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Okay I have read up alot over the past weeks. I realise why some people have more success with fading their marks as apposed to others depends primarily on how deep the hyperpigmentation spans within the layers of skin (melanocyte activities). Hyperpigmentation is basically an increase in the production and deposition of melanin in skin cells triggered by a trauma (such as acne, cuts and other wounds). Depending also on the severity of the trauma the hypeprigmentation may vary. If the trauma goes as deep into the dermis layer of the skin (lower layers) melanin may also be deposited here. This is where things get complicated. When you exfoliate only the upper epidermal layers are gently abraded off and the dermal ones untouched. This may be the reason some people see only a limited amount of fading and then a complete stop of further fading of their marks.

The same applies with skin lighteners, most can only absorb in the epidermal or top dermal layers but not below that. Epidermal melanin can take months to resolve on its own whilst dermal years.

Now the problem is how do we distinguish whether our hyperpigmentation marks are dermal or epidermal. Which is what I do not know. I guess you could visit a derm and ask them to use something known as woodlight lamp. Also apparently a bluish grayish tint can be a sign of dermal pigmentation whilst a more brownish pink colour epidermal. I don't know how true this is.

Red marks as most people sometimes incorrectly state, may not be hyperpigmentation at all but instead inflamation deep within the skin. Sometimes it may be a mixture of both (this is usually seen in paler individuals).

The one other thing. If we look at sundamaged skin (including age, liver spots) we can see that most mechanical abrasion techniques such as microdermabrasion and use of retinoids have greater success on such hyperpigmentation as they appear in the epidermal layers. Now if we look at melasma patients they usually have less success as there hyperpigmentation is hormone triggered so comes from deeper within which may be a micture of epidermal and dermal pigmentation.

What I would LIKE to know is whether trauma caused by acne causes hyperpigmentation to generally occur in the epidermal or dermal layers of the skin. I hope the latter is not the case.

Sometime i stand in the mirror trying to work out what it could be. I always think the lighter marks if been there for a long time may be dermal as they are deep underneath whilst darker ones may be epidermal hence appear more dark initially and eventually peel off. But then sometimes I think the opposite that the lighter ones are epidermal and darker ones dermal.

If anyone has an answer of how to distinguish this more accurately please post it up here.

I thought i'd post this up, as knowledge like this i beleive is key and will help you know what to expect with whatever treatment you take. If you have anything to add or correct please post it up so we can all share the information. Thanks.

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depends on the type of acne. cystic acne takes place deep within the skin, which is why the hyperpigmentation from cysts take longer to heal. smaller pimples are more superficial and do their damage closer to the surface of the skin because they're just clogged pores. cysts on the other hand have lots of fluid and bacteria buildup, much more than a typical pimple which is why the damage is done deeper within the skin.

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