HOW TO REMOVE DARK SPOTS CAUSED BY PIMPLES

HOW TO REMOVE DARK SPOTS CAUSED BY PIMPLES

Here is an extensive list of different methods used to remove dark spots caused by acne

HOW TO REMOVE DARK SPOTS CAUSED BY PIMPLES
Image from Proven Skin Care

Living with acne can feel like riding a roller coaster. You finally clear up a breakout and you’re left with a dark spot or acne scar, but you’re unsure how to treat dark spots caused by pimples. Your initial instinct may be to try home remedies like lemon juice, aloe vera or reach for typical skincare with aggressive chemical peels and harsh exfoliating treatments, but here is how how to remove dark spots caused by pimples.

HOW TO ADDRESS DARK SPOTS AND ACNE SCARS LEFTOVER FROM PIMPLES, STEP-BY- STEP

1. Be Gentle on New Dark Spots as the Skin is Still Healing

When the spot or acne mark is still red and the pimple has only just faded, your skin is very inflamed. This is no time to use any kind of over-the-counter product or acid, so if you typically use Salicylic Acid or Glycolic acid all over your face as a preventative acne treatment, avoid applying these products directly on the affected areas. Your skin is very tender and irritated, and is not ready to for application of exfoliating treatments. Instead, try Hydrocortisone. Using hydrocortisone for dark spots is an effective way to calm inflammation and address and soothe the red in your skin. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory Apply this for only a period of few days, as over time, Hydrocortisone can actually thin the skin and make it more fragile.

2. Introduce Vitamin C Once the Blemish has Healed

When the dark marks or affected areas have completely healed and are no longer irritated, it’s time to bring in the antioxidants to help get rid of dark spots. Load up on Vitamin C, especially in the morning, to prevent excess melanin from depositing and making the spot darker. Ask your dermatologist to recommend the best Vitamin C-based skincare products. Vitamin C is great for removing dark spots. 

3. Use a Retinoid for Brightening the Appearance of Dark Spots

Research skincare products or, again, consult your dermatologist to recommend items that include a retinol derivative that you can use at night to help speed up the regeneration of your skin. This will help push new, healthy, bright skin to the surface. Retinoid is also used as spot treatment for acne.

4. Exfoliate New Dark Spots with Acids

Once your skin has fully healed, you can use exfoliating treatments twice a week. Use a gentle, chemical exfoliant to help even out your skin tone and fade dark spots and discoloration caused by pimples. Mandelic Acid and Azelaic acid are especially good for hyperpigmentation or Melasma, a condition that causes brown spots on the skin.

5. Protect Dark Spots, Acne Scars and Melasma from the Sun

The most important step of all is to protect your acne scars from the sun. Do not start your day without sunscreen. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended. UV rays do infiltrate windows in homes, offices and cars, so always wear SPF. Wear a wide-brimmed hat if you are going to be outside for an extended period of time. UV rays are the enemy of acne scars, dark spots and other skin conditions. They trigger inflammation and spike melanin production, causing your dark spots and scars to become even darker and harder to fade.

WHAT CAUSES ACNE MARKS OR DARK SPOTS LEFT BEHIND BY PIMPLES?

The technical word for the spot left behind an acne lesion once it heals is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, or PIH. This type of pigment is different than normal dark spots because it is a result of inflammation. PIH is not specific to acne.

These dark spots caused by pimples can also commonly occur as a result of razor bumps and ingrown hairs. PIH is most common in darker skin types, and can last for longer than 5 years if left untreated. Keep skin hydrated when shaving or washing your face. Not only are ingrown hairs and razor bumps painful, they will keep returning. Use shaving products to soften and hydrate skin and don’t rush the process. Cuts on skin also take a while to heal.

Prevent PIH Dark Spots from Forming

You may also get PIH if you pick at a blackhead or pimple. Picking at an active acne lesion or blackhead increases the likelihood of leaving behind a dark spot, which is one of the reasons why dermatologists and aestheticians caution against it. You’re better off leaving it alone and letting it heal over time, as painstaking as that can be or feel. Or, you can go to a professional like a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician to help remove it.

Relax and Stick to the Plan to Cure Dark Spots Fast

Whether you pick at your pimple or let it heal naturally, PIH may occur either way. It’s important to treat the inflammation and use antioxidants like Vitamin C to inhibit melanin production. Most importantly, use daily sun protection to prevent your spot from worsening. Even a well-healed spot can suddenly become dark if you spend too much time in the sun. We hope this post has helped inform you about how to cure dark spots caused by pimples, and how to prevent further dark spots forming.
Stick to a skincare regimen best suited to your skin.

Start a skincare routine beneficial to your specific skin type, issues and need.

Choose a cleanser, moisturizer with SPF, toner and night cream that will address what skin needs, so you can avoid pimples, dark spots and acne scars from starting. Do your research, listen to your skin…and to your dermatologist.

These are the most efficient ways to remove dark spots caused by pimples.

Skin Picking

HOW TO MANAGE SKIN-PICKING IN 5 STEPS

Skin Picking

Do you find yourself picking at your face and body on a regular basis? Are you feeling that the compulsion to pick at your skin has become obsessive? Fear not, the compulsion of skin-picking can be controlled – here’s how.

As a sufferer of an obsessive-compulsive skin-picking disorder called Dermatillomania, I have spent well over a decade looking for new ways to avoid the urge that I’d get all day, every day. When I was stressed or heavily concentrating, I consciously had to be aware of what my hands were doing whilst my mind was occupied! It sounds strange I know, but when unnoticed, my fingertips would search all over my face and body for areas to uncover – just one scab, spot or bump was all that was needed before a tirelessly long skin-picking session took over like a knocked domino line.

Not only was it unsightly when my face and body were then left with inflamed, bloody marks but the painful guilt and shame created an overwhelming sense of personal disappointment. This became a daily thing for me and admittedly, I got used to the feeling of intense depression associated to it. What’s worse, I usually had an occasion planned (that I’d be late to) where I’d have to change my outfit and hairstyle last minute to successfully hide my newly made marks. It made me feel unattractive and anxious in case any marks, old or new, were accidentally on display.

This kind of anxiety is exhausting, which I’m sure you’ll appreciate if you suffer from the same condition. Even if you don’t suffer from a behavioural disorder associated to your skin, I’m sure you’ll understand the deep feelings caused from unsettling skin. Seeing my bare body as a battle ground hardly made me want to undress for my partner, neither did it help whenever someone complimented me because I’d automatically get defensive and refuse to accept that I could ever be pretty.

By noticing and addressing the skin-picking routine I put in place for myself, I then worked hard to create a new routine that would help my recovery – the 5 steps that I have listed below.

Please note that if you too, suffer from Dermatillomania, its best to take things one step at a time and to really take each day as just that – a day. You’ll have good days and you’ll have not-so-good days but please don’t feel that you’d be back at square one after one episode. Understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint and you’ve got this.

Come on then, let’s get going!

Tip 1 – Avoid bright lighting

I know this is a pretty obvious one but fighting the urge can be really difficult if you’ve noticed a blemish and you figure you can focus on it better with brighter lighting. Yes you can, but try pulling yourself away from the damn mirror when you’ve noticed a few more…

Under extreme lighting, of course you’re going to see the skin on your face and body in a different way to normal as it’ll highlight spots, scabs, dead skin, blocked hair follicles and blackheads. It’s incredibly important that you stop yourself from using any extreme lighting until your skin-picking is under better control.

Instead, perfect your skincare routine to master your night time schedule so that you’re comfortable and happy to complete your nightly routine with less harsh and more complimentary lighting.

Tip 2 – Stand a couple feet away from the mirror

One thing you have to remember is that in the moment when you’ve taken your makeup off or you’ve just washed your face, your skin is looking blemished and you’ll be fighting the huge urge to obsess over it. If you complete your routine whilst standing a couple steps away from the mirror, it’ll be a lot harder for you to see up-close-and-personal.

Can’t see close up = you’re more likely to leave your skin alone.

After all, you’re wanting the satisfaction right? You won’t get it if you’re standing back and unable to focus in detail. I know this sounds easy, but it’s not – trust me. Keep it going for 7 days and let me know in the comments below how your skin looks after! NO SKIN-PICKING! 🙂

Tip 3 – Oil, oil and more oil

Oil is a fantastic way to stabilise your skin’s natural sebum production because applying oil to your skin tricks your body into thinking it’s naturally occurring and will not produce more.

Time and time again I’m seeing products created for oily/combo skin types that are promising to rebalance the skin’s oil production, create an overall matte complexion that lasts all day without worrying about an oily t-zone through oil-stripping ingredients….NO THANKS! These cause over-drying of the skin resulting in an over-production of sebum just like when dry eyes cause your eyes to water in excess! Think about it, stripping your face and body from naturally occurring oils is going to cause an imbalance and your body will react. To control your oily skin issues, fight oil with oil.

If you’re looking for topical ingredients that can help, opt for essential oils such as tea tree to reduce spot size and lavender or rose to sooth redness (always make sure that you dilute well as essential oils come in high concentrations which can irritate the skin if used undiluted. My favourite way to use these are to mix in with a homemade toner, as part of a face-steam and added to my facial and body oils). 

There are different types of oils – some that are great for cleaning and unclogging the pores of your skin and others that claim to hydrate and protect the skin but can actually cause clogging. As a rule of thumb, I avoid mineral oils of any kind on my face and I know that coconut oil causes me to break out in spots so I use that for hair-masking (mid to ends) instead.

Once you find a natural oil (or oil blend) that works for you, it’ll quickly become a much favoured member of your skincare drawer because applying oil to your face and body makes it extra difficult for you to pick at your skin afterwards, absorbing deep into the skin better than creams. I use oils to remove make up, to moisturise leaving your skin plump and hydrated as well as to prevent and reduce scarring.

Tip 4 – Notice when your hands are busy

Whether you have a habit of skin-picking or have an obsessive compulsive disorder like myself, you may not notice when your hands start moving around to look for areas to focus on. Most of us can tell if someone is feeling anxious based on their body language – reserved, eyes looking elsewhere in deep thought and busy moving hands or feet whilst the rest of the body is still. Stress alike produces similar results as you can typically tell when someone is increasing in frustration by the contrast of their still body and quick hand and facial movements.

Try it out – keep your body still and look down at your hand whilst you you tap it at an increased speed. Can you feel your heart-rate increase slightly and your mood slightly change to that of irritability or concern?

The reason why I’m saying this is because its estimated that we have between 35-48 different thoughts per second – that’s 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day! Are the majority of your thoughts positive and stress-free? Probably not. Especially if you’re a woman because we tend to take multi-tasking (and in turn, overthinking) to the next level.

When facing negative feelings such as stress and anxiety, take note of what your hands are doing before you go into problem-solving mode and taking it out on your skin. Some people use stress balls or get up and take a little walk. When facing anxious thoughts, drink a large glass of water as it takes your mind out of fight-or-flight mode and reduces your heart rate back to normal. Take 10 deep breaths until the wave of anxiety subsides then write down any concerns you may have so that you can tackle these constructively with rational thought instead of using skin-picking as a form of escapism.

Tip 5 – Keep a journal

As discussed in tip 4, it’s really important that you notice when your hands start to overly touch areas and an urge for skin-picking begins. Very rarely do large episodes of skin-picking occur out of sheer boredom alone – usually it’s because it’s seen to the person as a de-stressor – their chosen coping mechanism to negative thoughts. It can happen so often that many of us don’t realise we’re even doing it!

Using myself as an example, when I felt overwhelmed from feelings of constantly having to please others, I would store this built-up frustration and exhaustion until I got home where I could be alone and de-stress through skin-picking. What I understand now however, is that this method did not construct a way for me to take back the control in my life nor did it even help me to notice this was taking place.

By keeping a journal (writing down or verbal entries), it allows you to fully understand what you are feeling in that moment and why.  I have always been someone who others could rely on for support and care before asking constructive questions that helped them find the solution to the problem they were facing. How was I able to do this yet I never took the time to do the same for myself? Because I was never taught to look after myself emotionally.

I was told to love myself but no one ever taught me how.

Keeping a journal helps you to reconnect with your thoughts and feelings. Overtime, it enables you to build a stronger relationship with yourself as you start to notice various situations that may create similar negative feelings within yourself. Only by noticing a variety of things that you do daily – perhaps out of obligation alone – are you in a better position to tap into your inner self and to ask, do these things bring me peace, love and joy? If not, perhaps it’s time to start reconsidering who you’re really trying to please through your day-to-day tasks.

Kim’s Conclusions

  1. Avoid bright lighting – it’s too tempting and unflattering so chances are you won’t be walking away feeling good about yourself. No, no and no.
  2. Stand back eager beaver! Can’t see = more likely to leave your skin alone
  3. Learn how to use natural oils to enhance skin radiance and minimise your chances of picking
  4. Monitor your moments of inactivity and what your hands are doing
  5. Get writing! Check in on your thoughts and feelings so that when the urge to skin-pick arises, you get to the root of your thoughts and feelings quicker

If you have any additional tips that have helped you on your journey to managing skin-picking, please share in the comment section below because the more we help each other, the more we can spread the word on how important a good mental and emotional health is in connection to better skin and overall quality of life.

Sending love and happy skin wishes!

– Kim

How to get rid of body acne

How to get rid of Body Acne

Acne on your shoulders, back, arms, chest and even your butt. It can be embarrassing and exhausting, but here's how to get rid of body acne and have beautiful clear skin.

How to get rid of body acne

10 ways to get rid of body acne that is easy and inexpensive. 

1. Assess your skin

Know the type of skin that you have. Is it sensitive? Is it dry? Is it oily? This will make a big difference in the products that you should use.

Knowing how long you have had body acne is also important. Have you always had it it? Did it start after a hormonal change? Did it start when you started working out. Did it start when you started a certain diet? 

2. Pick a Soap

If you have sensitive skin, use a body soap specifically for sensitive skin. Dove makes a very inexpensive bar soap. If you have normal skin try Neutrogena Body Soap.

It doesn’t have to be a bar soap, but what you want to look for is Salicylic Acid

3. Use an Astringent with Salicylic Acid

Use a cotton ball and apply to the area. This will serve as a topical treatment. There are many deep pore cleansing products. So totally Clean Deep Pore Cleaner is affordable and effective.

You can also use a spot treatment. 

4. Moisturize

Do not neglect moisturizing, especially after cleaning. Never leave that area dry. Use a good moisturizer. The same night cream you use on your face can be the same night cream you can use on your body to provide great moisture. Don’t neglect your body skin just because it isn’t always visable. 

6. Start Switching to Cotton

Stay away from anything that is not breathable and traps moisture.

If you notice that most of your clothing is not cotton, begin making the switch.
If you noticed that working out and acne came hand in hand, opt for only cotton shirts and pants.

Also, make sure you clean the area right after your workout. 

7. Wash your Clothing more often

For workout clothing, only wear the item only once. Bacteria likes to fester in wet areas. If you can’t afford to wear something new each time, sprinkle baking soda on the inside of the garment. This will help to get some of the moisture that may be causing the acne. 

8. Change your Detergent

Change your detergent to something without scents and that is for sensitive skin. Your body acne may be caused by or even aggravated by the perfume in the detergent or softener. Use a clear formula or a natural brand.

9. Change your Diet

If you are doing the above and still have acne, then it could be something that you are eating. Wheat, cheese, saturated fats are known food items that cause acne. Read 5 Foods that May be Causing your Acne to learn more.

10. Use a Dark Spot Corrector

The scars left behind can be an unfortunate reminder of your fight with body acne.  You can use a topical dark spot corrector, laser scar removal or a natural remedy to get rid of body scaring.  

Foods that may be causing your Acne

5 Foods that May be Causing your Acne

Foods that may be causing your Acne

Whether you are an adult or teenager acne is absolutely awful. Acne is commonly blamed upon hormones, but what you are digesting (eating) may be the biggest culprit, especially in adult acne. This article will review 5 foods that may be causing your acne.

  1. Refined Carbohydrates aka Processed Carbohydrates 
bread that cause

Ever heard of empty calorie foods? Well this is the same type of food and these foods may be causing your acne. 

How? Refined carbohydrates spikes glucose levels —> Causes insulin levels to spike—>  Creating a sebum buildup in your pores —> Leading to more clogged pores. 

Here are some example of food that contains refined carbohydrates:

  • Bread, crackers, anything with white flour (flour is processed from wheat germ to become white flour)
  • Pasta or other noodles (rice noodles/low mien) made with white flour
  • White rice
  • Sweeteners like cane sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave (soda and other sweet beverages and snacks contain this)

Food from the above categories may be causing your acne by causing overactive glands. 

2. Lactose 

lactose causing acne
*All daily products are not the same. Yogurt has less lactose and probiotics.

Some doctors agree that these food items may cause acne while some do not see the correlation. Let’s put it like this, cows have hormones and when you drink dairy items such as milk, you are drinking their hormones. The hormones can affect your own hormones or testosterone and can cause acne inflammation. Also protein powder, which is made from lactose, has been directly linked to acne…which leads to the next point. 

3. Whey Protein Powder

Protein Shake

Between the hormones and amino acids, whey powder can cause acne. Amino acids are found in whey protein and are protein building blocks. They are a great supplement for body builders to take, because it allows them to build more protein for muscle gain, but it might be causing your acne.

If you noticed an influx of acne after you started taking whey protein powder, stop taking it to see if this food is causing your acne

  1. Omega-6 
fried foods

These fats are found mostly in corn oil and vegetable oils. These are the common food items that contain Omega-6 :

  • Processed food
  • Fried food
  • Potato or corn chip
  • Cured meat
  • Nuts with oil and salt

These foods may me causing your acne by clogging your pores. 

  1. Food allergies

If you have food allergies like Gluten, these food items could be the cause of your acne inflammation. Gluten circumferences more than white flour and can be find in many food items. Luckily, for people with gluten sensitivity or have celiac disease there are so many gluten free options in today’s world versus a couple of years ago.

How to find out if food is causing your acne: 

If you have acne, the best thing to do is to start eliminating items from your diet. 

Refined carbohydrates should hardly be consumed anyhow, since there is no nutritional value to those items. Acne should be the least of your worries if you are consuming those items.

Replace lactose with alternative milk and try to cut some of the cheese to nearly all of the cheese out to see if this is the culprit.

If you are consuming whey protein powder as a supplement, try to eat more food items that have protein and eliminate the whey. There are plenty of athletes that are clean eaters that are building muscles without taking protein powder.

Replace Omega-6 food items with Omega- 3 food items because once again, this food category does not have any nutritional value and can cause more harm to your body than acne.