By Daniel, ESK Co-Founder
Any inflammatory skin condition such as acne, can lead to pigmentation spots. Inflammation at the epidermis layer of the skin stimulates the pigment-producing melanocytes to up their melanin or pigment production and to deposit that melanin in the surrounding epidermis.
We have no idea why this excessive pigmentation happens. But it should not be confused with redness (even dull in colour) associated with acne – that is inflammation and will pass as acne subsides and the skin barrier function improves.
But how do I get rid of it?
The first thing to say is that the whole process of depigmentation tends to be difficult and usually takes 6-12 months to get results. Most dermatologists agree there’s no single solution. You often need multiple different treatments together to achieve the best results.
- Sun Protection: The sun doesn’t make acne scarring worse but any brown marks get darker when exposed to UV rays. Try ESK’s broadspectrum sunscreen Zinc Shade, which has a matt formulation that’s good for acne-prone skin.
- Tyrosinase Inhibitors: Right now, the most effective depigmentation agents available are tyrosinase inhibitors. Tyrosinase is an essential enzyme for the formation of melanin by the melanocytes. The most potent tyrosinase inhibitor available is 4-n-butyl-resorcinol. This is the key ingredient in ESK’s Enlighten.
- Vitamin A: Really good evidence exists for Vitamin A for pigmentation. It tends to increase cell turnover, and indirectly inhibit tyrosinase. Our Ultimate A and Ultimate A+ is formulated with the most effective and least irritating form of Vitamin A, Retinal.
- Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid seems to inhibit melanin production as well as preventing inflammation in the skin which limits the inflammatory pathway in overproduction of pigment. Use ESK’s Reverse C Serum (or C Serum Lite for oily skin) to have this powerful antioxidant help with your pigmentation.
- Azelaic acid cream: This cream has the benefit of treating both the pigmentation and the underlying acne. This is a prescription medication and it is not recommended for patients under 17 and it should not be used for more than 6 months.