After an acne resolves, there will be a normal remnant of the skin’s inflammatory process which known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH is not a scar. This aftermath color change is usually pink, red, brown or black spots where their acne once was. PIH can fade unassisted, usually within six to 12 months.
Unfortunately, the darker the PIH, the longer it may take to resolve. It may also require some intervention such as medication laser or chemical peeling in order to hasten the process. Sun protection is crucial as ultraviolet light will darken the skin and delay the process of bleaching treatments.
For some patient, acne leaves behind some scars that are indented, which are not going to go away on their own, and most likely need professional treatment. All acne scars are not alike. A forceful inflammatory response can have two results. The most common outcome is loss of tissue as collagen is destroyed. Skin overlying the collapse of the area has no support and a soft saucer-shaped depression or jagged ice pick scar is formed. Less frequently, excessive scar tissue (keloid) is formed as fibroblasts (the dermal cells which produce collagen) are triggered.
Aging can affect scar visibility. After the age of 40, 1% of the dermal collagen is lost annually. With this additional loss of collagen combined with reduced skin tone, scars can become far more noticeable.