Acne is a very common problem that affects millions of teens and adults worldwide. It is the kind of problem that people dread as it can really affect one’s self esteem. For most people acne is, thankfully, a temporary problem. Acne scars however, caused by severe breakouts, can be permanent.
While you may not be able to completely prevent scarring, there are steps you can take to at least minimize the chance of scar development.
1. Treat acne as soon as it develops
The most effective way to avoid acne scarring is by preventing acne from developing into a more severe form. Don’t wait to see if acne will go away on its own. Begin treatment right away, and see your doctor if your acne is unresponsive to over-the-counter treatments.
2. Work out if you are prone to scarring
The tendency to scar varies from individual to individual. If you are prone to scarring or have family members with bad acne scars, you should meet with your doctor as early as possible to discuss treatment options. He or she can help you with a treatment plan to help minimize the chances of scarring.
3. Boost healing and reduce inflammation
Being directly exposed to the sun slows down the healing process and can further irritate an existing blemish. Always have on a good broad spectrum oil-free sunblock on if you are going to be out and under the sun. Inflamed acne lesions are much more likely to cause scars than non-inflamed lesions. Avoid doing anything that may further irritate your skin. This may include aggressive scrubbing, harsh skin care products, etc. Leave scabs that form to fully run their course. Scabs are present to heal and rebuild your skin to its best condition. Removing a scab before it should come off can re-infect the area and cause increased inflammation.
4. Keep your hands off your face
Don’t squeeze, pop, or pick at pimples. Squeezing pimples forces debris deeper into the follicle, spreads infection, and worsens a blemish. When you pick at the skin, it can cause acute inflammation and seriously damage the skin’s tissue. Remind yourself that “popping” that pimple can extend the healing time and may cause a permanent scar. Allow the blemish to heal on its own.
5. Severe cases of acne should never be left untreated
See your doctor promptly if you experience large, deep breakouts, or cysts. Cystic acne is the most prevalent in causing scars. Your doctor may decide to inject a corticosteroid into a cyst to decrease the inflammation if it appears bad enough to cause a scar.