Acne Marks vs Acne Scars: How to Identify, Prevent, & Treat Each - BioRepublic SkinCare | Face Mask Sheets | Vegan Skincare

Acne Marks vs Acne Scars: How to Identify, Prevent, & Treat Each

Whether you currently suffer from acne or have in the past, there's a good chance that you also suffer from acne marks or scars. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they are actually quite different when it comes to what causes them, what they look like, and how to prevent/treat them.

In simplest terms, acne marks (also referred to as dark spots) are imperfections that tend to go away on their own, whereas acne scars cause skin irregularities that can be more permanent. By further understanding the differences between acne marks and acne scars, you can better determine what kind of skincare treatment or regimen may be right for you.

acne marks

What Are Acne Marks?

If you suffer from mild to severe acne, then you probably deal with acne marks or dark spots on a fairly regular basis. These flat and dark marks are usually red or brown in color and form directly following an acne breakout that causes inflammation to the skin. When this inflammation occurs, the body sends white blood cells to the bloodstream in an effort to improve blood flow to the affected area. These white blood cells also contain melanocytes, which stimulate melanin production in the skin and cause the areas to noticeably darken.

Fortunately, acne marks tend to lighten and disappear on their own in time—usually over the course of a few months. Likewise, they don't cause any permanent damage or changes to the skin. The only way to prevent acne marks is to prevent breakouts altogether, which is best done through the use of a quality skincare routine. If you already have acne marks, topical treatments that contain ingredients to reduce inflammation (such as mushroom mycelia and peptides) are your best bet, but we'll cover those in more detail later on.

Acne scars

What Are Acne Scars?

Acne scars, on the other hand, are a bit more serious because they result in permanent changes to the skin that can be more difficult to treat. They're caused when the body doesn't properly heal from an acne breakout, occurring as a direct result of skin inflammation that breaks down the walls of skin pores. Acne scars may be indented or raised, depending on the type. 

There are two main types of acne scars:

  • Hypertrophic scar: These scars are raised and may be pink or red in color. They tend to be itchy and possibly a bit painful. A keloid scar is a severe type of hypertrophic scar caused by excess protein during the healing process that forms an overgrowth of scar tissue.
  • Atrophic scar: These scars are indentations in the skin that can be shallow or deep, with common subtypes including ice pick scars, rolling scars, and boxcar scars.

Unfortunately, some people are more prone to acne scars than others. This mostly boils down to how a person's body responds to the inflammation caused by acne, as well as the type of acne a person has. For example, those with cystic acne (where pimples form deep under the surface of the skin) are much more prone to scarring than those with smaller acne papules or pustules. Likewise, you're more likely to have scarring if you pick at or pop pimples, which can prevent them from properly healing and actually cause more inflammation.

In fact, the best way to prevent acne scarring (aside from following a great skincare routine to treat acne) is to keep your skin clean and allow your body to heal acne on its own. This means never attempting to pop an existing pimple or pick at an acne lesion. If you have existing acne scars, there are some treatment options to consider that range from topical solutions to dermatological procedures.

Common Treatment for Acne Marks and Scars

In most cases, acne marks will resolve on their own within a few months and no complex treatment is needed. Because acne scars cause permanent changes to the skin, however, hypertrophic and atrophic acne scars may not go away on their own. There are plenty of treatments that claim to reduce or even eliminate the appearance of acne scars, some of which include:

  • Microneedling: This involves the use of tiny needles to increase collagen production and improve the healing of existing scars.
  • Laser Treatment and Scar Revision: This involves the use of ablative layers to resurface areas of scarred skin.
  • Chemical Peels: This involves the use of an acid/chemical solution to correct discoloration, remove damaged skin cells, and reveal healthier-looking skin.

These treatments are typically performed in an esthetician's office or dermatologist's office. Unfortunately, they aren't always 100% effective at reducing the appearance of acne scars—especially when scarring is more severe. Likewise, these treatments can be expensive and come with some risk of side effects or complications. Some acne scar treatments, such as laser therapy, may also require some downtime.

Routine to address acne marks

Restoring Your Skin at Home

If you're looking for a more affordable and less invasive way to treat acne spots and scars, there are plenty of options to consider.

Ingredients to Address Irritation

Irritation and inflammation are a couple of the most common culprits when it comes to unsightly acne marks and scarring. By treating this irritation directly, you can improve the appearance of the skin while reducing the appearance of scars and blemishes.

One ingredient to look for that can address skin irritation is mushroom mycelia extract, which fortifies the skin's natural defenses while hydrating and repairing damaged skin. Meanwhile, peptides (such as tripeptides) can alleviate discomfort commonly caused by acne and more quickly restore the skin's texture and natural appearance.

Face masks for acne marks

Face Masks to Repair Your Skin

At-home facial masks are a great way to treat acne marks and acne scars from the comfort of your own home. BioRepublic's Ultra Soothing InvisaMask, for example, contains the ingredients you need to soothe and calm your skin while purifying and reducing the appearance of acne damage. Specifically, this mask contains mushroom mycelia extract and tripeptide to repair and hydrate the skin—as well as squalene to restore the skin's natural sebum. This mask is easy to use, takes just 15 minutes, and can be used two to three times per week to achieve incredible results.

Our Peptide Therapy Mask and the entire Peptide Therapy line of products, including the cream and serum, are essential to strengthening your skin's keratin, elastin, and collagen — all of which help to restore your tone and texture.

BioRepublic's Bright and Glowing Organic Facial Sheet Mask is also great for addressing unsightly acne scars and marks. This mask contains orange juice and pomegranate extract to naturally resurface and brighten damaged skin. Meanwhile, Snow Mushroom extract delivers long-lasting hydration that leaves skin looking and feeling smoother than ever.

To better treat and prevent your acne breakouts, it's important to pay special attention to the T-zone, which refers to the "T" shaped area that runs across the forehead and down the nose to the chin. This area is especially prone to breakouts because it contains more sebaceous glands that produce natural oils. These oils can clog pores and cause acne breakouts.

BioRepublic's T-Zen Activated Charcoal T-Zone Mask is specifically designed to absorb oils and impurities from this common problem area. And with ingredients like witch hazel extract and white willow bark extract, it's gentle enough to be used on any skin type. 

Repairing skin with face mask

Avoiding Acne With a Quality Skincare Routine

Ultimately, the best way to avoid acne scars and dark spots is to prevent acne altogether. While it may not be possible to prevent every single pimple or mild breakout, the right skincare routine goes a long way in treating and preventing acne.

The skincare routine that's right for you will depend on many factors, including your skin type, skin tone, skin texture, and the type of acne you're prone to. However, most people will benefit greatly from a skincare routine that includes thorough cleansing to remove unwanted dirt and oils, regular exfoliating to remove dead skin cells and reveal smoother skin, occasional detoxing, and daily moisturizing to nourish and hydrate the skin.

Some other active ingredients to look for that are known to fight against acne include:

  • Green tea extract
  • Lemon juice
  • Lactic acid
  • Glacial snow algae
  • Hyaluronic acid

Try This Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

Still not sure where to begin when it comes to a daily skincare routine? Consider this routine that's designed specifically for those with acne-prone skin and uses quality products from BioRepublic.

A daily cleanser should be used both in the morning and at night to remove oils, dirt, and other impurities from the skin that can otherwise clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. After using a gentle cleaner, a serum like BioRepublic's Super Collagen & Detox Glacial Algae Serum works to detoxify skin cells while boosting natural collagen production. And because moisture is key to protecting skin and preventing acne, don't forget to pair it with a quality moisturizer, our Super Collagen & Detox Glacial Algae Cream) morning and night for best results.

In addition to this daily skincare routine, a weekly detoxifying mask can help to keep oil production under control while reducing the appearance of skin imperfections. Meanwhile, a weekly exfoliating mask gently removes dead skin cells, revealing a healthy glow underneath.

Achieve Radiant, Healthier-Looking Skin With Help From BioRepublic

Dealing with acne scars and acne marks can be stressful, especially when it feels like none of the remedies you've tried are helping. Fortunately, with the right skincare routine and quality ingredients, you can reduce the appearance of blemishes, dark spots, scarring, and other skin imperfections while keeping acne at bay.

BioRepublic is here to help make skincare easier and more accessible than ever. Take our quiz today to discover the skincare routine that's right for you, then shop our selection of quality products that are designed to help you put your best skin forward.

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