How to get rid of scars and marks

Article Read Duration 5 min read

Acne can leave unsightly scars and red or brown marks which may dent your confidence, but there’s plenty you can do to prevent and fade them:

• Don't pick or squeeze spots
• Ditch soap and scrubs in favour of gentle micellar waters or foaming washes
• Opt for expert daily skincare recommended by dermatologists such as the EFFACLAR range
• Use a non-comedogenic oil-free moisturiser with SPF
• Avoid super concentrated at-home AHA peels, which can cause irritation
• Consult a dermatologist to consider peels, microdermabrasion and other in-office treatments

POST-ACNE MARKS AND SCARS:
WHAT ARE THEY?

Inflammation caused by spots can leave persistent red or brown dark marks on skin

Red marks

Acne spots are a hotbed of inflammation that can leave scars and dark marks. The skin reacts by increasing blood flow to the area, carrying “soldier” white cells to fight off bugs and repair the damage. Unfortunately, this intense reaction can persist even after the blemish itself has gone, leaving a red mark.

Brown marks

As your body fights off a blemish, the inflammation can provoke melanin production within the skin, creating a persistent brown mark. This mark can last for months after the spot has gone and is more common on darker skin, although it can affect fair complexions too. Doctors call this post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH.

Acne scars

Pimple scars occur where a deep blemish has become so inflamed that enzymes have eaten away at the skin's inner building blocks, such as collagen and elastin. The skin produces scar tissue to heal the damage. The result is a not-so-pretty pitted appearance: You might call it a crater, dermatologists call it atrophic scarring.

TREATMENTS FOR ACNE SCARS
AND RED OR BROWN MARKS

Products and treatments that will help you remove unsightly marks

When it comes to acne scars, prevention is better (and cheaper!) than cure as the in-office treatments explained below come at a significant cost. Click HERE to find out how to stop scars from forming in the first place.

But if you need to take care of acne scars, red marks and dark brown spots, here’s our expert guide to getting rid of scars from facial or back acne.

In office peels such as TCA peels

A popular solution to clearing acne scars is a TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel. Any peel above 10% is considered medical grade, meaning it can reach deeper than the epidermis (the outer layer of skin). A TCA peel is designed to promote the growth of new collagen, a type of protein that helps repair damage to skin and improve its appearance. These peels encourage cell turnover, leaving skin clearer and more radiant. And the good news is that they can also be beneficial for mild acne scars – although there will be some downtime after the procedure while your skin recovers. There are different types of peel available, so please consult your dermatologist for more advice. And for significant scarring, scroll down for more about more invasive treatments such as laser resurfacing.

Laser treatments

Your dermatologist can explain laser treatments in greater detail, but they can be effective on acne scars and red or brown marks. Laser treatments can be “ablative” or “non-ablative.” The former actually vaporises skin in and around the scar to leave a new area of smooth skin, while the latter stimulates collagen production. Laser treatments won’t work on all types of scars, though. A specific category, known as the “ice pick” scar, which is deep rather than wide, is much harder to treat. Whatever your type of scar, a practitioner should thoroughly discuss your expectations with you, and make sure you know what the potential outcome could be.

Other in-clinic treatments

Other approaches to healing acne scars include microdermabrasion, which uses tiny crystals to “sandblast” the top layer of skin. There is some recovery time involved but as your skin heals, the appearance of scars should improve with it. Care should be taken with darker and sensitive skin types though.

At-home peels: A word of caution

There are lots of different peel products on the market these days. All the hype is tempting, but we advise you to avoid super harsh peels such as those concentrated alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), as it can cause irritation and actually make red and brown marks worse. By contrast, “micro-exfoliant” (skin-sloughing) peels containing a gentle acid like LHA will improve skin texture, stimulate collagen production and help fade acne scars.

PREVENTION IS THE SECRET
TO AVOIDING ACNE SCARS AND DARK SPOTS

Following the right skincare regime and using appropriate creams and products can make a big difference

There’s plenty you can do to prevent acne scars and dark spots from forming in the first place. Most importantly: don’t pick, pop or squeeze! This will only worsen inflammation and spread infection. Also, although it’s tempting to scrub those spots away, in fact harsh or abrasive cleansers are more likely to increase the inflammation responsible for scarring and red or brown marks.

Finally, remember that the sun is a top enemy when it comes to marks. It stimulates the melanin production responsible for brown marks and can make red marks look angrier than ever. Make sure you incorporate SPF into your acne care routine with a product like EFFACLAR Duo(+) SPF30. See below for a complete routine to prevent acne marks and scars.

When it comes to daily care, be sure to follow an effective acne-fighting regime and use specific products to treat spots and pimples. La Roche-Posay has developed the EFFACLAR range of products specifically to care for acne-prone skin.

  • Cleanse skin gently twice a day with EFFACLAR Micellar Water or EFFACLAR Cleansing Foaming Gel.
  • Micro-exfoliate skin (slough off dead cells) with EFFACLAR Astringent Lotion which contains LHA for a daily mini-peel effect.
  • Don’t skimp on moisturiser – but use an oil-free product, as hydration is essential for optimal healing. EFFACLAR Duo (+) hydrates skin while preventing and treating brown and red acne marks.
  • UV radiation worsens the appearance of scars and dark marks, so don’t forget SPF. It won’t clog pores if you choose a mattifying, non-comedogenic sunscreen such as EFFACLAR Duo (+) SPF 30. Be sure to apply it daily.

As always, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist for expert advice on how to tackle any acne-related issue.

TRUE
OR FALSE

OILY FOODS
EQUALS OILY SKIN.

FALSE

Acommon acne myth is that grease on your plate translates to more oil in yourpores, but there is no direct link between the two. However, a diet rich insaturated fat can fuel micro-inflammation in all of the body's organs,including the skin.  In short, bacon andchips won't cause acne, but moderation is the best policy for overall health.
Learn More

CHOCOLATE IS BAD
FOR ANE-PRONE SKIN.

FALSE

There is no solid evidence that chocolate has any effect on acne, evenif everyone is different so acne could cause breakouts to some people. Darkchocolate is actually filled with skin-loving anti-oxidants!
Learn More

SQUEEZING A PIMPLE WON'T
DO YOU MUCH GOOD.

TRUE

Even if it seems like aquick fix, squeezing a pimple will actually make things worse for your acne-proneskin as it could actually damage the infected hair follicle and increaseinflammation. You could even introduce a new infection with your fingernails.So popping zits is a harmful habit and best avoided!
Learn More

SUGAR CAN MAKE
ACNE WORSE.

TRUE

Recent studies haveshown that high Glycemic Index foods - the ones that cause blood sugar to spike- can make acne worse.  We know it's easier said than done, but to keepyour skin happy, steer away from sweets, sugary drinks, and goodies made fromwhite flour and stick to high-fiber foods, like whole grains and pulses, instead.
Learn More

WE ALSO HAVE
A RANGE FOR THAT

EFFACLAR is a complete range of anti-imperfection solutions that targets all the stages of the imperfection life cycle with a high efficacy, while ensuring a perfect tolerance.

OUR SAFETY
COMMITMENTS

Safety standards beyond international cosmetics regulations.

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100% PRODUCTS
ALLERGY TESTED

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One Prerequisite = Zero Allergic reactions
If we detect a single case, we go back to the labs and reformulate
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JUST THE ESSENTIAL,
AT THE RIGHT ACTIVE DOSE

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Developed in collaboration with dermatologist and toxicologist, our products contain only the necessary ingredients, at the right active dose.
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TESTED
ON VERY SENSITIVE
 SKIN

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Our products' tolerance is verified on the most sensitive skin: reactive, allergic, acne-prone, atopic, damaged or weakened by cancer treatments.
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FORMULA PROTECTION
OVER TIME

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