Dr. Shuba Dharmana, Clinical Dermatologist, discusses the different types of treatments for facial marks.
Today, there are countless products in the market that boast to lighten dark spots, blemishes and marks on face. Then there are medical procedures like chemical peels and laser treatments for severe pimple scarring and dark stops.
For fading most scars, tropical creams and ointments are suggested but when it comes to stubborn or deep-rooted old scars aggressive and evasive medical procedures like laser treatments are sought for. But are any of these treatments effective and if yes, then to what extent? Are there any side effects or shortcomings to them? Before we answer that question let us discuss why these marks and darks spots occur in the first place.
Facial marks are the result of damage caused to the skin when pores present in the second layer of the skin – dermis are affected by bacteria breeding in the excess sebum produced in the pores. This soon turns into an infection and surfaces as inflammation and reddish bumps that develop into pimples. Pimples end up rupturing the pores and in the process the collagen production in the Dermis are hindered. Thereafter, the skin does heal but is left with ugly scarring.
Hyperpigmentation or excessive pigmentation in the skin show as brown spots and blemishes on the outer layer or Epidermis of the skin. This condition can be attributed to the excess melanin pigment that gets deposited in the skin layer because the melanocyte cells that are responsible to produce the melanin get affected with skin diseases such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, lupus, lichen etc.
Excessive sunlight also stimulates the melanin synthesis. Hence, it is important to not only treat the skin disease but also pay attention to sun exposure and protect yourself therefrom.
When it comes to treating marks and excess pigmentation there are a number of treatments available.
Topical skin lightening creams and ointments, use active skin lightning ingredients that have a bleaching effects on the pimple marks. They mostly work in one way or the other to hinder the activity of the Tyrosinase enzyme which is the catalyst that supports production of melanin.
At times, these creams need to be prescribed with other agents for deeper skin penetration and effective fading of the skin.
The different chemical compositions in these creams make the skin sensitive. Further side effects of such treatments can include allergic reactions, redness, and risk of skin cancer when exposed to the sun due to increased sensitivity.
Such a treatment requires supervision by a Dermatologist. If such creams are brought over the counter their abuse can lead to permanent damage to the skin.
On the other hand, Ayurvedic remedies / Ayurvedic ingredient based creams work holistically on the skin. They not only act on the dark pigmentation but cure the marks from within by stimulating collagen tissue building and repairing the skin layer. These remedies can be explored without the fear of side effects and grant you that clear and spotless complexion naturally.
Peels can be of various strengths and concentrations. They may be superficial or mild, medium depth or moderate and deep peels depending on the penetrate effect and severity of treatment and peeling. They work by lifting the outer layers of skin where the pigment dispersion due to the damage is more evident. The inner layer and the new skin that surfaces post the peel has more uniform and even pigmentation. Over a course of the prescribed peels one can see the lightening and disappearance of pigmentation.
Depending on the severity of peels recommended there can be side effects such as excessive peeling, PIH (Post Inflammatory Pigmentation), hypopigmentation, acne breakouts, allergic reactions, excessive sun sensitivity etc.
A thorough analysis of the skin type needs to be done before a peel can be prescribed. Moreover, the peel should be prescribed as well as performed by a doctor who is specialized and experienced in the said procedures.
There are laser and light based treatments such as Q switched Nd Yag, IPL and fractional lasers that are used to lighten the marks on skin. They work by targeting the melanin pigment at a specific absorption spectrum.
The lasers and light based treatments with correct wavelengths should be chosen because in darker skin types the shorter the wavelength the more likely is the development of laser associated PIH.
The side effects of laser treatment include excessive skin sensitivity to light, breakouts, redness, PIH and hypopigmentation.
Before opting for any chemical or procedural based treatment it is always advisable to consult a Dermatologist who will be in a better position to answer all your questions regarding the use and safety of the respective treatments.