Acne Pigment Spots
Causes of Pigment Spots
Pigment (melanin), and pigment spots, are produced in the skin (in melanocyte cells) as a natural result of skin injury. The injury could be a cut or a burn or an infection, such as acne. Pigment is brown to dark brown in color. This should not be confused with temporary red marks that are produced by the infection and the healing process. Pigment can also be caused, or exaggerated by, hormones within the skin. Dark skin is especially prone to pigment spots resulting from inflammation. Increased hormonal production during pregnancy may also cause pigment from infections to be darker and last longer. Post-inflammatory pigmentation will tend to darken and become more apparent when exposed to the sun. Therefore, a crucial part of managing this condition is use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen along with proper sun protection.
Acne, including cystic acne and acne vulgaris, is an injury (infection) that can result in pigment spots. Depending upon the severity of the injury, the spot may remain visible four to ten weeks. If the acne infection is slow to heal (as a result of chemical imbalances in the skin) the pigment marks can be darker and may last eight to twelve weeks.
People with moderate acne to severe acne become systemically (bodily) deficient in chemicals needed to prevent acne and prevent pigment spots. Zinc, as discussed in other sections, can block many of the conditions that promote acne. Zinc also acts to inhibit the production of pigment. Since this chemical is lacking in the skin of people with moderate acne to severe acne, hyperpigmentation can become a secondary problem.
Preventing Pigment Spots
Pigment spots are a direct result of acne infections and, therefore, reducing or eliminating acne will reduce or eliminate the problems with pigment spots. Rather than attempting to treat or lighten the pigment, the problem is best resolved by controlling or eliminating the cause, which is adult acne, acne vulgaris cystic acne, etc. and allowing the pigment spots to resolve themselves naturally. Skin lightening products that contain hydroquinone can be extremely harmful to the skin and should not be used longer than 6 months. BiON does not recommend, nor do we use, hydroquinone.
BiON acne products can effectively control or eliminate acne. The use of Green Tea/Clay Poultice will act with the other acne products to prevent acne and act to reduce or prevent hyperpigmentation. This product is rich in zinc (contained within the mineral rich clay) to inhibit acne and pigment production.
The use of benzoyl peroxide products generates free radicals in the skin and interferes with and slows the healing process. The red and brown marks that are a part of the acne healing process may last weeks longer when benzoyl peroxide is a regular part of the daily regimen. Benzoyl peroxide promotes hyper pigmentation and people with medium to dark skin who use benzoyl peroxide on a regular basis may also experience an increase in the hyper pigmentation caused by acne infections. (See the Acne Tips page for more information on benzoyl peroxide.) (BiON products contain NO benzoyl peroxide.)
People with light skin usually develop red to purple marks at the sites of infections and these marks can last eight to ten weeks. The spots are part of the normal healing process and specifically caused by the volume of free radicals produced in the skin’s repair. The use of BiON’s Green Tea/Clay Poultice will act with the other acne products to prevent acne and act to speed the healing process and gradually lighten the red spots. This product is rich in zinc and other essential ingredients to promote rapid healing. Dietary protein and a volume of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables also promote the speed of the healing process.
Many types of hyperpigmented spots will never fade however. So they may need additional treatment to reduce their appearance. There are now more natural solutions using ingredients like vitamins A/C/E, (Bio-Replenish A.C.E., Vitamin A + Antioxidant Complex) and glycolic acid, as opposed to laser treatments, deep chemical peels and injections.