Acne scars are like battle wounds. Though the breakouts are gone and you’re so relieved about it, you now have to be reminded of that time of pain and frustration when you look in the mirror and see the scars. Even more frustrating is that your skin still isn’t clear…so why does scarring happen and how can you diminish their appearance on your skin? Read on to learn how:
1. Scars form mainly when you pick or pop your pimples. It’s really a fact that you should NOT pick at or pop your pimples because doing so will cause severe scarring.
2. It’s actually not considered scarring if the marks left on your skin from acne are less than a year old. The discoloration or red mark is described as a post-inflammatory change, part of the healing cycle that can take the skin 6-12 months to heal from. As long as no more breakouts surface in that area, the scar will diminish within a year. If the scar is there longer than a year, it is then described as a permanent scar.
3. Picking and popping your pimples will lead to more pimples. When you open the pimple up, the bacteria and infection leak to areas around the original breakout and cause more breakouts.
4. Avoid sun-exposure unless you use sunscreen. Unprotected exposure will delay the healing process.
5. Microdermabrasion treatments done by your dermatologist or using a gentle exfoliating cleanser will remove cellular build-up over time and make room for new, unmarked skin to re-surface.
6. Tretinoin-related products (like Retin-A) will speed up the healing process, minimizing scarring. These products are also known to prevent new breakouts from occurring.
7. Laser resurfacing has been quite effective in reducing temporary and permanent scarring. Lasers work by burning the top layers of skin to a certain level. The new skin then replaces the old burned skin, looking renewed and less scarred. It is known to be a bit painful, but many patients have been very happy with this procedure. Post-surgery care of the skin is essential for proper healing and patients need to follow the proper guidelines so the skin heals properly.
8. Discuss these different treatments with your dermatologist before making an educated decision.
As you can see, there are a variety of options on how to treats marks and scarring left on your skin from acne. Every person’s skin is different and meeting with your dermatologist will help you determine what treatment is best for you and your skin. Remember that picking and popping your pimples will lead to horrible marking and scarring on your skin so save yourself the frustration and don’t pick at your breakouts…they will heal in time.