While acne can happen at any age, it is estimated that 80% of the population will suffer from acne between the ages of 11-30. Younger clients’ acne will be associated with hormonal changes, while older clients’ acne could be related to stress, the environment, menstrual cycles, birth control, or oil-based skin care. With that said, for those over 30 years of age, hormone fluctuations could still be the cause of acne. Regardless of age, acne can affect your clients’ confidence. What’s even worse is the hyperpigmentation (also known as “dark spots”) or other discolorations that can be left behind well after the acne has cleared up. With acne so common, your clients will undoubtedly ask you about how to address the condition itself, as well as the aftermath.

What Is Acne Discoloration?

It is quite common that once acne has healed that it leaves the skin with some type of discoloration. The discoloration can be brown, red, or white and is not the same color as the rest of the skin. Most of the time the discoloration will disappear on its own in 3-6 months. However, there are instances where the discoloration becomes permanent. Below, we will break down the various discolorations.

  • Hyperpigmentation: After acne is healed, it may cause hyperpigmentation, which is caused by an overproduction of melanin. Melanin is what gives the skin its pigment. When hyperpigmentation occurs in the epidermis, it can appear as tan, brown, or dark brown. When it occurs in the deeper layers of the skin, it can appear as a blue-gray color and may be permanent.

  • Hypopigmentation: Hypopigmentation is the opposite of hyperpigmentation and presents as light spots. This type of damage occurs in the skin when melanocytes are depleted from the injured area and the skin loses its ability to produce melanin. Since scar tissue is lighter in color,
    this is more visible in darker skin types.

  • Erythema: Erythema is redness caused by permanently dilated vessels near the surface of the skin. This is a common side effect from acne and is much more visible in lighter skin types.

How Can You Help Your Clients With Acne Discoloration?

First things first—before you address the discoloration, you will want to address the acne, especially if it is ongoing. Once the acne is addressed, you can help your clients with the discoloration. Luckily, there are a variety of treatments that can address this common aesthetic concern that we will discuss in further detail below.

  1. Plason’s PlasmaClear: Plason’s PlasmaClear is a non-invasive device that utilizes Plasmaportation, which is based on the concept of atmospheric plasma and is clinically proven to address active acne. PlasmaClear treatments take about 5 minutes and reduces active acne, reduces sebum, improves the skin’s texture and tone, and increases absorption of serums applied immediately following the treatment session.

  2. Chemical peels: Chemical peels use an array of acids at various strengths to help assist with cell turnover that kill acne bacteria and to help reduce the discoloration often left behind from acne. Depending on the depth of the peel, chemical peels have minimal downtime and deliver lasting results to your clients.

  3. Microdermabrasion: Utilizing a diamond tip, microdermabrasion manually exfoliates the outermost layer of the skin. Because the dead skin cells are immediately suctioned away, this treatment can help with improving the appearance with the hyperpigmentation caused by acne. Microdermabrasion also helps with congested pores and improves skin texture.

  4. Hydrafacial: Healthy skin starts with clean skin. A Hydrafacial is a non-invasive treatment that acts as the ultimate multitasking treatment that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration, and antioxidant protection all while removing dead skin cells and debris. Hydrafacials take about a half an hour and yield immediate, visible results. This treatment is safe for all skin types, all ages, is gentle on the skin, and requires zero downtime.

  5. Fraxel: Fraxel is one of the most popular non-invasive treatments to address texture, tone, pore size, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. The treatment utilizes two different wavelengths of light that deliver microscopic columns deep into the skin while leaving the surrounding tissue intact. Fraxel resurfaces the skin by stimulating the growth of new skin cells and remodeling collagen.

  6. Laser Treatments: There are a variety of laser treatments that help remove the top layer of the skin and help to lighten hyperpigmentation around the acne wound. Certain lasers can also help diminish the dilated facial veins associated with erythema. An added benefit of lasers is that the heat from the laser initiates collagen on a deeper level leaving the skin with an overall glow.