Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acne Scar Prevention

Acne Scar Prevention Acne Scar Prevention Acne Scar Prevention

Overview

If you get acne scars, it could be in your genes, says the American Academy of Dermatology. A history of acne scarring in your family is a big determiner in if you'll get scars, as is severe acne. These factors may increase your chances of getting acne scars, but the AAD notes that anyone can get them. Acne scar prevention begins with early, effective treatment and self-care at home.

Intervention

The most important component to preventing acne scars is stop acne lesions from forming. The AAD has a grading scale for acne: mild, moderate and severe. Mild acne includes papules and pustules (two types of acne lesions, the latter of which is inflammatory in nature), but no deep, tender or hard cysts under the skin, according to a May 2004 article in the "American Family Physician." If your acne is mild, you may be able to use nonprescription drugstore acne treatments that contain active ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, says the Mayo Clinic. But if your complexion doesn't improve in two months, you probably need a dermatologist's help.

Severe Acne

You're less likely to get acne scars if your acne isn't severe, says the AAD. But if you wait for acne to get worse before doing anything about it, you're far more likely to experience acne scarring. Severe acne is characterized by tender pus-filled nodules that form deep under the skin, in addition to comedones (whiteheads and blackheads) and other inflamed lesions on your face. The AAD points out that this type of acne is most resistant to topical medications. Moreover, deep cysts and nodules are more likely to rupture and cause deep, extensive scarring. Always see your dermatologist if you have severe acne, advises the AAD.

What You Can Do

Along with prescription or nonprescription acne treatment, the best way to prevent acne scars is to treat your skin gently. It's terribly tempting to pop the pimple and squeeze out the blackhead with your fingers. However, this can also push bacteria deeper into your skin, causing deeper infection, more inflammation and a far greater chance of getting a scar. Instead, the Mayo Clinic advises washing your skin twice a day using a nonabrasive cleanser and only your hands or fingertips. Avoid wearing caps, hats, headbands and tight clothing that trap sweat. Teens and adult women should wear oil-free makeup and other skincare products that won't clog the pores.

Acne Scar Treatments

Acne scars can be treated, but your skin will never go back to the way it was before scarring occurred, warns the AAD. There are a variety of medical procedures used to address acne scars such as laser treatments, chemical peels, dermabrasion and in the case of very light scarring, topical retinoid creams. Keep in mind, however, that treatment for acne scars is typically not a service covered by your health insurance, as it's considered an elective/cosmetic procedure. It's far easier to prevent acne--and far less expensive--than it is to get rid of unsightly scarring.

Preventing Acne

If over-the-counter acne treatments don't work for you, your dermatologist may recommend one of any number of medications, including use of stronger prescription topicals and oral antibiotics, or a combination of both. Laser and light treatments are emerging therapies used to treat acne. Oral contraceptives may be a long-term method of acne treatment for women who are good candidates for this type of therapy. Deep cysts and nodules may need to be treated with a powerful medication called isotretinoin, says the Mayo Clinic.

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