Dont Squeeze Your Spots
We understand that it can be incredibly hard to avoid giving in to the temptation to pick, squeeze or pop acne, but avoid it you must. Doing anything of the sort does a lot more harm than good.
For example, when you pop acne spots, you release the debris, bacteria, and oil onto your skin, creating an open wound.
As well as spreading and creating more acne, this can directly lead to the development of acne scarring.
Punch Excision Elevation And Grafting
Punch techniques are types of minor surgery carried out to remove acne scars.
Excision is usually used for ice pick scars. The scar is cut out of the skin using a special tool, and the wound is stitched flat.
Elevation is usually used for boxcar scars. This technique involves cutting out the bottom of the scar and lifting it up so that it sits level with the surrounding skin, giving a smoother appearance.
Grafting is for deep ice pick scars and involves taking a skin graft from somewhere else on the body . The scar is removed and the hole is plugged with the skin graft.
Acne Scars Or Hyperpigmentation
Acne scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can both occur after a breakout, but the two are actually very different and thus a different approach is required when it comes to fading them.
“Acne scars occur when too much collagen forms in a particular spot while a wound is healing,” explains dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross. “The scar often develops within the dermis, where the original acne-induced inflammation formed.”
When someone has cystic acne, there’s a higher probability of having rolling or boxcar scarring especially if they are picked at before they are ready, or too aggressively,” says Marshall. Aesthetic practitioner and ambassador for Filorga, Dr Philippe Hamida-Pisal agrees. “Acne scarring is due to touching and squeezing spots. This damages small veins, glands and tissues surrounding the spots which creates scarring,” he says.
Unlike acne scarring, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is simply a form of skin pigmentation , which occurs as a result of trauma to the skin. As it doesn’t damage the follicle, it isn’t considered a true form of scarring.
According to Ayodele, certain skin types and tones are more likely to experience this post-acne redness. “Darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation because of the higher levels on melanin in the skin. This means that whenever there is any trauma, the melanin cells quickly leap into action to produce more melanin to defend and protect against that trauma,” she says.
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How To Prevent Acne Scarring
The number one thing you can do to prevent acne scarring from ever happening in the first place is keeping your hands off your breakouts. Let’s be clear: No matter how tempting it may be, you should never, ever pick at or pop your pimples. It is most important that you do not attempt to pop your pimples or pick at any scabs, as this can result in permanent acne scarring, Green emphasizes.
If you have incessant whiteheads or severe cystic acne, this can be especially tricky, as the breakouts seem visually persistent. Fortunately, there are OTC products to help make dealing with these breakouts less of a trigger.
For cystic breakouts, Vargas touts Renee Rouleaus Anti-Bump serum as a means for reducing inflammation.
When it comes to pus-tipped pimples, try Starfaces Hydro-Stars, which employ a 100-percent hydrocolloid dressing meant to effectively suck all the gunk out of your zits so you dont have to pick and prod to do so yourself.
Finally, a derm-loved favorite for acne, retinoids, are a great way to heal existing breakouts and prevent incoming acne lesions as retinol helps to exfoliate dead skin cells out of pores “They also work to normalize skin cell turnover and act as an anti-inflammatory, says Levin. “Furthermore, have been proven to improve skin discoloration and texture and, therefore, restore the skin from prior outbreaks.” Retinoids also boost collagen production which is great for plumping the pitting caused by scars.
Prevent Pimples From Happening At All
The best way to prevent acne scarring is to prevent acne in the first place. Early, effective acne treatment can help prevent pimples, which cause inflammation and can result in permanent facial scarring if you’re not careful. They say the best defense is a good offense, and in this particular situation, the saying applies perfectly. Topical skin care medications prescribed by your dermatologist can help prevent acne before it results in scarring.
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How Do Acne Scars Form
Those with severe acne are more prone to acne scarring. As the sebaceous gland produces excess sebum, it gets clogged with dead skin cells and P. acnes bacteria on its way out of the pore. Should a blockage occur, the pore swells with infectious matter, with the cyst eventually rupturing deep within the dermis, destroying the surrounding skin tissue it is then attacked by white blood cells tasked with fighting off infection.
Treat Acne As Soon As It Appears
The best way to prevent acne scars is by dealing with your acne as soon as it develops. Acne will only get worse with time if it is not treated.
If you find over-the-counter remedies and medication do not help with the painful and inflammatory symptoms associated with acne, speak to your local qualified medical practitioner.
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Hands Off: Dont Squeeze Pop Or Pick At Pimples
While it can be tempting, keep your hands off your face. When you attempt to squeeze or pop a pimple , you can spread the infection, worsen inflammation, and encourage acne scars because your healing time is extended. Always allow acne of any kind to heal on its own so you can minimize damage to your skin. Make sure not to pick your scabs, either!
Different Types Of Scars Explained
“There are four types of acne scars,” explains Dr Fabusiwa explains.
Hyperpigmentation often occurs alongside acne scarring as melanocytes release excess melanin at the site of inflammation.
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How Do Prevent Acne Scars
They are certain habits that you might be doing on a daily basis that unfortunately are increasing the chances for your acne to leave scars behind. And it is much harder to deal with acne scars than with pimples, so if you could try and prevent them in the first place, your skin will thank you from its heart .
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“At-home microneedling can be effective, however you can achieve faster results with medical-grade options,” says Martino. To improve the texture of your skin at home, look for a face roller that uses surgical grade stainless steel like Gold Roll CIT.
5. Don’t skimp on sunscreen.
The most important acne scar treatment in your arsenal is actually SPF. Sunscreens help tremendously with reducing hyperpigmentation associated with scars, says Dr. Henry. Bonus: It also prevents your acne scar from getting any darker.
6. It might sound weird, but try to avoid coconut oil.
Some people like this ingredient to soothe inflammation, but on the face it can do the opposite. Coconut oil can actually clog pores and cause scars, says Dr. Henry.
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Different Types Of Acne
Scars from acne can seem like double punishment first you had to deal with the pimples, now you have marks as a reminder.
Acne lesions happen when the hair follicles on the skin become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. A plugged follicle is the perfect place for bacteria to grow and create the red bumps and pus-filled red bumps known as pimples.
Acne comes in different forms:
- mild acne: this causes the whiteheads or blackheads that most of us get at some point
- moderate acne: this can cause red, inflamed pimples and red pimples with white centers
- severe acne: this causes painful, pus-filled cysts or lumps under the skin
Most serious scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne.
The best approach is to get treatment for acne soon after it appears to prevent further severe acne and more scarring. If you have nodules, see your doctor or dermatologist for treatment.
Whats A Good Skin Care Routine For Fading Acne Scars
While you should defer to your dermatologist for a customized routine, Friedler recommended using a medicated antimicrobial cleanser in the morning, followed by oil-free sunscreen. In the evening, she recommended using a gentle cleanser followed by a topical retinoid.
Acne scar treatment products should generally be applied once per day. If they contain retinoids, they should only be applied at night because the sunlight can interfere with them, Fenton said. How frequently you use exfoliating agents such as retinols and glycolic acids depends on their strength and concentration. Some are designed to be used only weekly, so follow the products recommended use guide.
Its also important to remember that fading scars on the face is easier than fading them on the body, and it can take years for some people to fade discoloration from body acne, Fenton cautioned.
Want more guidance? Below, weve rounded up all of the dermatologists recommended acne scar products into one easy-to-browse list for you.
Take a look:
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So How Do I Get Rid Of Acne Scars At Home
1. Use a retinoid.
While retinoids can help prevent acne scars, they’re also a great option for treating them if you’re already dealing with them. Using a retinoid in your skin care routine will stimulate collagen production to fill concave scars and soften the edges. All of this will improve skins overall texture.
For her patients, Dr. Henry likes Epiduo Forte, a prescription medication that combines a retinoid with benzoyl peroxide to fight acne and improve skin tone and texture. But if you’re looking for an over-the-counter retinoid option, she recommends one with between 0.5 and 1 percent retinol, like PCA’s. Dr. Zeichner is also a fan of retinoids, and recommends Differin Gel to help boost cell turnover which results in a more even skin tone, texture, and pigmentation.
However, if you have sensitive skin and tend to react to active ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids, then it’s best to avoid products with those ingredients, says Dr. King. “For post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in sensitive skin types, I would recommend avoiding any products that are irritating the skin enough to cause inflammation and potentially additional post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation because this will be counterproductive,” she adds.
2. Up your exfoliation game.
3. Glow with vitamin C.
Why Do We Get Acne Scars
Scars appear because your body tries to repair your acne. How your body responds to a wound determines the amount of scarring you will get.
Acne scars are the result of inflamed acne lesions. These lesions penetrate through your skin, damaging the tissues beneath it. This may leave a mark or pit behind.
Acne scars take on two primary forms. One in which a scar develops where there is a loss of tissue resulting in an indentation on the skin surface, or the other form in which a scar, a raised one, develops on the skin surface. This type of scar indicates that your skin is doing its normal function well. In the process of helping the acne heal, your skin creates collagen. When there’s too much collagen, then there are chances that raised scars develop.
Did You Know?
While smaller blemishes can still scar your skin, it’s the big ones that mostly do the damage as they tend to extend deeper into your skin. Deep nodular or cystic breakouts are more likely to destroy your skin tissues and leave scars.
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How To Prevent Acne Scars After Popping A Pimple
You popped your pimple, even though youve been told not to. Now what?
It feels like a vicious cycle that cant be broken, no matter how well you take care of your skin. According to Dr. Sandra Lee aka Dr. Pimple Popper the way you treat a pimple affects how a scar forms. Before you swear off popping for good, you should also know theres a huge difference between a true acne scar and an acne mark, which is what most of us acne scars. A true acne scar is an indentation in the skin usually caused by picking at a pimple. An acne mark is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
are surface marks left on our skin post-breakout that can appear as more pink or more brown depending on skin tone, Lee told HuffPost. These are not technically scars and are actually areas of melanin deposits that will eventually fade over time as your skin cells regenerate.
On the other hand, scars happen when the body tries to heal an inflammatory zit that has broken the skin. Acne scars can happen even if you summon the willpower to leave that pesky pimple alone, but theyre more likely to appear if you dont treat the pimple properly, like popping or picking at it. The more inflamed the pimple, the more likely it is to scar, and the more severe the scar will be.
Look for ingredients that help exfoliate the skins surface like salicylic acid and glycolic acid, and encourage cell turnover and regeneration with retinol.”
– Dr. Sanda Lee, known as Dr. Pimple Popper
Take a look below:
Laser Treatment For Acne Scars
The objective of laser treatment for acne scars is to minimize the general appearance of the scars sustained from old severe acne outbreaks. The idea here is to focus light on the outermost layers of the skin in a bid to break up the scar tissue to encourage new healthy cells to grow and eventually replace it.
As much as laser for acne scars does not entirely remove all acne scars, it can go a long way in making them less visible and lessen any pain or discomfort associated with them. That being said, the latest acne scars removal laser procedure is not recommended to people with active acne, darker skin tones or extremely wrinkled skin. But if you doubt whether you are an ideal candidate for this procedure, be sure to consult a specialist as only a board-certified dermatologist can actively tell whether laser treatment is a perfect course of action or not.
The working methodology behind this procedure is rather straightforward. Heat from the laser prong is directed on the outermost skin layer where the scarring occurs in an attempt to peel it off. The skin should appear smoother and less scarred with fewer hyperpigmentation spots after the scar has been made less noticeable. Blood flow is then drawn to the area courtesy of the broken scar tissue and inflammation is reduced as a result. Besides, the increased flow of blood in the area encourages the sprouting of new healthy cells to replace the removed scar tissues.
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Prevent Acne Scars By Preventing Breakouts
The best way to prevent acne scars is to prevent acne from happening in the first place. Thats where Curology comes in! Consider your skincare routine your first line of defense against pesky permanent reminders of breakouts past. Topical treatments like your custom Curology cream can help keep acne under control. If youre dealing with breakouts, sign up for a free trial of Curology, upload some selfies, and get checked out by one of our medical providers. Skincare really can be that easy. Check out our other Guides for more tips and product recommendations for every skin type.
Were here to tell you what we know. Thats why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyones skin is uniquethe best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Identifying And Preventing Acne Scars
Most people will battle acne at some point in their lives, though some have it worse than others, especially during adolescence. And even after your acne clears up, your skin might not be entirely in the clear. As if acne wasnt enough of a nuisance on its own, this skin condition can leave its share of scars long after a breakout.
If you struggle with acne scars, youve probably wondered if its possible to get rid of them. While acne scar treatments are available and constantly improving, the best way to keep your skin clear of these marks is to prevent them in the first place. In order to do that, it helps to know why you get acne scars in the first place.
Lets discuss how acne turns into acne scars, how to keep them from appearing, and how to remove stubborn scars from your skin.
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Treating Your Acne Scars
Unfortunately, even the most disciplined approach to acne scar prevention can fail. And even if youve managed to stop any new scars from forming, you may have some prior ones to deal with. If so, you should ask your dermatologist about acne scar treatment. Some treatment options include:
How You Can Prevent And Treat Unsightly Acne Scars
Fighting acne is bad enoughyou try to keep your skin clear, but you cant seem to stay ahead of the breakouts. And to make matters worse, those breakouts can lead to unsightly scars.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent breakouts and keep those scars from cropping up. And if youre already seeing some scars, new treatments can help minimize their appearance.
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