resurfacing, which is carried out using special devices. One of the modern options is skin resurfacing not with abrasive cutters, but with an air stream containing microcrystals. As a result, the top layer of the skin with obsolete cells is removed, the relief is evened out.

The procedure is effective for the correction of stagnant spots, shallow (up to 0,5 mm square scars).

7. Laser therapy

Laser resurfacing is one of the most popular methods. For the procedure, a special laser unit with a certain laser wavelength is used, which penetrates under the skin to the required depth. The laser beam cauterizes the skin, it exfoliates, stimulates the active formation of collagen and new healthy skin cells.

Photothermolysis is a more gentle method of laser exposure. Laser beams act pointwise, creating a mesh on the treatment area, starting the processes of skin regeneration. The procedure is less traumatic than laser resurfacing, and rehabilitation is faster5.

With the help of a laser, scars are smoothed, both local and occupying a large area.

8. Hardware plasmolifting

A non-contact method in which a neutral gas, which occurs under the influence of an electric current, becomes an instrument of influence. The plasma beam penetrates the skin without damaging it. Under its influence, the production of collagen and elastane is stimulated, the skin relief is evened out.

Skin damage after such a procedure is minimal, rehabilitation is fast.

It is used to remove hyperpigmentation, scar correction.

9. Injections

The thinnest needle in the place where there is a defect, the drug is injected. There are many such drugs, and only a specialist can choose the best remedy for solving a particular problem. For the correction of hypertrophic and keloid scars, this may be a drug from the class of glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid preparations, etc. are suitable for smoothing skin with deep pits.

Effective for the correction of scars, scars, pits.

10. Surgery

If other methods for hypertrophic or keloid post-acne scars have been powerless, surgery can come to the rescue. Scar excision is a full-fledged operation that is performed under local or general anesthesia. The recovery period lasts several weeks, after which the scars become less noticeable.  

Cosmetologist’s tips for getting rid of post-acne

– How and how to treat post-acne – depends on the nature of these manifestations. If it’s just spots, it’s not that hard. If there are scars, you need to look at their shape and depth, – notes cosmetologist Polina Tsukanova. – But the longer you delay treatment, the more difficult, painful and expensive it will be.

In the treatment of post-acne, you need to be patient. Many skin problems can be solved step by step, choosing the most suitable option for your skin. Sometimes you need 3 meetings with a cosmetologist, and sometimes 10 to get an excellent result.

Let me remind you that some effective methods of dealing with post-acne – acid peels, coral peeling, laser resurfacing – are absolutely contraindicated in the spring and summer due to the activity of the sun. But there are other methods as well. For example, mesotherapy, which allows you to influence the defect at the cellular level.

It is important that a person who turns to a specialist with a post-acne problem follows all recommendations for skin care. The result also depends to a large extent on this.

Popular questions and answers

Cosmetologist Polina Tsukanova answers popular questions about the treatment of post-acne on the face.

Why does post-acne appear on the face?

– There are several main reasons for the appearance of post-acne:

• If the inflammatory process lasted for several months, the oxygen content in the tissues decreases, which leads to secondary changes in the skin.

• Rough mechanical impact. Squeezing acne, a person damages the skin.

• Complication of acne in the form of cysts or nodes leads to the appearance of deep scars.

• Improper acne treatment.

How long does post-acne last?

“This problem cannot be dealt with quickly. On average, it takes at least a year for the skin to become even and healthy. Of course, it all depends on the chosen method of treatment. If you go through a course of good procedures in combination with effective pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, the process will be significantly accelerated. But this will also take several months.

Can post-acne on the face go away on its own?

– Only post-acne spots can go away on their own, and even then not soon and with proper skin care. But the scars themselves will not resolve, like other manifestations of post-acne.

Is it possible to get rid of post-acne on the face at home?

– At home, you can improve the condition of the skin. But on condition that you will use what the specialist will recommend to you. With the help of special gels for washing and lotions, new rashes and inflammations can be prevented. Whitening creams will help lighten age spots. To narrow the pores, you can use masks based on natural blue clay. Vitamins and minerals are needed to restore the skin.
  1. Modern ideas about post-acne, new possibilities for correction. Svechnikova E.V., Dubina L.Kh., Kozhina K.V. Medical almanac. 2018.
  2. Efficacy and safety of superficial chemical peeling in the treatment of active acne vulgaris. An Bras Dermatol. — 2017.
  3. Plasma lifting in aesthetic cosmetology. Z. Sh. Гараева, Л. А. Юсупова, Г. I. Mavlyutova, E. I. Yunusova. 2016.
  4. Fractional RF therapy and post-acne: results of a prospective clinical study. Katz Bruce. 2020
  5. Fractional laser photothermolysis in the treatment of skin defects: possibilities and effectiveness (review). MM. Karabut, N.D. Gladkova, F.I. Feldstein.

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