Having acne scars can be a person’s worse nightmare—as they are often times more dreadful than acne itself.
Luckily, acne generally doesn’t last long, but the scars it leaves are persistent and may linger for a while, sometimes even forever, if you don’t treat them immediately and properly. However, to successfully avoid acne scars, you must first understand what causes them.
The Story Behind Acne Scars
Acne is a simply a skin condition that causes lesions of the skin. When the lesions reach past the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin, scars eventually form. This is why shallow cuts or injuries you acquire heal faster and leave no visible traces.
Contrary, when the cut or lesion reaches the second layer of the skin called dermis, your chances of developing a scar increases.
In the case of acne, inflamed lesions or acne scars occur when the skin pore is blocked with excess oil and dead skin. When bacteria and oil get trapped on your acne, dead skin and dirt, puss may form leading to cystic acne.
As the inflamed acne heals, the body produces collagen, a protein that supports the skin during the healing process. If your body produces too much collagen, scars will be visible and raised, producing uneven texture against the surrounding skin.
This type of scar is called “hypertrophic scars.” On the other hand, if your body produces collagen less than what is necessary, the opposite of hypertrophic scar will be observed—your scar will form a pit on your skin instead.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that your acne scars depends on your body’s collagen production. Based on your unique genetics, you may be lucky to have clear, unblemished skin after your acne heals.
Acne Scar Treatment Dos and Don’ts
What should you do or not do when you have acne to prevent scarring?
#1: Don’t Pop Them
When experiencing acne, it is best that you avoid picking and squeezing them. Why? It’s because doing so will further damage your skin and increase your chances of getting acne scars.
Yes, acne is a pain to deal with and the urge to scratch and pop your pimples intensifies. However, the better way to deal with your acne breakouts is to leave them alone.
#2: Don’t Irritate It
You don’t want to irritate your acne and cause aggravation to your skin. It’s a good idea to refrain from putting pressure into it (e.g., having mobile devices, instruments, or you’re your hands pressed against it) and using strong skin products, that may cause skin sensitivity.
You should also prevent over-washing and scrubbing to minimize the production of oil and avoid extended exposure to the sun, specifically between 10 AM and 4 PM.
#3: Be Healthy
Sometimes, the best health solutions are the most natural ones. To help prevent acne—and acne scarring, maintaining healthy eating habits is key.
Go for foods rich in fiber, Vitamin A and E, and look away from food high in sugar and fats. That means no chocolate and junk food for snacks.
Regular exercise, which promotes blood circulation that allows adequate supply of oxygen and minerals on your skin, is also beneficial.
#4 Follow a Daily Skin Care Regimen
To prevent acne and reduce chances of scarring you should follow a daily skin care regimen. Some of the basics include removing your makeup on a daily basis, using a sensitive or acne-prone cleanser to wash your face; an exfoliant to kill of dead skin cells and a moisturizer everyday can help prevent pimples from cropping up and reduce acne scarring.
#5: Consult an Expert
When you have exhausted all of your acne treatment options (natural and drugstore products) consult an expert. Learning more about acne—its roots, symptoms, effects, and other little things—can certainly help you treat your acne better. When all else fails and nothing seems to work and you are having serious acne problems, go out there and consult an expert.