How to Prevent and Treat Acne Scars

Acne scars are commonly the product of an inflamed papule, cyst or pustule. When the pore of your skin becomes infected due to excess oil, dead skin or bacteria, the pore swells up, causing breakage in the skin wall. The way the lesion heals depends on how deep the breakage is on your skin. Less serious lesions on the outer part of your skin will most likely heal, but in serious cases of acne where the inflammation is rooted deeper into the skin, there might be a scar left over even after it heals.

Did you know that there are different types of scars? Keloids form when your body produces too much collagen to cover up the wound or lesion. Acne scars cause atrophic scars, which look like small “dents” on your skin. This is the result of tissue loss on your skin after inflammation. The possibility of more scarring increases when the area inflamed is larger.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is not considered a scar, as its the temporary discoloration of the skin after acne has healed and will eventually fade.

So how can you prevent getting scars from acne? Here are five tips:

1. To prevent scarring, you need to lessen the chance of acne breakouts. This means that you should be cleaning your skin regularly, abstaining from things that may result in acne breakouts (too much stress, eating certain foods, or not removing your makeup properly).

2. If you do have acne, you need to get it treated. Get it under control quickly and effectively. Talk to your dermatologist for a diagnosis and a tailored acne treatment plan just for your case. Remember that no case of acne is the same. Not getting your acne treated may cause it to spread and you may end up damaging your skin even more.

3. When you see your acne starting to scab up, do not pick at it. Scabbing is the body’s reaction to protect the wound while it heals. If you pick at the scabs of your acne wounds, you will prolong the healing process and increase your chances of developing acne scars.

4. Protect your skin from the sun. Exposing your skin to the sun increases tissue damage on top of what acne is already doing. Wear sunscreens, protective clothing and hats when you go out to make sure that the areas of your body with acne are not directly exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.

5. When you already have visible scars, there are ways that you can get them treated. Laser resurfacing treatments, chemical peels and microdermabrasions are all simple in-office procedures you can do to improve the appearance of your skin.

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