As we all know, acne leaves behind hyperpigmentation and scars, but there are things you can do to prevent hyperpigmentation and scarring after blemishes and breakouts. In this blog, we’ll explore the proper way of going about wound healing, hyperpigmentation, and scar prevention.
What is the difference between hyperpigmentation and scarring?
Hyperpigmentation comes from melanocytes, a melanin pigment that can cause dark spots and redness as a result of inflammation. Most hyperpigmentation goes away and does not change the texture of the skin. It can stick around for 3 to 6 months or longer.
Secondly, scars can also be left behind from a wound. In contrast to hyperpigmentation, scars can be raised, and sometimes they can be indented like an ice pick, a boxcar scar, or a keloid, which should be surgically removed by a dermatologist. However, there are certain products and things you can do to prevent hyperpigmentation and scarring once the blemish or the wound happens.
What prevents scarring?
There are things you can do immediately to prevent scarring, and there are some things you can do once that scar has set in a little more.
When you get a pimple, and it pops, that is technically an open wound. What you would do for this pimple is what you would do for any other superficial wound. For a superficial wound, the first thing you want to do is clean it off, keep it sterile, and keep it moist. Oftentimes, people think that you should dry out a wound out and let it scab over. But in truth, you don’t want to dry it out.
Keep it moist and sterile
To support the body’s natural healing process, you want the area to be sterile and moist because that is going to be conducive to wound healing.
When a wound is fresh, you can immediately put on a silicone patch to protect the wound and to stop it from balling up.
8 count ScarAway Clear Silicone Scar Sheets - $25.99
Next, when a wound heals, one of the most important things for scar prevention is applying sunscreen. SPF is your BFF, and you should make sure that the wound is covered from the sun. Especially if it’s a wound from an acne lesion, you’ll want to use sunscreen.
Apostrophe Sunscreen SPF 43 - $27
This sunscreen is organic/chemical. It’s a great everyday sunscreen, and it’s great for those who have a damaged skin barrier. This sunscreen is also invisible when it rubs in.
The Sunscreen Scar Protectant SPF 35 Derma E - $18.99
This one takes a little more elbow grease to rub in, but it’s a soothing option for that scar relief. Leaving a wound out in the sun can cause the hyperpigmentation of the scarring to become worse.
Rebuilding the skin after the wound is gone.
Tranexamic acid and retinoids are fantastic for long-term scar care. A week after that initial wound happens, you’ll notice that the wound has begun to heal and maybe even fade. While everyone’s wound is going to heal differently, some general things help the process. You want to make sure you are eating vitamin C and proteins to rebuild collagen and elastin.
Furthermore, hyaluronic acid is a part of our skin naturally, and hyaluronic acid as well as other humectants have shown to be excellent for wound healing. As long as you find a sterile hyaluronic acid product that doesn’t contain fragrance or extra fillers, you can use hyaluronic acid on a wound that’s starting to heal. Because it helps hydrate the area, this can be great because it gives the skin support.
Boots Hyaluronic Acid Sleep Mask - $5.99
When it comes to hyperpigmentation, vitamin C is fantastic. But as we know, vitamin C can sting. A little bit more than a week out, you can put vitamin C on the wound site. If there’s not too much sensitivity, you can even put it on three days after. If it stings, burns, or feels overwhelming, you don’t want to add any more. About a week and a half after the wound first became inflamed, red, and raised, you can go in with vitamin C.
Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F - $17.80
This topical is a stabilized form of vitamin C. It’s really lightweight on the skin so if you’re trying to apply this right before you go out, it’s a good option. It also pairs well underneath sunscreen.
Common Heir - $88
This is a zero-waste and on-the-go option. The vitamin C serum comes in little biodegradable capsules, and it’s all plastic-free. This is a 10% Vitamin C formula with really strong efficacy.
Vitamin C Ester CCC+ Ferulic Brightening Complex 20% - $159.00
This is a cruelty-free version of the Skinceuticals ferulic acid. Because it’s an esther form, it’s a lot more gentle on the skin, and it’s oil soluble. Additionally, it penetrates deeper. It’s very expensive, but it’s very awesome if you want to spend this on a vitamin C product. This product is truly excellent for hyperpigmentation, post-wound, and scarring care.
Apostrophe Custom Topical Formula - $75
Apostrophe is an online pharmacy. They have medication that they customize to each person’s skin.
They have a topical formula that includes a mix of ingredients to help with acne and hyperpigmentation. Full disclaimer - this is a prescription product. Specifically, apostrophe offers a blend of tretinoin, spironolactone, and tranexamic acid that works amazing for acne, hyperpigmentation, and scarring.
To break this formula down, tretinoin is the strongest form of vitamin A, and you can only get it from a doctor. It’s fantastic for acne, and it’s fantastic for scars. On top of that, the topical solution also has tranexamic acid which is great for hyperpigmentation.
And finally, the topical solution includes spironolactone. Spironolactone is a dieuretic, and it’s normally taken orally. It can also help with hormonal acne, and things of that nature. This is the first topical version, and it really helps with acne topically. It works well when used at night and topped off with sunscreen in the morning.
Whether it’s about two weeks after the wound has started healing or if its an old scar that’s still giving you problems, this Apostrophe Topical formula is phenomenal for post-wound care. It’s one of the best prescriptions if you don’t want lasers or microneedling.
Apostrophe is a customized, skincare brand that uses real dermatologists. It’s more affordable than trying to get products like these from a doctor without insurance. At any rate, it would be very difficult to get a topical spironolactone blend like this.
As Apostrophe is customized, each formula is different. So, for example, if you have acne and rosacea, you would get something different than a person with acne and hyperpigmentation. You can also request certain ingredients that you want. All in all, Apostropheis a great way of making prescriptions accessible and affordable.