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We know that there are many different types of acne. Pimples, pustules, whiteheads, blackheads, and cysts are all some of the familiar terms for varying forms of acne lesions. Once an acne breakout is finally resolved, the most common feeling that one experiences is a huge sense of relief. However, acne lesions, especially when the acne is inflammatory, can often leave behind acne scars that may be even more challenging to eliminate than the acne itself. Just as there are many different types of acne lesions, there are a number of different varieties of acne scars that exist, too. Boxcar scars, icepick scars, and rolling scars are the types of acne scars that cause a depressed area of skin tissue. Hypertrophic and keloid scars are raised scar tissues, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a small patch of discolored skin that is left behind after acne has healed.

There are a number of different types of acne scars that may develop, and no two patients with acne scars will scar in the same way. That means that when it comes to the best cosmetic treatment for acne scars, one size definitely does not fit all! Depending on the type of acne scar and the skin type and skin tone of the patient, different treatment techniques may be more advantageous than others. The effective and appropriate treatment of acne scars requires both expertise and experience since varying treatment methods may be better suited to resolving different types of scars. When you are looking for a permanent solution for your acne or acne scars, Dr. Green is here to help.

There are a number of treatment options available designed to eliminate scarring that has resulted from a previous episode of acne; however, not all the treatments on the market are necessarily suitable for darker skin tones. For example, African American patients respond differently to laser treatments than those with lighter skin types. For this reason, it is so important to utilize the correct laser technologies for patients of varying skin tones. The goal is to prevent acne breakouts and provide the best acne and acne scar treatment to avoid unwanted acne scarring. Since skin of color is prone to hyperpigmentation, careful laser selection and use of these lasers are critical in producing safe and effective cosmetic results.

Dr. Michele Green is a world-renowned cosmetic dermatologist with over two and a half decades of expertise and experience treating patients of all skin types and skin tones. She uses the latest advancements in technology when it comes to cosmetic dermatology treatments for acne scars, including various types of chemical peels, Cosmelan peels, microneedling with or without PRP, subcision with dermal fillers, and laser skin resurfacing treatments. In order to find the best solution for your skin tone. Patients with darker skin tones are much more susceptible to skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation and melasma and need special laser treatments that are uniquely tailored to skin of color. When you consult with Dr. Green, you will have the opportunity to discover which treatment or combination of treatment options is best suited to safely and effectively eliminate your acne scars to reveal a smooth, clear, beautiful complexion that lasts.

What is the best way to remove dark spots on dark skin tones?

The best way to treat dark spots is to schedule a consultation with an expert, such as board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green in NYC. Dr. Green has over 25 years of experience in dermatology, customizing each patient’s treatment plan to include a unique combination of specially formulated skincare products and in-office, non-invasive treatment options. Some of the most popular cosmetic treatment options for eliminating dark spots in patients with darker skin tones include various chemical peels, microneedling with depigmentation serum, and the eMatrix, Clear + Brilliant, and V-Beam laser treatments. These innovative treatment options boast the benefits of having zero downtime or discomfort, quick and easy, non-invasive procedures, and stunning revitalization results. In addition to such in-office treatment options, Dr. Green creates personalized skincare treatment plans for her patients based on their skin type and specific concerns, often suggesting powerful yet gentle active ingredients like vitamin C, retinoids, kojic acid, azelaic acid, and hydroquinone. When you consult with Dr. Green at her private, boutique dermatology office in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she will work with you to develop your individualized dark spot treatment plan to achieve and maintain a bright, radiant, even-toned complexion that lasts.

How does a dermatologist treat different types of acne scars on dark skin tones?

When it comes to treating acne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, working with a dermatologist is always the best option. Dr. Green is an expert in treating active acne breakouts and residual acne scars, and she routinely helps patients suffering from acne and acne scars to restore a clear, smooth, healthy complexion completely. Additionally, by working with an expert dermatologist like Dr. Green, you’ll receive tailored guidance that can quickly and safely reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and dark spots without risking additional irritation or damage to the skin and with optimal results.

It is important that prior to the treatment of acne scars, all active acne breakouts are resolved effectively. This will help prevent the development of new acne scars and provide the most optimal cosmetic results overall. This is especially important for patients with darker skin tones, who may be more prone to conditions such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and keloid scarring. Some cosmetic procedures are designed to minimize the appearance of acne scars by causing controlled trauma to the skin, stimulating the natural wound-healing process of the skin, and causing an increased amount of collagen production. These procedures can sometimes result in the formation of keloid scars in patients who have an increased propensity for keloids. If you have a history of keloid scars, you must discuss this with your dermatologist before undergoing any cosmetic procedures for the treatment of acne scars. If acne scars are present on the skin in the form of keloid scars, Dr. Green is able to shrink the scar tissue by injecting them with a small amount of steroids.

Dr. Green is a revered cosmetic dermatologist with over 25 years of experience treating patients with acne and acne scars of all varying skin tones and skin types. For her patients with darker skin tones who are seeking a solution to the appearance of stubborn acne scars, Dr. Green may recommend treatments such as subcision in tandem with dermal fillers, trichloroacetic acid chemical peels, Cosmelan depigmenting peels, eMatrix Sublative laser treatment, or microneedling treatments. The most appropriate cosmetic treatments will vary depending on the types of acne scars that are present on the skin, and Dr. Green always customizes the treatment plans of her patients to be best suited to them personally. Below is a guide that discusses some of Dr. Green’s preferred treatment methods for minimizing the appearance of acne scars in patients with dark skin.

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Acne & dark spot treatment – 5 months

Is laser treatment safe for darker skin tones?

As technological advancements in laser treatments are progressively developed in the world of cosmetic dermatology, laser skin resurfacing treatments have become one of the most popular methods for the removal of acne scars. While non-invasive laser skin resurfacing treatments can provide phenomenal results for many patients with little downtime, it is important to consider the safety and efficacy of a laser in relation to the skin tone of a patient. Melanin, the skin component responsible for skin pigment, can also absorb heat from the laser. This means that if laser treatment is done on a patient with dark skin with too much energy or with settings too high, the treatment can cause damage to the skin. The result can be hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, or even permanent scarring, meaning that skin of color can not be treated with the same types of lasers or the same settings as those that are used to treat white skin.

This is why it is so important to select a provider with the expertise and experience to choose laser and laser settings that will safely and effectively diminish acne scars without resulting in any damage. Dr. Green is a world-renowned expert in cosmetic dermatology and a provider that you can trust to deliver dramatically outstanding results without the danger of producing any unwanted side effects. At her private dermatology office in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood, Dr. Green offers several laser treatment options that are safe and effective for patients with darker skin tones to reduce the appearance of acne scars. The eMatrix and Clear + Brilliant laser treatments are among the innovative, non-invasive acne scar treatment options that Dr. Green utilizes to help patients achieve clear, healthy, radiant skin.

eMatrix Sublative Rejuvenation Laser treatment for atrophic acne scars

The eMatrix laser is a unique treatment modality that is revered for its ability to provide skin rejuvenation. Unlike many other fractional treatment systems that use an ablative laser to achieve skin resurfacing, the eMatrix laser utilizes bi-polar radio frequency energy to heat the tissue below the skin surface effectively while keeping the top layer of skin intact. By bypassing the epidermis and delivering heat to the dermal layer at a level deeper within the skin, this treatment method successfully minimizes the amount of downtime. It reduces the number of potential complications that are associated with ablative resurfacing lasers, including hyperpigmentation. Each pulse of the eMatrix laser delivers radio frequency energy in the area of the electrode matrix, inducing a controlled skin injury to the treatment area. This ultimately activates fibroblasts in the skin to signal a wound-healing response and produce new collagen. With a Sublative Rejuvenation treatment, this new collagen production creates smoother, brighter, tighter, more beautiful, younger-looking skin. Since sublative rejuvenation has only 48 hours of downtime, this laser treatment can be scheduled virtually anytime.

Due to its extraordinary capabilities, the eMatrix laser is an extremely popular option for acne scar treatment. Since the eMatrix delivers treatment via radiofrequency technology, it is an ideal treatment for patients of all skin tones. The technology of the eMatrix laser makes it “color blind,” meaning that it can be used to safely treat all tones of skin, whether dark or light. Over time, when new collagen is formed, it smooths out the texture of acne scars and provides a smoother complexion that is long-lasting. Dr. Green recommends an average of five eMatrix laser treatments for atrophic scars, spaced approximately 4 to 6 weeks apart, for the best cosmetic results. The healing process generally takes 48 hours with almost no side effects except some minimal peeling and redness.

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Acne scar and hyperpigmentation treatment

Clear + Brilliant laser treatment for dark spots

One of the benefits of the Clear + Brilliant laser is that it is safe and effective for all skin tones, including darker skin tones. Clear + Brilliant utilizes fractional laser energy to create thousands of controlled, microscopic injuries in the skin. This triggers the skin’s natural healing processes, including skin cell turnover and the production of collagen, the protein in the skin that contributes to structural support and a smooth texture. The result of Clear + Brilliant laser treatment is an effective treatment option for dark spots, acne scars, fine lines, enlarged pores, and sun damage, among other skin conditions. Typically, around six treatment sessions are needed to achieve the best results. However, the exact number of sessions required will depend on the initial severity of the acne scars or dark spots being treated. Additionally, since the treatment benefits the skin’s overall health and appearance by stimulating the generation of new skin cells, many people incorporate Clear + Brilliant laser treatments as a part of their regular skin care treatment regimen. Dr. Green will work with you to create an appropriate Clear + Brilliant laser treatment plan for your personal aesthetic goals.

What is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is a type of skin discoloration that commonly occurs after an inflammatory skin condition such as a rash, acne, or another wound. Patients with skin of color are much more prone to developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after experiencing an acne breakout. After a blemish subsides, patients often see a brown or black spot that affects the texture of the skin. For many, this mark is temporary: patients who see red spots or swelling typically notice post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a temporary mark caused by irritation from an acne infection on the surface of the skin. The skin reacts sensitively to the injury that is caused by excess oil production and bacteria and thus creates a red, pink, tan, or brown mark behind.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) solely refers to the dark spots that may be left behind after an acne lesion or other inflammatory skin condition heals. The color of the dark spots associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can vary, appearing as brown, black, red, pink, or purple patches of skin depending on the skin tone of the patient. During the natural healing process of the skin, there is potential that cells involved with healing the area also contribute to the overproduction of melanin, leading to the development of hyperpigmented skin spots. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can often go away on its own or be treated more quickly through the use of curated gels and in-office cosmetic treatments in order to help soothe the skin.

However, for some who suffer from dark spots due to acne, the dark spot can have either an atrophic or hypertrophic appearance. These acne scars can cause unwanted discoloration that, if not treated by an expert dermatologist, can be permanent. Particularly for patients who experience hypertrophic scars or keloids, working with a thoughtful medical professional such as Dr. Green can make all the difference in addressing acne scars without irritating the surrounding skin.

Chemical peels for acne scars on dark skin

A chemical peel is a treatment method used to increase the rate of skin cell turnover to produce a smooth and even skin texture and tone. Chemical peels can also be used as a means to achieve a reduction in the appearance of acne scars. A chemical peel treatment entails the topical application of a peeling agent to remove the topmost layer of the dermis, helping to slough off dead skin cells as well as other imperfections from the skin and allowing new, healthy skin cells underneath to make their way to the surface. Chemical peels work to treat unwanted hyperpigmentation, eliminate active acne lesions, and get rid of various types of acne scars.

Chemical peels are safe to use as treatment in all skin tones and for all types of scars. Some formulations are particularly beneficial for specific types of acne scars. For example, for patients who are looking to treat the appearance of dark patches associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, Dr. Green can combine a traditional chemical peel with various strength hydroquinone creams in order to brighten the skin. While undergoing chemical peel treatment, patients must use a daily sunscreen of SPF 50 or higher in order to prevent damage to healthy new skin. For patients with darker skin tones, Dr. Green typically recommends using gentler chemical peel formulations, V-Beam or eMatrix laser treatment, dermal fillers, or microneedling to treat acne scars.

Cosmelan Peel for Dark Spots

One common aspect of acne scars is that of dark spots that remain on the surface of the skin after an acne breakout subsides. This discoloration can appear as small, flat red or brown marks on the skin, commonly referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or as red or darkened atrophic or hypertrophic scars. In the case of discoloration, Dr. Green typically recommends a combination of Cosmelan, chemical peels and retinoids, and hydroquinone creams to brighten and smooth the skin. It’s good to note that the use of some intensive lasers can exacerbate issues of hyperpigmentation or melasma among patients with darker skin types. Hence, Dr. Green recommends caution when engaging with laser resurfacing for dark spots. When you work with Dr. Green, she will make sure your treatment plan protects your skin from any additional unwanted pigmentation.

Cosmelan was initially developed to treat melasma, a skin condition characterized by patches of hyperpigmented skin. Dr. Green has expanded the use of Cosmelan to incorporate the treatment of acne scars, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), sun spots, and sun damage and discoloration on the face, chest, and body. The Cosmelan® peel is a professional-grade mask used by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele S. Green in her practice on the Upper East Side. The mask is left in place for a number of hours (depending on the degree of pigmentation and skin type). The cream is easily removed at home by the patient, with a neutral, gentle facial cleanser several hours later. Cosmelan will produce an initial “peeling” of the skin, which will leave the skin smooth and dramatically decrease the signs of facial pigmentation. Cosmelan is a simple and safe treatment with minimal downtime. The patient returns three weeks later for a touch-up of Cosmelan in order to treat any residual pigmentation.

Mesopeels for dark spots

A Mesopeel is a specially developed chemical peel that treats facial and bodily hyperpigmentation. The Mesopeel was formulated to be gentle yet effective to ensure that it can be used safely on sensitive areas of the body, including the axillae, inner thighs, groin, under-eye area, and face. The gentle formula means that Mesopeels are an excellent treatment option for reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots in patients with darker skin tones, who may be more susceptible to side effects like hyperpigmentation and scarring with a traditional chemical peel. Usually, patients require a series of mesopeels at an interval of 3-6 weeks apart to achieve optimal cosmetic results. The exact number of mesopeels required for your treatment may depend on the area of the body being treated and the severity of the dark spots. There is zero downtime involved with the mesopeel, meaning patients can schedule their treatment sessions with ease. A mesopeel chemical peel treatment that provides long-lasting or permanent skin rejuvenation results.

To achieve and maintain ideal results, it is imperative that proper sun protection is utilized and sun exposure is limited during the course of your treatment and post-peel. Melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment, are triggered by UV exposure. Without proper sun protection, these skin cells are activated to produce more melanin, causing hyperpigmentation to worsen or return post-treatment. When you have your mesopeel chemical peel treatment with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, you will receive all the pertinent aftercare information required to achieve and maintain optimal cosmetic results and a clear, radiant, even-toned complexion that lasts.

Dermal fillers for acne scars

As an authority when it comes to minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology procedures and skin cancer, Dr. Green often uses a technique called subcision as a means to improve the cosmetic appearance of acne scars. Diminishing the appearance of acne scars and helping her patients regain their self-esteem is a top priority. Dr. Green often combines subcision with dermal fillers to provide them with the best cosmetic results, which are used in tandem with a procedure called subcision. Subcision, also known as subcutaneous incision-less surgery, is a minor surgical procedure that can be used to treat depressed acne scars. Acne scars that are treated with subcision are typically rolling scars, which are caused by fibrotic strands of tissue that tether the top layers of skin to the underlying tissue. The optimal choice of dermal filler used in conjunction with subcision is dependent upon the type or types of acne scars present.

When performing subcision for acne scars, Dr. Green combines different dermal fillers, such as Juvederm®, Restylane®, or Sculptra®. By combining dermal fillers with subcision, Dr. Green effectively raises the depressed scars and replaces lost volume, giving an instant improvement to atrophic and rolling scars. Not only does this technique offer an immediate improvement to the appearance of the scars, but shortly after treatment, the subcision helps to boost the production of the body’s natural collagen. The risk of keloid scars, though small, should be evaluated before having subcision with dermal fillers. The development of hypertrophic scars is a possible side effect associated with subcision treatment. The most common areas that are susceptible to this type of keloid scarring are the periorbital, glabella, and perioral areas. Dr. Green will assess both your skin type and type of acne scars before performing this procedure to help avoid any unwanted side effects.

Microneedling for acne scars

Experts throughout the dermatology industry agree that microneedling is one of the best non-invasive methods to reduce the appearance of depressed post-acne scars, commonly referred to as ice pick, rolling, and boxcar scars. Microneedling treatment, administered via small handheld devices, uses tiny needles along the surface of the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for youthful, smooth-looking skin and thus can work to “fill in” depressed acne scars, as well as to get rid of fine lines and stretch marks. Microneedling is safe for all skin types and skin tones and, over time, successfully smooths the skin and reduces the appearance of scars and fine lines with minimal downtime post-treatment. Dr. Green often combines microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to achieve the best cosmetic rejuvenation.

The micro-injuries created in the skin during the microneedling procedure allow for enhanced absorption of specialized topical serums and skincare products, including PRP and depigmentation serum. PRP is a serum that’s rich with epidermal growth factors that enhance the skin rejuvenation results of a traditional microneedling treatment. PRP is derived from a sample of the patient’s own blood, which is spun in a special centrifuge to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. After the PRP is drawn up, it is used as a topical serum immediately following the application of the microneedling device. PRP promotes even more regeneration at the cellular level to rejuvenate your skin, enhancing the skin revitalization benefits of collagen induction therapy.

Patients interested in treating unwanted pigmentation, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation associated with acne scars, and correcting an uneven skin tone can benefit from pairing their microneedling treatment with a topical depigmenting serum. The topical depigmenting serum used by Dr. Green at her private dermatology office in NYC is from the pharmaceutical company Mesoestetic, a global leader in depigmentation treatments. It is a unique blend of powerful yet gentle skin-brightening agents, including kojic acid, tranexamic acid, and azelaic acid, that work together against melanocyte activity in the skin. The result is an even-toned complexion with an observable reduction in hyperpigmentation. Patients enjoy that after their microneedling treatment with depigmenting serum, their skin tone is even, their face is more radiant, and they have a lasting healthy glow.

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Microneedling with PRP – 5 months

Microdermabrasion for dark spots

Microdermabrasion is a procedure that effectively removes the top layers of skin to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles while boosting collagen and elastin production within the skin. This is a safer choice than dermabrasion for darker-skinned individuals. Dermabrasion is a more ablative treatment that entails complete removal of the top layers of skin and requires significantly more downtime. During a microdermabrasion treatment, a handheld tool with a diamond tip is used to physically remove the dead skin cells on the top layers of skin, resulting in a smoother skin texture and more even-colored complexion.

How to safely get rid of pimples on black skin

Many people are eager to start treating their acne scars as soon as they appear. However, anyone who is struggling with active acne breakouts should address this concern first. It is preferable to completely resolve any active acne prior to starting acne scar treatment since any in-office treatment designed to resolve acne scars would be useless against an active inflammatory acne lesion. Any active acne can potentially lead to the creation of a new acne scar, and that is what we want to avoid! There is a myriad of treatment options available for resolving active acne, and Dr. Green will work with you to determine which acne treatment is the best for you and your skin.

For patients with darker skin tones who are looking to resolve their acne scars, Dr. Green typically recommends using gentler chemical peel formulations, V-Beam or eMatrix laser treatment, dermal fillers, or microneedling to treat acne scars. Dr. Green highly recommends the eMatrix laser to treat textural acne scars for patients with dark skin. The eMatrix™ laser is a gentle laser that is safe to use on all skin types without increasing a patient’s risk of discoloration or hyperpigmentation. As it uses radiofrequency energy to heat the dermis, its process is not pigment-based, and it’s able to stimulate new collagen formation safely.

Over a series of five eMatrix laser sessions spaced about a month apart, patients can experience full acne scar removal and improved skin texture. Additionally, please keep in mind that one of the best things you can do for yourself if you are experiencing active acne is to refrain from popping your pimples! Trying to pop a pimple will result in an exacerbation of inflammation and potentially lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Instead, work with Dr. Green to clear up any active acne and create a personalized treatment plan to tackle the acne scars afterward.

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57 year old – Cosmelan for Melasma

What is the best skincare for patients with dark skin for acne or acne scars?

Your skincare routine is important, no matter what your skin type, skin tone, and what kind of skin concerns you want to address. Carefully curating your skincare routine is a great method for tackling a number of different skin issues as well as providing nourishing, anti-aging, and protective benefits to your skin. If you are someone with dark skin and are struggling with active acne breakouts or are working to reduce the appearance of your acne scars, there are some skincare steps and ingredients that can help you see the results you want without seeing any that you don’t want. Discussed below are some of Dr. Green’s favorite skincare solutions for acne and acne scars.

The cleanser is typically the first step in any skincare routine, especially for individuals who are acne-prone or who have struggled with acne in the past; looking for a cleanser with active ingredients is a great way to jump-start your skincare regimen. An active ingredient is a component in the product that promises to deliver a certain effect and which has been tested and proven to do so effectively. In a cleanser, look for ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid. These gentle exfoliating ingredients work by melting the sebum, dead skin cells, debris, and dirt that can become trapped within the pores of the skin, leading to the formation of acne. They also help to increase the rate of skin cell turnover, meaning that dead skin cells that are discolored and have a hyperpigmented appearance can be sloughed off more quickly than they usually would to reveal healthy and even-colored skin cells.

Vitamin C is a powerhouse of a skincare ingredient, working to boost collagen production within the skin, produce an overall brightening effect, and provide antioxidant protection against harmful free radicals in the environment. Vitamin C is a phenomenal component to add to your skincare routine if you are someone who is struggling with acne scars that are either textural or pigmented. Dr. Green likes the Skinceuticals vitamin C serum, and she has also developed a Vita C serum from her MGSkinLabs, Inc. that boasts a high concentration of Vitamin C to provide maximum benefits.

Retinol and other topical retinoids (available either over the counter or by prescription in higher strength formulas) can help to increase the amount of collagen production that occurs within the skin to provide a smoother and more even-toned complexion overall. Topical retinoids are available in varying strengths, and Dr. Green can help you choose the appropriate strength for your skin condition and goals. Be cautious about the overuse of retinol and other retinoids, as they may cause skin irritation in individuals with more sensitive skin types.

Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent that is not available over the counter, but a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green can prescribe it. Hydroquinone is often used in tandem with chemical peels in order to effectively lighten dark marks on the skin, especially post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can result after an acne breakout has healed.

Sunscreen is, of course, one of the most crucial components of skincare; look for a broad spectrum formula that offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays and with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen should be used daily, no matter the weather conditions, your skin type, or your skin tone. The sun’s rays can actually exacerbate the appearance of acne and acne scars, and it is especially important for patients who struggle with these skin conditions!

Moisturizers are an integral part of a well-balanced skin care regimen. Moisturizer helps to enhance and strengthen the natural protective barrier of the skin. It also provides essential hydration for optimal skin health. You can always opt for a moisturizer that is richer if you tend to struggle with dry skin or choose a more lightweight option if you are acne-prone or have an oily skin type. Dr. Green can help you determine which skin care products would best benefit you and your unique skin condition. Other commonly used skin care products designed to target acne or acne scars often contain ingredients like azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and alpha hydroxy acids, all of which can easily be integrated into your skincare as part of your balanced wellness routine.

Are acne scars the same as hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a term that is used in dermatology to refer to areas of skin that are darker in appearance compared to the rest of the surrounding skin. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a type of hyperpigmentation that occurs secondary to an inflammatory skin condition such as an acne breakout, is not considered to be a form of true acne scarring. Dark patches of hyperpigmented skin that are associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation tend to clear on their own. However, this process typically takes several weeks and can even take months to resolve on its own fully. On the other hand, there is another category of dark patches of skin that are left behind after an acne lesion and are associated with an acne scar; these are considered to be patches of hyperpigmentation. The difference between a dark mark associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and a hyperpigmented acne scar is whether or not there is damage to the follicle in the skin that creates a change in the skin texture. Suppose you are looking for a solution to spots of hyperpigmented skin that have been left behind after an inflammatory acne breakout. In that case, Dr. Green can help you determine whether you have acne scars or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and help you resolve the appearance of dark marks and acne scars.

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Cosmelan 3 and 6 weeks before and after

Do dark acne scars go away? How do scars heal on dark skin?

Dark marks that are left on the skin after acne breakouts and which are smooth against the surface of the skin, meaning that there is no textural difference between the hyperpigmented skin and surrounding skin, will typically resolve on their own with time. These dark marks, in particular, are associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This skin condition results in excess melanin being produced and accumulated in areas of inflammation as part of the natural wound-healing process of the skin. The excess melanin that is stored in these areas of the skin will lighten over time as discolored and dead skin cells are naturally sloughed off to reveal healthier, even-toned skin cells that are being produced by the skin regularly. Although these dark marks will go away on their own, it can take a significant amount of time for them to resolve completely without any interference. If these hyperpigmented spots of skin are treated correctly and professionally, they may be diminished much more quickly than they would if left alone.

True acne scars are characterized by a textural abnormality in the skin, created by damage that is done to the follicle by inflammation. A dark mark that is atop the surface of a true acne scar may not resolve on its own and can require treatment in order to be reduced. It is considered more challenging to remove a true acne scar than it is to lighten areas of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

How do you safely treat acne scars on black skin?

In order to remove acne dark spots or acne scars in patients with darker skin tones, the first step is often to begin the use of targeted, doctor-recommended skin care products. Curated skin care products with vital ingredients such as vitamin C, retinol, hydroquinone, kojic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids can help brighten acne-caused dark spots. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the skin against sun damage by neutralizing free radicals caused by UV radiation, which can also exacerbate conditions like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C also promotes skin cell regeneration and collagen production to improve the texture and tone of the skin.

Dr. Green often recommends specially formulated skincare products from Mesoestetic to her patients interested in safely and effectively reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Mesoestetic is a pharmaceutical company that manufactures some of the world’s best treatment options for discoloration, including Mesopeels, Cosmelan peel, and skin care products for at-home use. Some of their most popular skincare products include bleach-free depigmenting creams, serums, and sunscreen with high SPF. The Mesoestetic company is responsible for several innovative depigmentation products and treatments that have proven to be safe and effective for treating various skin conditions, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Pairing the in-office treatment options with specially formulated skincare products for use at home helps patients achieve optimal and particularly long-lasting rejuvenation results.

When it comes to reducing discoloration of the skin that is associated with a healed active acne lesion, Dr. Green often recommends to her patients traditional and enhanced microneedling procedures, laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and steroid injections. In some cases, patients with atrophic scars can rely on dermal fillers (such as hyaluronic acid fillers) to restore collagen and volume to the skin, which in turn can reduce the appearance of indented scars. Patients who suffer from acne dark spots typically opt to build a treatment plan with Dr. Green that combines at-home and in-office treatments in order to quickly, safely, and effectively reduce the appearance of acne scars and related dark spots.

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Acne and dark spot treatment – 7 months

Is laser acne scar removal safe?

Laser technology that is used for the treatment and removal of acne scars in the office of Dr. Michele Green is 100% safe. The laser treatments offered at Dr. Green’s office are FDA-approved and are of medical grade, meaning that the appropriate use of these advanced technologies is safe. Laser acne scar removal technology has been developed as a way to stimulate collagen production within the skin safely and also to remove the skin cells that have been damaged by inflammation to create acne scars. That said, the individual safety of a laser acne scar removal treatment depends on your skin tone and the specific laser being utilized. Some lasers, like the eMatrix sublative laser, are safe for use on all skin tones. Other laser treatments, such as Fraxel, are not suitable for all skin tones, and any laser treatment such as this must be matched to the skin tone of the patient to ensure safety and prevent unwanted side effects. Dr. Green is a board-certified dermatologist with over two decades of expertise and knowledge surrounding laser acne scar removal treatments for patients of every skin type and skin tone.

Home remedies for acne scars

The most effective treatment for the diminishment of acne scars tends to be a combination approach that incorporates both advanced in-office treatment technologies and specially formulated skin care products. While there is an abundance of acne scar treatment options available in a dermatologist’s office, some patients prefer to include homeopathic remedies in their treatment plans. Most homeopathic remedies for the reduction of acne scars include ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties and are commonly associated with wound healing. Black seed oil is an example of an ingredient that is commonly used as a home treatment for acne scars and is effective due to its inherent anti-inflammatory properties.

Aloe Vera is another natural ingredient that has been utilized in the process of wound healing for centuries. It has been found that Aloe Vera, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, can help to reduce scar tissue. One of the greatest things about using aloe Vera is that it is widely accessible, with countless aloe gels that are available over the counter and the option to grow a personal aloe plant at home. Yes! You can use your aloe leaves directly from the plant; just cut them into a leaf and directly apply the gel to the skin. While these ingredients boast some natural wound-healing properties, they usually aren’t sufficient for reducing the appearance of acne scars. If you are unsure about the efficacy and safety of a home treatment for acne scars, consult with Dr. Green regarding your cosmetic goals and your medical history. Dr. Green will help you construct a personalized treatment plan for eliminating your acne scars that perfectly suit your skin.

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Before and after Chemical Peels (2 treatments)

What is the best acne spot treatment for dark skin?

Acne spot treatments should include active ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. The best topical acne products work by speeding up skin cell turnover, decreasing sebum production, reducing inflammation, and inhibiting bacterial growth. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is a powerful ingredient against comedonal acne, such as whiteheads and blackheads. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble and treats acne by gently chemically exfoliating the skin. Since it is oil-soluble, salicylic acid is able to penetrate deep within clogged pores and break up sebum. Benzoyl peroxide is an excellent skincare ingredient for treating inflamed types of acne, such as pimples and blemishes. This ingredient works by killing bacteria on the skin that contribute to the development of acne, as well as by drying up the excess sebum within the pores. When you consult with Dr. Green regarding your acne treatment, she will recommend the topical treatments and skincare products that are best for your skin type and the type of acne you’re dealing with.

How long does it take for acne scars to go away?

Acne scars usually don’t go away on their own without cosmetic intervention. This is because a textural acne scar is evidence of permanent damage to underlying skin tissue from inflammation associated with acne lesions. Luckily, there are various non-invasive treatment options and specially formulated topical skincare products that can significantly reduce the appearance of acne scars, restoring an even, smooth skin texture and boosting self-confidence. The right combination of acne scar treatments will ultimately depend on the types of acne scars present, the patient’s skin tone, and their skin type. Seeking acne scar treatment from an experienced board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green is critical to ensure safety and efficacy and avoid potential unwanted side effects. Once you start undergoing acne scar treatments, it can take six months or more for them to fade in appearance, depending on the severity of the scars. Dr. Green will regularly assess your progress as you undergo subsequent acne scar treatments to ensure that you achieve and maintain a smooth, clear, healthy complexion in a timely way.

Which cream is best for acne scars?

Depressed or raised scars typically require in-office treatment options to diminish their appearance. Dark spots left behind from acne breakouts can often be lightened with skincare products at home. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is usually treated with skin care products containing active ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, vitamin C, and azelaic acid. The active ingredients that are recommended will ultimately depend on your skin type. In addition to brightening components, moisturizing daily is essential because the skin heals faster when hydrated. Wearing sunscreen is another crucial step; it will help prevent the pigmentation from worsening. Dr. Green recommends layering a chemical and mineral sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 for the best protection.

What is the best treatment for acne scars on dark skin?

The best acne scar treatment for dark skin will ultimately depend on the types of acne scars present. The safest and most effective treatment plan for reducing acne scars is customized for you by an expert, such as internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green in NYC. Patients with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may benefit from chemical peels and topical treatments. Patients with atrophic acne scars regularly benefit from microneedling, subcision with fillers, chemical peels, and laser treatments. If patients are concerned with hypertrophic scars, steroid injections combined with laser skin resurfacing can be highly effective. An experienced board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green will consider the patient’s skin tone, skin type, and skin condition to customize an ideal acne scar treatment plan, ensuring safety and efficacy.

Why is Sunscreen so important while treating acne scars?

Not only is sunscreen the most important skincare product for protecting against photodamage, premature signs of aging, and the development of skin cancer, but it also ensures that you maintain optimal results during and after having acne scar treatment. UV exposure can worsen skin conditions like active acne breakouts and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, making acne scars less likely to fade. It is especially important that patients undergoing treatments with chemical peels and laser therapy practice proper sun protection and limit sun exposure, as these cosmetic procedures can increase the skin’s photosensitivity, making it more susceptible to UV damage. Sun exposure can actually worsen the appearance of dark spots and acne scars as a result. Dr. Green always recommends layering two different types of sunscreen: first, a chemical sunscreen that protects the skin by absorbing UV rays and converting them to heat, followed by a mineral sunscreen that acts as a physical barrier, reflecting the sun’s rays. Sunscreen should be broad-spectrum, indicating that it offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen should also have a minimum of SPF 30 and be reapplied every two hours. It is also advised to wear sun-protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. When you have dark spot and acne scar treatment with Dr. Green, she will work with you to create a customized skincare routine that guarantees you achieve and maintain the best cosmetic results.

How to get started with acne scar treatment today

Acne scars can be a frustrating reminder of painful and annoying breakouts, which are often even more difficult to resolve than the acne lesions themselves. Trying to determine which treatment options are the best for your skin type and skin tone can feel overwhelming, and it’s important to ensure that appropriate acne scar treatments are selected in order to prevent unwanted side effects such as hyperpigmentation or keloid scarring, particularly for patients with darker skin tones. For that reason, it is always recommended to consult an experienced board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green in NYC, for acne scar treatment. At her private dermatology office in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood, Dr. Green offers a variety of acne scar treatment options, including chemical peels, laser treatments, subcision with fillers, and microneedling, to guarantee optimal results.

Dr. Green is a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist with over two decades of experience expertly treating patients of all different skin types and skin tones from around the world for their acne and acne scars, among various other skin conditions. She is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists by New York Magazine, Castle Connolly, The New York Times, and Super Doctors for her dedication to her patients and expertise. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Green and find out more about how you can safely and effectively get rid of your acne scars once and for all, please call our New York City-based dermatology office at 212-535-3088 or contact us online today.

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