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How To Get Rid of Acne Scars on African American Skin
Posted by Dr. Robert Levine

How To Get Rid of Acne Scars on African American Skin

Acne scars can be the bane of your skin challenges. So often, there are not enough solutions that specifically address scarring for African American skin types.

So, how can you get rid of acne scars? While melanin-rich skin has numerous benefits in warding off many signs of aging, it can be harder to recover from scarring, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.

Dealing with Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

When you get acne, the skin becomes inflamed. As a way to heal the inflammation, the body floods the area with melanin. If the body sends too much melanin to the rescue, the result is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

Unfortunately, this is an occasion where the body actually makes your goal of clear skin even harder to reach. Because those with darker skin tones have more robust and active pigment cells (melanocytes), acne scars can stick around as dark spots. These spots that result from a flood of melanin are not only caused by acne but can also result from too much sun, a rash, or other forms of dermal irritation.

How Your Acne Products Can Actually Make Things Worse

The first thing most people will research is how to get rid of acne scars, but certain treatments may lead you down the wrong path. There is such a thing as being too aggressive with your at-home topical skin treatments. This can lead to more skin irritation, resulting in melanin flooding that deepens the dark spots that won’t seem to go away.  Products with retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid can significantly contribute to over-irritation for those with melanin-rich skin.

However, products with glycolic acid can drive new skin cells to the skin’s surface. These products can be found over the counter and used at home. You can also speak to your dermatologist about getting a glycolic acid chemical peel.

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

One of the best treatments for PIH is laser treatment for acne scars. Laser resurfacing works to improve scarring and imperfections and leaves behind a more vibrant appearance and even tone. Dermatologists use surgical lasers to emit bursts of light that remove the outer layer of the skin. The laser then simultaneously stimulates the underlying skin, signaling it to grow new collagen fibers that come to the surface to present flawless skin tone and texture.

Laser resurfacing is especially good for eliminating deep wrinkles, damage, and scarring like PIH. Recovery time can vary from 1-2 weeks, depending on the laser resurfacing procedure. Results can be immediate or emerge over time, but those who overgo the procedure will see continuous improvements in their skin for up to a year.

If you are interested in learning more about solutions to acne scarring on melanin-rich skin, or if you would like to know more about laser resurfacing, we can help. Whether you have a medical emergency or just want to schedule a cosmetic consultation, Advanced Dermatology, P.C. makes it easy to see a top-rated dermatologist. Call or book online to schedule an appointment at one of our 50+ convenient locations.

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