What Are Pockmarks
Usually caused by prolonged and severe acne problems, pockmarks are scarrings of the skin that do not disappear on their own. They can also be sometimes caused by skin infections or diseases like chickenpox.
Also known as acne scars and pick marks, pockmarks are characterised by deep concave blemishes that look like craters on or uneven indentations in the skin. They can occur when the tissues in the skin’s deeper layers are damaged. During the healing process, the skin may produce extra collagen that forms just like any scar, resulting in appearances that do not blend or match with the other areas.
Pockmarks can be very visible and cause psychological distress, self-consciousness and anxiety to the sufferer.
Causes Of Pockmarks
Acne is a common cause for the crater-like appearance. When severe acne is allowed to ravage the skin over a prolonged period of time without adequate forms of control or treatment, together with poor management and habits like squeezing pimples, it can cause particularly serious scarring of the face.
Diseases that cause symptoms on the skin’s surface like measles, shingles, chickenpox can be the reason why pockmarks develop. Diseases like these cause itchy boils and blisters that appear everywhere on the body. In addition to some of these blisters forming natural scars, the scratching can damage the scabs and cause further scarring.
Bacteria such as the staphylococcus or streptococcus strains found on the skin can cause inflammation or infections in pores and wounds that leave pockmarks in their wake. Acne can be the result of bacterial infections too when a combination of sebum, perspiration, dead skin cells along with a proliferation of bacteria cause pores to be inflamed, resulting in the painful and sometimes pus-filled pimples that urge you to squeeze them.
There are various treatments out in the market to deal with pockmarks, some more effective and some not so much, although it is dependent on how each individual responds to the treatment types. Some skin types and other pre-existing conditions may render certain treatments ineffective, so you should consult your doctor for the best one for you.
A chemical peel involves applying a layer of acid or enzymes to your face to remove the skin’s outer layers and encourage skin cells to regenerate. During the treatment, the skin may turn red, become sensitive and shed. You may need to do several regular peels for noticeable results.
Dermabrasion is similar to chemical peels but does not involve acids or enzymes. Instead, a rotating brush made up of wires is run across the affected areas of the face to exfoliate the topmost layers of the skin. The skin is allowed to heal naturally after the treatment. The process is performed under anaesthesia, so those who may experience complications from anaesthesia should avoid this. Dermabrasion can help to even out the surface of the skin and reduce the appearance of pockmarks.
Like dermabrasion and chemical peels, the aim of microdermabrasion is to exfoliate the top layers of the skin to even out the surface. But unlike dermabrasion, this treatment uses small abrasive materials like tiny bicarbonate or aluminium oxide crystals instead of a wire brush. This treatment is best used for dealing with smaller surfaces and may require a few treatments.
Dermal filling involves injecting products under the pockmarks to raise them up to the same level as the rest of the surface area. The effect is temporary but can usually last for a year, although there are some that last more a few years.
Fractional lasers use strong light directed at the pockmarks to stimulate cell regeneration. The energy from the light burns the skin’s outer layers of and stimulates healing. After a healing period, pockmarks can become less noticeable. However, some side effects may occur from fractional lasers.
Ablative Laser Resurfacing
If you do not like things going under your skin, skip this. Ablative laser resurfacing is an invasive laser treatment that uses lasers to strip away the top layers of the skin. The procedure will require a few weeks of medical attention and recovery, However, the results can last for years. Some treatment risks include skin pigmentation, redness and swelling, and in some cases, cause acne or scarring to worsen.
Microneedling is a therapy that induces collagen production by using small needles to puncture the area of the skin where the pockmark is. As these intentionally-caused micro-injuries heal over, more collagen is produced over the sites to fill the pockmarks. Treatment may need to be repeated every few weeks and noticeable results usually appear within a year.
Remedies You Can Try At Home
Moisturise With Natural Oils
Natural oils like cocoa butter, shea butter, jojoba oil, hempseed oil and rosehip oil often possess antioxidative properties and other compounds that may help with reducing the visibility of scarring.
Massage Your Face
Not a remedy in itself, but adds useful support to treatment methods. By stimulating the skin, you can improve the blood circulation under the skin and remove toxins to help your treatments to be more effective.
Add Lavender Essential Oil
Research has shown that lavender essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help with reducing scars in some people.