Have years of acne outbreaks left you with small holes in your skin? These are known as pockmarks, and they can be caused by infections or illnesses such as chickenpox.

Pockmarks on the face may lower your self-esteem, but continue to congratulate yourself anyway. If you wish to lessen the look of pockmarks, there are numerous treatment methods available. Continue reading for more information.

What Is the Meaning of Pockmarks on the Face?
Pockmarks can form when the underlying, deeper layers of the skin underneath the epidermis are disturbed. These scars are sunken or concave in appearance and resemble dents or holes in the skin. They are also known as acne scars or pick marks.

Pockmarks are apparent because they stand out from the rest of the skin and have an uneven texture. When the skin’s deeper, injured layers begin to heal, the cells make more collagen, which may result in scar formation. This scar tissue differs from the other tissues on your skin.

What Are the Causes of Pockmarks on the Face?
1. Acne
Acne is a common cause of pockmarks. Acne can affect men and women of all ages beginning in their adolescent years and continuing into puberty. Acne is caused by excessive sebum production, which results in blocked pores and pimples.

Acne that is both chronic and acute, as well as the practise of popping pimples, can all result in pockmarks [1]. Even treating acne with pharmaceutical or topical formulations might result in pockmarks after the acne has cleared up.

2. Infections caused by bacteria
Infections caused by bacteria [2], such as streptococcus or staphylococcus, can also produce pimples. They can produce boils if they invade a hair follicle.

3. Infectious Diseases
Affections such as chickenpox and smallpox have been identified as major causes of pockmarks. Smallpox [3] causes distinctive oval-shaped pockmarks, although the illness has been nearly wiped from the world.

How Can Pockmarks Be Removed?
While no therapy can guarantee total removal of pockmarks, there are a few therapeutic alternatives available. All of them need expert counsel, and treatments should be chosen depending on your skin type and tolerance levels. Each is described in detail below:

1. Creams for Treatment
These over-the-counter lotions aim to reduce the visibility of scars and may be used without a prescription. They must be taken on a regular basis and take significantly longer to produce benefits than other therapy choices. They can also induce negative effects such as inflamed skin and dermatitis.

To cure pockmarks, most patients start with over-the-counter medications. They moisturise the skin and may help to relieve irritation. However, because the chemicals included may produce adverse effects, it is best to take it on a long-term basis with the guidance of a dermatologist.

2. Massage of the Face

A facial massage may not be enough to eliminate scars on its own. However, it can be used in conjunction with other scar reduction procedures. It stimulates blood circulation, eliminates toxins, and decreases inflammation, resulting in a smoother skin texture.

There is no data to support a correlation between massage and pockmark reduction. A frequent face massage, on the other hand, will deliver the standard massage advantages, such as reduced inflammation and stress levels.

You may choose between a manual massage and a massage wand. Both strategies are advantageous and have no negative consequences.

3. Chemical Peeling Treatments

This is a common treatment option for reducing the look of facial pockmarks. The skin is coated with an acid or an enzyme during a chemical peel treatment. The acids employed in a chemical peel are powerful exfoliators.

Chemical peels contain glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid [TCA], and pyruvic acid. Chemical peels remove damaged cells by penetrating the epidermis and middle layers of the skin, resulting in the formation of new cells [5].

Pockmarks may be less evident when fresh skin is created. It also contributes to a more even skin tone and smoother skin texture.

4. Dermabrasion
This method of eradicating pockmarks is a chemical-free alternative that produces results comparable to chemical peels. To remove the top layers of skin, the expert will use a sanding machine or a thin wire brush that is spun over the skin.

Dermabrasion [6] is often performed following the administration of local or general anaesthetic. The doctor determines this based on the size of the region that requires treatment. Nothing is used following the procedure because the skin heals on its own, resulting in more equal skin tone.

However, removing the epidermis and the layer immediately underneath it may result in infections, increased pores, new scars, and even uneven skin colour.

5th.
Microdermabrasion [7], unlike dermabrasion, removes the top layers of the skin to decrease the appearance of pockmarks. To remove the top layers, tiny crystals of aluminium oxide or bicarbonate are utilised, and this therapy is most successful for smaller scars.

It normally takes multiple sittings and is best performed by a dermatologist, while DIY kits are available. Microdermabrasion, unlike other procedures, has no adverse effects but requires repeated sessions for optimal results.

6. Laser Ablative Resurfacing

Ablative laser resurfacing [8], one of the most invasive treatments for pockmarks, employs a laser beam to remove multiple layers of skin. It eliminates the skin’s thinner layers from pockmarks. The effects are expected to persist for years, and you will not require any extra treatments for pockmarks.

Ablative laser surfacing usually takes a week or two to recover from. It also carries dangers such as redness, edoema, acne, and a change in skin tone. It is also known to aggravate scars and, in rare situations, lead to infections.

7. Laser Resurfacing That Isn’t Ablative
Non-ablative laser resurfacing [9] helps to reduce pockmarks by encouraging collagen formation in the skin. It takes longer to see effects and does not persist as long as ablative laser resurfacing. It also requires less time for healing and rehabilitation.

This laser therapy may also cause adverse effects such as black patches if you have dark skin, redness, blisters, and even new scars.

Dermal Fillers (8)
Pockmarks can be treated using dermal fillers [10]. A filler, such as hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite, will be injected into the pockmark at this point. These injections will elevate the pockmarks and offer you an even skin texture.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are not a long-term answer. The results of dermal fillers might be seen from a few months to a year. To fill the pockmarks and decrease their appearance, some dermal fillers contain fat-based substances or collagen.

Polymethyl methacrylate [PMMA] is found in a treatment called Bellafill, which is exclusively authorised by the USFDA to treat acne scars. It is made of collagen and comes in the form of very minute microspheres. The effects of Bellafill have been shown to last up to five years.

According to the American Association of Dermatologists, the effects of dermal fillers can last anywhere from six months to several years [11].

Dermal fillers can also create negative effects like as allergic reactions.

9. Laser Fractionation
This treatment is distinct from others. A laser beam is directed on the pockmarks and scar tissue during fractional laser treatment [12]. The laser removes the top layer of skin and stimulates the creation of new skin cells. The pockmarks become less noticeable as the cells regenerate.

Excision by Punch
Punch excision [13] is painless and only needs to be done once. The dermatologist employs a punch, which is larger than the scars. It totally eliminates the pockmark, however it leaves a scar on the surface of your skin that is less noticeable than the pockmark.

Microneedling 11

Microneedling [14] is a therapy that involves making pinpricks on the pockmarks with small needles. It works on the idea that when the needle wounds heal, your skin produces more collagen to mend the punctures, causing the pockmarks to fill in.

Needling and collagen induction treatment are other terms for microneedling. For maximum outcomes, it requires follow-up treatments every two to six weeks. Substantial improvements can be evident between 9-12 months of starting the therapy.

Microneedling can cause infections, edoema, and bruising.

Home Treatments

You may use moisturising and essential oils to help minimise the look of pockmarks if you want to supplement any of the professional treatments with some home remedies to get rid of pockmarks.

Some oils are moisturising and may aid in the reduction of pockmarks and scars. Some of them have wound healing capabilities, while others have antioxidants that reduce scar formation.
Natural oils and butters work best when used as moisturisers on clean skin.
If you have oily or sensitive skin, you should conduct a patch test to avoid acne and scarring.
Olive, hempseed, jojoba, and rosehip seed oil are some of the oils and butters that may be used to lessen the appearance of pockmarks.

Do Pockmarks Disappear Over Time?
Deep pockmarks may not disappear on their own over time and may require treatment to eliminate or lessen their appearance. Even without therapy, acne scars and pits can fade with time. Scars that are discoloured may disappear on their own over time.

Do Pockmarks Get Worse As You Get Older?
Unfortunately, as you age, your skin loses suppleness and collagen synthesis decreases. With ageing, pockmarks become more visible due to loose skin.

Pockmarks are they permanent?
Pockmarks do not disappear on their own. They require therapy to reduce their appearance on the skin or to be totally eradicated. Pockmarks are permanent if not treated with any of the procedures indicated above.