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There’s almost nothing as annoying as the pesky pimple marks that acne leaves behind. While the pimple might only stay for a maximum of 5-7 days, the acne scars it often leaves behind can last for weeks on end. We got Mumbai-based celebrity dermatologist Dr Jamuna Pai to give us the complete lowdown on how to remove pimple marks and how to get rid of them for good. Say hello to clear, blemish-free skin.
Image: Louis Montero (Vogue.in)
Types of Pimple Marks
Pimple marks are primarily of three types—first, the very tiny ones that can become flat, black scars (these are the easiest to clear); second, those which develop a white head (pitted scars) that go deeper into the skin and leave chicken-pox like acne scars (called ice pick, box car and rolling scars) and third, those which are very deep, cystic acne or keloid scars that leave raised, brown marks.
Medical Treatments to Remove Pimple Marks
Acne scars are best treated using medicated creams in the form of spot treatments, such as those with lightening agents like azelaic acid and kojic acid. You can also sign up for microdermabrasion once a month at your dermatologist’s clinic that gets rid of the top epidermal layers of the skin and reduces the intensity of the pits in the process. Soft, gel face peels with AHAs such as lactic, azelaic or glycolic acid help remove pimple marks as well.
Home Remedies to Remove Acne Scars
The best home way to remove acne scars at home is to scrub 2-3 times a week to brighten your skin on the whole—you will require topical treatments to lighten certain spots, if they are very stubborn. However, make sure you don’t have any active acne in place as scrubbing can further spread bacteria and cause you to breakout more. One of the best home-made scrubs to brighten skin on the whole and remove pimple marks is to use a mix of gram flour (besan), turmeric powder, lime juice, milk and water, whipped into a paste. Apply this all over your face for 30 minutes and wash off. The lactic acid in the milk and the lime juice help to exfoliate and brighten, the turmeric looks after any persisting acne and the besan is the exfoliating agent that forms the base of the scrub. You can also use basic tomato pulp on your skin to reduce excess oil and brighten any dullness caused by prolonged acne and breakouts.
How to avoid Pimple Marks
When recovering from acne, avoid using anything harsh on your skin or squeezing any existing breakouts. Stay away from exfoliation unless done under the supervision of your skin doctor and skip waxing the area to avoid further acne. Don’t irritate your skin by using harsh towels on your face and don’t overapply acne scar medication, expecting faster results. If you’re prone to acne, make sure your skin is always clean, use a salicylic acid-based face wash, keep yourself hydrated and take all your makeup off before you hit the sack.