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Scar or dark mark? Know the difference

Scar or dark mark? Know the difference

  • Mild to moderate pimples can leave dark marks which can last a long time. 
  • Moderate to severe pimples damage the skin’s inner layers, resulting in a deep scar that’s visible on the surface of your skin. 
  • Picking pimples can cause deep pimple scars. 

When a pimple rears its ugly head (white, black, or otherwise), the ordeal isn’t necessarily over when the pain stops. Sometimes, the bigger the pimple, the longer the scars last on your face. But that spot on your face, is that a scar or a dark mark caused by hyperpigmentation? 

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Marks (Dark Marks) 

It’s a common point of confusion for everyone with pimples. Sometimes, what we think are deep pimple scars are really superficial dark marks which heal over time. 

Those light or dark brown marks on your skin? They’re Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) marks left by mild to moderate pimple breakouts. PIH can result in epidermal melanin which will appear as your body heals and eventually fade with time. They’re not scars at all. So you’re in luck if these are the dark marks you see on your skin. You can take steps to speed up the healing and get back to clear, even-toned skin. 

However, dark marks can last for quite a while if caused by inflammatory pimples (cystic lesions and nodules). This is because your skin treats inflammatory pimples like an infection, sending immune signals to the affected area. Thus, PIH can result in dermal melanin when deposited inside the deeper layers of skin and it can take more than just one monthly epidermal cell-renewal process for these dark marks to disappear outside, on your skin’s surface. 

Pimple Scars 

Pimple scars usually run deeper as a result of damage that breaks down the support structure in the skin’s deeper layers— that is, the layer beneath the surface of your skin. 

As it turns out, we should’ve listened to Mom about not popping pimples— it can injure your skin and turn a mild breakout into a permanent scar. Moderate to severe pimples can break down collagen and elastin in the deeper layers of skin. This leaves an indented scar that needs special treatment from a dermatologist. 

Some of the types of permanent pimple scars are: 

Ice Pick Scars 

Deeper than they are wide, with jagged edges, they can sometimes resemble large, scooped-out pores. 

Boxcar Scars 

Broad, rectangular depressions on your skin with steep, defined edges. 

Rolling Scars 

Broad depressions with rounded, sloping edges that reflect the name. 

Well, now you know the difference between scars and marks. So what next? Let the experts from The Pond’s Institute show you how to win your war against pimples so you’ll regain a clear, flawless complexion.