Whether you suffer from acne or get the occasional breakout, we've all dealt with the aftermath of a popped pimple. For women of colour whose skin is often highly melanated, even the smallest spot has the potential to leave a discernible mark. Dark marks resulting from breakouts are part of the skin's response to trauma or damage, so, when the skin sends white blood cells and collagen to repair the spot, it also sends extra melanin, leaving a hyperpigmented scar behind.
Fading hyperpigmentation can be a difficult and painstaking process, and topical products don't always do the trick. If you're struggling to get rid of old scars, read on for three treatments that'll help your skin look its best.
What it does: Although dermastamping might sound a little counterproductive due to the fact that it causes trauma to a skin condition you're trying not to aggravate, the science behind it is pretty clever. The microneedled stamp goes over your entire face, and the tiny punctures send repair signals to your skin, which encourages cell regeneration, allowing your damaged skin to flake off and be replaced by new, softer, evenly complected skin.
As the stamp goes over your entire face, the collagen-, melanin-, and nutrient-rich blood is evenly dispersed on your face rather than in one spot, so you don't get the kind of concentrated scarring you'd expect from a single spot.
What to expect: Although a topical numbing cream is applied prior to the stamping, you might still feel the pinpricks. The size of the needle used depends on the severity of your scars and increases with how many sessions you have.
What it does: Acid peels are some of the most popular options when it comes to correcting complexion issues in all skin tones. The concentrated acids act as skin-resurfacers, which lightly dissolve your top layer of dead skin to reveal the unblemished skin beneath. While lactic, salicylic, or glycolic peels like the Obagi Blue Peel are effective over a period of time, they're not a one-time deal and can leave you with dry and damaged skin when overused.
What to expect: There's a level of discomfort to be expected from any peel. During the treatment, you might experience a mild burning sensation after the acid is activated, but this lasts for less than 30 seconds. The aftermath of a peel is the most challenging aspect of the entire process. As your skin will be exceptionally dry prior to peeling, you should use deep-penetrating moisturisers like Indeed Labs's Hydraluron moisture jelly followed by a sunscreen to avoid exacerbating your skin's acid burns.
What it does: Contrary to popular belief that lasers work best on fair skin, there is in fact a laser frequency to suit every skin tone. When it comes to laser skin treatments, the light used is a lot less severe than that used for hair and tattoo removal. Laser skin resurfacing is highly effective because it targets specific areas of hyperpigmentation.
What to expect: Unlike laser hair removal, laser for skin care is a lot gentler, so it doesn't sting during the procedure or hurt after. Due to how precise lasers are, you're likely to see a dramatic reduction in the pigmentation of your scars a few days after treatment. You might be advised to use some form of fading cream to avoid the scars regaining their pigmentation.