Women & Acne Scars
Having to deal with acne at any age can be disheartening, but as an adult woman, it can be especially troubling. Your skin isn't as resistant to the threat of scars as you become an adult, so if you break out often, it's likely you'll end up with acne scars. Scars cause many people anxiety and frustration because of their permanence. However, on the road to healing your skin, you need to come to an understanding about why you break out and what you can do as a woman to stop it and prevent future scarring.
Acne occurs when bacteria, oil and dead skin cells accumulate on the skin and clog pores. If you pick at the resulting blemishes, they can form scars, which might be as mild as red marks or as severe as deep impressions in the skin.
Several different types of acne can cause scarring. These are all severe and can leave your face looking pitted and pockmarked. Pustules, which are filled with fluid, can pop; large pustules may leave a scar. Nodules are hard and don't have a head, which means the material is deeply embedded in the skin. In order to get rid of this kind of acne, you'll likely need to have it removed by a dermatologist, though there's no guarantee it still won't scar. Cysts are the most severe type of acne and almost always lead to scarring.
Acne in Women
Acne can be especially disfiguring for women, who often feel pressured to maintain a smooth complexion. It's bad enough to have acne blemishes, but having scars, which can be permanent, can be a blow to self-esteem and physical appearance. Hormonal changes and fluctuations can cause acne to flare up in women, especially the week prior to and during the menstrual cycle.
For women, the treatments for acne and acne scarring are very similar to those used by men. Topical creams with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur and other ingredients can help clear up blemishes. Difficult-to-treat acne or very severe acne can be treated with prescription drugs from a dermatologist, such as Retin-A or Accutane. Birth control pills can also sometimes clear up acne. That being said, treating acne scars depends on the severity of the blemishes. Mild scarring can be treated with at-home microdermabrasion and chemical peels that you buy at the supermarket or beauty store, though you should always seek the advice of a dermatologist before trying these products. Moderate scarring can benefit from laser resurfacing and deeper-penetrating chemical peels, which can be performed in your dermatologist's office. However, severe scarring will need dermabrasion, injections of collagen or surgical removal of the scar before you see a difference. These can usually be performed as outpatient procedures.
In some cases, it's just easier to cover up acne scars. If you have large pits and dips in your skin, makeup won't really change anything, but if you just have some hyperpigmentation, a full-coverage makeup should reduce the appearance of redness and even out your skin tone. That being said, make sure the makeup you use won't clog your pores and is oil-free to prevent future blemishes from forming.
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