How to Fight Acne Scars
Acne begins when bacteria irritate the skin, causing hair follicles to plug up. When these follicles become clogged, foreign substances can become trapped under the skin. The body’s natural reaction to this is to swell or inflame to get rid of this material. While mild acne will typically leave little, if any scarring, severe acne can leave significant scarring long after the actual acne clears up.
Consult with your dermatologist to find the best solution to prevent or reduce the severity of acne. These solutions can include basic over-the counter benzoyl peroxide treatments for mild acne or prescription medications for moderate or severe acne. The best way to control acne scars is to control acne outbreaks. Severe, untreated, acne will cause some scarring, regardless of other steps taken.
Avoid popping or squeezing a pimple to get rid of it. Though this is quite tempting for many people, popping a pimple can increase the incidence of scarring or skin pits. Popping a pimple can also force the debris and bacteria your body, which was attempting to rid itself of with the pimple, further back down into the skin. This can lead to greater inflammation in the future and more potential for scarring.
Keep your skin and hair as clean as possible. Wash your skin each morning, evening and after exercise with a mild soap and nonabrasive sponge or wash cloth. Wash your hair often, at least once per day and after exercise if you have more oily hair.
Avoid abrasives or other rough items rubbing against your skin. Avoid rough scrub pads or other abrasive items when cleaning the skin. Attempt to minimize excessive rubbing from other items like sports equipment, bags or backpacks, gloves and “itchy” fabrics.
Refrain from tanning and excessive sun exposure. Wear sun block when venturing outdoors for any extensive period of time. Sun and tanning damage can exacerbate acne and make it harder for your skin to heal scars after an outbreak.
Visit your dermatologist for options on scar mitigation and removal after acne is under control. While no single treatment is best for all types of scarring, your dermatologist can lay out your options and make recommendations for scar treatment. Modern treatments include micro-dermabrasion and laser treatments for mild scarring and surgery options for more severe scarring.
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