How to identify & get rid of acne marks (PIE vs PIE)?

Acne, a distressing whirlwind of skin issues, often leaves behind a trail of damage, including indentations and marks that serve as reminders of the battle we've endured.

The red marks, known as Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE), result from damage to the small blood vessels near the skin's surface. On the other hand, the brown marks, identified as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), stem from the skin's inflammatory response, prompting pigment cells to produce more pigment. Those who have faced moderate or severe acne may find themselves contending with both PIE and PIH.

Addressing PIE proves challenging at home. Dermatological treatments such as radio frequency, laser, or Intense Pulsed Light are often recommended, but these are not readily available for at-home use (unless you happen to be a bond villain). While anecdotal evidence suggests the efficacy of a combination of silicone sheets, vitamin C, and Niacinamide in reducing the appearance of PIE by enhancing skin hydration, the clinical evidence supporting this approach is currently lacking. (For further exploration, consider looking into Dermatix gel or Clenascar C gel.)

In contrast, managing PIH is more accessible. To effectively treat PIH, inhibiting enzymes responsible for skin pigmentation and accelerating cell turnover to expedite the fading of spots are key. At-home solutions involve using familiar components such as skin acids or retinols to boost skin turnover, niacinamide for skin repair, and a melanin inhibitor like hydroquinone, azelaic acid, vitamin C, or licorice (either individually or in combination).

While it might sound like a plug, our 2% BHA exfoliating serum includes licorice and niacinamide, and our skin repair serum contains 5% niacinamide alongside other skin-healing ingredients. However, there are numerous options available—just prioritize hydration and repair. Be cautious not to go overboard with acids, as excessive use can lead to more trauma and exacerbate PIE/PIH issues.

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