Blemishes on Face: What Are They and How To Get Rid of Them
The quest for perfect skin never ends! Whether you are in the prime of your life at 25 or are starting to get older at 42, odds are you have one or two blemishes at the very least.
Unfortunately, skin blemishes can mess up your makeup routine, cause your face to look textured, or cause insecurity. On the bright side, blemishes on the face are more than treatable with the right skincare routine and healthy products.
Let’s break down what blemishes on the face are and how to get rid of them in detail.
What Are Skin Blemishes on the Face?
Skin blemishes are some of the most common skin issues and disorders you might face throughout your life. In a nutshell, a skin blemish is any surface-level imperfection that can cause your skin to look discolored, splotchy, or otherwise not smooth.
No one has perfect skin, of course. But skin blemishes are noticeable flaws compared to the other slight differences across your skin’s tone and texture. Some of the most common skin blemishes include acne, pimples and pustules, aging spots, and so on.
Skin blemishes can crop up because of many things, including your genetics, exposure to the sun, and how much oil or sebum your skin naturally produces. No matter what, you can usually take care of skin blemishes on your face using a combination of healthy skincare ingredients and behavioral changes.
Types of Skin Blemishes
While almost everyone sees skin blemishes sooner or later, not everyone experiences the exact same facial skin blemishes. Here are some of the most common skin blemish types you might encounter, as well as their sources.
Sunspots, also known as blemishes from sun exposure, directly result from exposing your skin to too much sunlight in a shorter time frame. Our skin needs a certain amount of natural sunlight each day to produce vitamin D, a crucial mineral for overall health.
However, too much sun can expose your skin cells to UV or ultraviolet radiation. While necessary for vitamin D production, ultraviolet radiation can also break down skin cells and cause skin mutations. That’s one of the big reasons why dermatologists recommend folks with pale skin use sunscreen. Too much sun can sometimes lead to the development of skin cancer.
Sunspots are commonly found on the face, hands, and neck, usually exposed to the sun all year round. Sunspots are also more commonly found after the age of 40, although younger folks may also see them from time to time.
Sunspots are more common when you are older since your skin produces less collagen and elastin and can increase UV radiation damage. Facial skin routines and certain protective skincare products may help to minimize the damage caused by skin sun spots or prevent them from cropping up in the first place.
Then there are dark blemishes, characterized by their dark and patchy appearance. While they rarely appear outright brown or black, dark blemishes (also called melasma) are splotchy areas that appear close to the face, usually on the cheekbones and forehead.
Dark blemishes can worsen when exposed to sunlight or when you experience hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or menopause. These dark blemishes are typically caused by your skin producing different levels of certain pigments, which can make your skin appear a little darker or redder in certain areas than normal.
Alternatively, your skin’s melanocytes (cells that produce melanin) could become irritated from one cause or another, like sun exposure or pregnancy. They then darken the patches of skin they are responsible for over time.
In many cases, melasma and other dark skin blemishes should fade away or reduce with time.
Red blemishes, such as acne or general skin irritation, are also sometimes called dermatitis. Dermatitis is even more commonly caused due to allergic reactions, especially after the skin comes into physical contact with certain oils or bacteria.
However, you may experience red blemishes and dermatitis after you ingest various foods like shrimp, peanuts, strawberries, and so on. Certain cosmetics or makeup products may cause dermatitis to spread over your facial skin; that's why doing a dab test for any new makeup or skincare product is always ideal.
Other individuals may experience mild dermatitis or skin redness when their skin comes into contact with types of metal, such as silver or gold. Regardless, dermatitis is usually quite mild and doesn’t progress past a mild red bumpiness or splotches across the skin.
However, persistent dermatitis may indicate a more chronic skin condition. In that case, you may be wise to speak to a dermatologist about your facial skin’s health and long-term treatments.
Some individuals might experience Pityriasis Versicolor, a unique type of skin blemish characterized by white spots. This skin blemish type is caused due to fungal infections, which can spread throughout the skin. In most cases, Pityriasis Versicolor doesn’t start on the face but may eventually spread to facial skin if left unchecked or untreated.
Pityriasis Versicolor can affect anyone, and it needs to be carefully treated using antifungal medications or creams depending on the advice of your dermatologist.
In most cases, Pityriasis Versicolor is easily treatable after a couple of weeks. If the infection has spread across a large patch of skin, you might need to take an oral antifungal cream like fluconazole.
While diabetes comes with several severe symptoms, it may also cause skin rashes. Specifically, it may lead to acanthosis nigricans, the scientific name for the dark blemishes that may appear on your face, neck, skin folds, and underarms.
This type of facial blemish is very rare compared to the others, and it’s always connected to the above condition. If you think that your rashes or dark spots are caused due to diabetes, contact your healthcare provider right away. Your spots or skin blemishes might only clear up if your diabetes is brought under control.
Getting lemon juice on your skin doesn’t just try it out in every case. In some cases, you might experience phytophotodermatitis: skin lesions caused by lemon juice or other acidic liquids!
In these instances, your skin just overreacts to the acidic quality of lemon juice or similar liquids. It causes a dark blemish on the skin to appear, particularly on sensitive skin like that of your hands or face.
You shouldn’t be spraying lemon juice straight on your face in any event, even if you want to exfoliate the skin or eliminate acne. Instead, it’s a better idea to use dedicated anti-acne or skin drying products instead of pure lemon juice.
However, if you accidentally get some lemon juice on your face, rest assured that the dark spots will clear up after a couple of days.
Almost everyone gets acne blemishes, especially in their teenage years and their bodies change into their adult forms. Skin pores can be clogged by dirt, dead skin cells, or even sebum: a naturally produced oil designed to moisturize your skin.
Folks with overly oily skin may see acne more frequently. Their skin makes too much sebum, which can clog your pores with dead skin cells accidentally.
Acne blemishes can be characterized by small bumps, pus-filled pimples, and pustules, or even cysts.
Last but not least, you may also have vitiligo: a unique disease that may lead to white patches on your skin, including facial skin and the skin of your hands, feet, elbows, and other places.
Vitiligo, due to its nature, is not easily removable.
Certain skin creams might be able to even out your skin tone, but your dermatologist will likely prescribe alternative measures or simply recommend that you wear additional sunscreen to prevent your paler skin patches from being harmed by sun exposure.
How To Get Rid of Skin Blemishes Step-by-Step
As you can see, skin blemishes come in a wide range of types, colors, and severity levels. If you have regular skin blemishes like acne pimples, red splotches, or even dark aging spots or sun spots, you can get rid of those blemishes using a basic step-by-step routine.
Clean the Skin
For starters, any good blemish removal routine involves cleaning your skin of dead skin cells and dirt. It won’t do you any good to rub dirt and dead skin cells into your pores while applying other topical treatments.
To do this, use a high-quality cleanser after taking a shower or washing your face with water. High-quality cleansers can scrape away dirt and debris and dig into the skin’s pores to remove most of what would be left behind by a basic wash.
At this point, you may also wish to exfoliate your skin. You should only exfoliate your skin using a chemical or physical exfoliator a few times per week, not every day. Exfoliating every day could cause your skin to become red and inflamed.
Exfoliating regularly is healthy, though. It prevents dead skin cells from building up over time, massages the skin on your face, and restores a radiant, healthy glow that everyone will notice.
Use a Blemish Cream or Topical Agent
Next, you can use a blemish cream or topical agent, depending on the nature of your skin condition. For instance, if you have an acne outbreak, using an oil remover or acne treatment may help reduce irritation. Such treatments will dry out your skin and remove excess oil while reducing skin inflammation across the board.
Hope Health’s Treat spot treatment contains powerful salicylic acid and witch hazel for anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits.
Certain natural supplements may be of great assistance if your skin suffers from irritation caused by blemishes or breakouts. For example, Hope Health’s Immune + Organic Supplements are packed with thoughtfully chosen 100 percent organic ingredients like vitamin C, moringa, and Elderberry. Each of these ingredients is known for its soothing properties, so they may help control skin irritation.
Nourish the Skin
In addition, it may be wise to use a face serum. Face serums are packed full of the ingredients your skin cells need to produce extra collagen and elastin and remain healthy and strong over the long term, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and more.
Face serums should only be used after cleansing the skin and using any other topical agent. If you have skin blemishes, your skin cells need to absorb their targeted treatments more than the generalized vitamin treatments present in face serums.
You should also apply face serums before you use a moisturizer or soothing cream. The more open your pores are to the ingredients in face serum, the better they will be able to absorb those vital nutrients.
Moisturize the Skin
Next, it’s vital that you moisturize your skin to restore any water that may have been lost during the day and the rest of your routine. Most cleansers and topical agents are a little bit dehydrating. Failing to moisturize your skin after applying them could cause your skin to produce excess sebum or lead to more inflammation later on.
Great moisturizers will include ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and so on to restore the skin barrier and lock in moisture before it escapes.
Receive Dermatological Treatment
Lastly, you may need to request professional assistance from a dermatologist if you have a long-lasting skin condition like eczema or vitiligo, both of which are not usually able to be treated purely from basic skin creams.
Your dermatologist might recommend that you maintain a good skincare routine regardless. Taking care of your skin is a lifelong journey, but it pays dividends over the years. If you get started with an excellent skincare routine while you are young, you'll be more likely to enjoy radiant, supple, great-looking skin even as you get older.
Even better, you'll be less likely to see some of the side effects of aging, like deep wrinkles or aging spots.
Can You Get Rid of Face Blemishes Forever?
No. While it’s definitely possible to get rid of facial blemishes as they crop up, you shouldn't expect to eliminate facial blemishes from your skin permanently at any point. In fact, face blemishes will become more common as you get older, no matter the strength or quality of your facial skincare routine.
The fact of the matter is that our facial skin becomes a little more vulnerable and weak over time. Our skin cells produce less collagen and elastin as they get older, meaning they are less able to retain their shape and elasticity.
Furthermore, our skin becomes more vulnerable to UV and other damage. These factors combined mean that aging spots and other blemishes are simply more likely to occur.
You can still take care of your skin and minimize the frequency or severity of any blemishes on your skin with a great routine and the right cruelty-free products, though!
At the end of the day, skin blemishes are a fact of life and something we all have to live with. No matter what form your skin blemishes take, rest assured you can almost always treat your facial skin blemishes with the right combination of products and skincare routines.
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With Hope Health, you never need to worry about putting artificial chemicals or synthetic additives into your body – each supplement we offer is only full of good stuff.
Check out our supplement list today, or browse the rest of our site for additional skincare guides and topical advice!
Types of Acne Blemishes | NYU Langone Health
Tinea Versicolor - StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf
Vitiligo | American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD)