how to remove dark spots caused by pimples

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How To Remove Dark Spots Caused By Pimples

What Causes Acne Breakouts?

If you deal with the occasional whitehead, blackhead, or pimple, you’re in good company. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It affects up to 50 million Americans every year and approximately 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne.

The AAD points out that acne is sometimes more than just an inconvenient embarrassment: “Acne often causes significant physical and psychological problems such as permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression, and anxiety.”

Take heart in the Mayo Clinic’s reassurance that “early, effective treatment of acne reduces the risk of scarring and of lasting damage to your self-esteem.”

Acne is caused by many factors that affect the skin. When overactive sebaceous glands produce too much oil that combines with dead skin cells, pores become plugged and bacteria on the skin multiplies, causing the infected and inflamed eruptions.

how to remove dark spots caused by pimples fast


1) Hormones

When androgens rise in both boys and girls during puberty, the sebaceous glands under the skin enlarge and produce more sebum, or oil. Too much sebum damages the pore’s cellular walls and allows bacteria to grow. Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, and the use of oral contraceptives can all affect sebum production and cause acne to develop or recur.

2) Heredity

There is major evidence for a genetic influence on acne. The condition does run in families, and if both of your parents had acne, you’re likely to develop it, too.

3) Oil-based beauty products

Makeup, moisturizing creams, lotions, and hair products that contain pore-clogging sulfates, mineral oil, coconut and cocoa butter, and silicones can encourage the blocking of your skin’s pores. Look for noncomedogenic, oil-free, and unscented cosmetics, toiletries, and sunscreens. Harsh chemicals in laundry detergent can also irritate sensitive skin.

4) Stress and Anxiety

Psychological and emotional stress directly affect the levels of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, making acne worse. These stress hormones stimulate your oil glands to make testosterone that increases oil production and clogs pores.

5) Medications

Skin Goosebumps Close-up

Drugs that contain androgens, corticosteroids, or lithium can make acne worse.

6) Diet

Although for a long time we thought that eating greasy foods and chocolate caused acne, recent research finds a direct link between a high glycemic/high dairy diet and acne. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found an association between acne and diets high in dairy products, sweets, rice, breads, potatoes, and pasta.

7) Your partner’s beard

When your smooth face rubs against a prickly beard or mustache, it causes friction that stimulates oil production on your face. You risk both blemishes and beard burn.

8) Pimple popping

When you try to burst a pimple, it’s easy to push the bacterial infection further down and spread it underneath your skin. This just causes more blocking, swelling, and redness, multiplying your pimples. It also makes scarring more likely.

9) Too much sun

Sunburns cause your skin to dry out, which triggers the production of more oil to compensate. Excessive oil leads to more acne.

10) Pressure on your skin

Frequent touching of your face or exposing it to repeated friction can aggravate acne. Cellphones, hoodies, hats, helmets, tight collars, and your own hands can all cause sweat and bacteria to get trapped against your skin, clogging pores and producing pimples.

Types of products

There are also plenty of OTC treatments for dark spots that you can try if home remedies aren’t helping. Active ingredients for these types of products vary widely, but some have been shown to be more effective than others.

These ingredients stop the synthesis of melanin in dark spots while peeling off old skin and encouraging new growth. But some products carry a risk of removing too much pigment from your skin, resulting in hypopigmentation.

Speak to your dermatologist before trying OTC products to get rid of dark spots caused by acne.

Once you’ve received your doctor’s OK, look for products that contain some mix of the following ingredients:

  • retinoids (vitamin A)
  • vitamin E (tocopherol)
  • hydroquinone
  • alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), such as mandelic acid
  • kojic acid
  • azelaic acid

In-office treatments

As a next step up from OTC treatments, you may want to look into treatments you can only get in a dermatologist’s office. Treatments for dark spots aren’t typically covered by health insurance, as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation doesn’t pose a danger to your health.

Keep in mind as you consider this treatment that most, if not all, of the costs will come out of your own pocket.

Chemical peels

Chemical peels are done to remove damaged skin cells and reveal younger-looking skin underneath. The cost can vary, but expect to pay in the range of $600 or more out of pocket.

Chemical peels involve applying a strong solution of different topical acids to your face. The peel is then removed, taking layers of skin cells along with it.


Microdermabrasion typically costs around $150. It uses a device that blasts tiny particles at certain areas of your skin, or a diamond-tipped device is rubbed over your skin.

Microdermabrasion is a next-level exfoliating treatment that aims to buff away imperfections and leave your skin looking smooth and evenly toned.

It’s often used to target dark spots, including ones caused by acne. This treatment is considered lower risk and minimally invasive.

Laser resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing uses different types of lasers to remove dead skin from your body while encouraging new cells to grow in the deeper layers of your skin. Lasers can be a way to break up scar tissue and correct dark spots caused by acne.

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