How do I get rid of blemishes?
Skin blemishes such as uneven pigmentation, visible pores and acne can cause considerable distress, often proving stubbornly resistant to treatment. In cases where skin blemishes are causing problems over a sustained period of time, it’s important to seek the advice of a specialist medical professional or dermatologist. The treatment options will vary depending on the nature and seriousness of a blemish or skin complaint. If you’re looking into ways of treating discolouration and hyperpigmentation, you’re likely to be presented with one of a number of different choices, each of which has its own potential benefits and requires careful consideration.
Microdermabrasion uses a combination of fine crystals and a focused vacuum to clear away any dead skin cells, visibly improving the appearance of fine lines and minor skin blemishes. The procedure can be carried out nurses and trained beauty therapists as well doctors, and usually lasts for around half an hour. Microdermabrasion is not as intensive as some ways of removing blemishes, so it can take half a dozen treatments to achieve the best results. Any aftereffects tend to be minor, with patients sometimes experiencing some redness and swelling. However, superficial resurfacing of any sort can cause deeper hyperpigmentation to come closer to the surface and therefore appear worse not better. It is imperative to use topical ingredients to reduce production of new melanin concurrently with any resurfacing.
Superficial chemical peels remove skin cells from the top layer of skin or epidermis, and are used most frequently as a way of reducing uneven pigmentation and acne scarring, as well as addressing photodamage. A liquid treatment that’s applied to the skin and left for a few minutes before being thoroughly removed, a superficial peel can be applied by a medical aesthetic practitioner or with a DIY kit. Efficacy varies widely depending on the type of peel, strength of peel, frequency of use and home care products used between peels.
Alternatively, a medium peel with trichloroacetic acid, performed by a trained professional every 6 months or so, can safely remove dead cells up to the upper part of the dermis, encouraging new cell growth and improving the appearance of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, scarring and other blemishes. Deep peels generally require local anaesthetic and lead to redness for some months after the treatment, but can deliver strong anti-ageing results.
Laser resurfacing, or ‘lasabrasion’, works according to similar principles as chemical peels and dermabrasion, that is, encouraging cellular regeneration by targeting the upper layers of skin. Compared to peels and dermabrasion, however, laser resurfacing can provide a more targeted form of treatment, with concentrated beams of light directed accurately at areas of skin affected by blemishes. The treatment is not always suitable for darker skin tones, however, or for patients with acne.
All of the treatments mentioned can provide an effective means of treating blemishes, visibly improving the appearance of your skin. For deeper treatments, however, it is important to consult a medical professional before undergoing any procedure. And for all the treatments mentioned, it is very important to avoid exposure to direct sunlight and apply a high factor SPF cream in the weeks following the procedure, since the new skin cells are easily damaged by UV.