What causes red and dark spot scars and what can be dome o remove them? If this question sounds familiar to you, then you have come to the right page. In this article we’ll explain everything you need to know about spot scars including various removal options that you can resort to.
Red Spot Scars
Acne often leaves behind red spot scars after healing. According to Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist based in New York, “”The red or brown hyper-pigmentation that appears following an acne lesion is caused by temporary inflammation. These marks may take a number of months to go away but they will disappear over time”. The red pigmentation can also be the result of broken blood vessels.
The scars left behind are however usually permanent even though they may fade away over time. The scars vary in appearance from sunken atrophic scars that makes the skin look like it has depressions to box-scar shaped scars and ice pick scars (which often result from more severe cases of acne) that are usually deeper and narrow.
Dark Spot Scars
What people often perceive as dark spot scars is more often than not a combination of dark spots and scar tissue often left behind by a bout of acne or chicken pox. The scars give the face a pocked or pitted appearance. As Dr. Bowe explains, the dark spots are the result of inflammation of the skin during the healing process.
Picking on the an acne lesion makes the skin to open up and then close back again, often leading to abnormal pigmentation, tone and texture that make the area of skin look different from the surrounding area. This is the reason why many dermatologists advice against picking on acne lesions and pimples.
In addition to formation of the dark spots (and sometimes red or purple spots if blood vessels are broken in the process), picking on acne lesions also increases the chances of formation of scar tissue.
Still there are certain acne breakouts that will lead to the formation of scars regardless of whether you pick on them or not. Acne scars result when normal skin tissue is damaged and replaced with fibrous tissue. This explains why severe cases of acne lead to scarring.
The chances of an acne lesion to scar depend on how deep and inflamed it is and how much it is picked or squeezed.
Spot Scar Removal – Spot Scar Treatment or How to Clear Spot Scars
Spot scars often fade away on their own and time might be all you need, more so if they are shallow and red. Some scars might however linger on long after the acne has gone. Luckily there are numerous spot scar treatment options available to remove them. Here is how to clear spot scars:
Steroid injection: raised scars, that is, keloid and hypertrophic scars often respond well to corticosteroid injection which helps to make them flatter and softer.
Filler injection: Depressed (atrophic) acne scars are often treated by injecting them with suitable dermal filler which helps to elevate them to the level of the surrounding skin. Hyaluronic acid is one such dermal filler that is commonly used.
The main downside to most dermal fillers is that they give temporary results and re-injections are usually needed later on, usually after a year or so.
Laser therapy: If there is an invention of the last century that never stops to amaze me, then it has got to be laser light whose use varies from direction of missile, in barcode readers, DVD readers, and not to forget (before I got lost into the versatility of laser) scar treatment.
According to Dr. Bowe, red scars often improve when treated with a pulse-dye laser referred to as V-beam. She further suggests using Fraxel laser treatment for older scars that are not red anymore.
Surgical scar revision: these days there are numerous surgical intervention techniques used to improve the appearance of scars and make them less noticeable.
One commonly used technique is punch excision whereby the scar is ripped out under local anesthesia using a small cookie-cutter like tool before sealing the wound left behind with tiny suture. The sutures are removed in less than one week to minimize chances of developing the stitch tracks.
Scar creams: There are numerous over-the-counter and prescription creams that can benefit spot scars. We have covered scar creams in more details in a subsequent part of this article.
Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion entails removing the uppermost layer of the skin mechanically using an ablative tool in order to start the growth of new healthy skin cells from beneath. A less invasive form of dermabrasion called microdermabrasion can also be used but is usually not effective for deeper scars.
Other spot scar removal options that may be recommended by your dermatologist or surgeon are:
- Medical microneedling
- Silicone gel sheeting
- Chemical peels
How to Reduce Spot Scars at home naturally
If you are a fan of natural remedies then here are some options that you may want to consider for your spot scars:
- Aloe Vera: squeeze some Aloe vera gel from a fresh Aloe vera plant and apply it on the spot scars
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a superstar when it comes to natural remedies. It can also help spot scars if applied several times daily (diluted with water)
- Baking soda: to 3 teaspoons of water, add a teaspoon of baking soda and stir thoroughly to make a paste. apply to the skin in circular motions, leave on for 3 minutes and wash off with warm water
- Honey: Apply honey onto the scarring sites and leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water