Among the 80% of the population aged 11-30 who experience acne, 25% will see acne scarring.
If you're part of this statistic, understand that there are plenty of methods to treat acne scarring. However, it would help if you also were wary of practices that produce or worsen scarring.
So, what are the best habits for treating and preventing acne scars? What practices should you avoid while undergoing acne scar treatment?
Keep reading to learn more...
The treatments we'll list below are fantastic for eliminating any current scars. But we'll also list some tips on maintaining your newly smooth skin too.
1. Topical Skincare
A basic skincare routine includes a face cloth + cleanser, exfoliant, moisturiser, and SPF product (in the daytime). Cleansers remove makeup, sweat, pollution and other impurities that build up on your skin, assisting in the prevention of acne. Moisturisers treat and repair your skin, allowing it to heal completely.
SPF is essential since it protects the skin from UV damage which can cause adverse healing impairment. This leading to dried out and inflamed the skin. Depending on your unique skin condition and needs, you can also incorporate other serums and treatments.
An everyday skincare routine is essential before and after any acne treatments. Although acne treatments can renew your skin's texture and look, you won't be able to maintain your results without using other, everyday products along with it.
2. Over-The-Counter Acne Treatments
Not all products marketed as acne treatments are effective. Some can even worsen acne and scarring by irritating and damaging the skin.
However, certain ingredients are incredibly beneficial in addressing acne scarring. Such ingredients include:
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
- Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
- Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B's: B3, B6, B5
Prescription products with these ingredients exist, but there are plenty of effective OTC acne scar treatments with these ingredients, it's important to follow directions and do not over use. Retinol is particularly touted for its long-term, permanent skincare benefits.
Each ingredient possesses a unique function that contributes to the skin's ability to curb or resist skin damage. Just make sure you do plenty of research on them before incorporating them into your skincare routine. When we say research, ask a skin professional, don't Dr. Google.
Fillers can fill any indents acne scars have created. These fillers either raise the depressed area or stimulate collagen production at the injection site.
Collagen production creates new skin cells even at completely healed sites. Other acne scar treatment methods may ablate the skin, but addressing just pockmarks with general skin resurfacing can take too long. So if your primary concern is with pockmarks, consider using fillers in conjunction with other acne scarring treatments.
4. Laser Treatment
Laser treatment for acne scars doesn't eliminate them, but it will minimise their appearance. It first breaks up skin tissue from the first layers of the skin, removing scar tissue and stimulating new tissue growth.
Those with boxcar and icepick scars can also benefit from fractionated laser treatments. This treatment targets deeper layers of the skin, boosting your immune systems response to area's where there is irregular pigment as well as texture and tone of skin. Laser treatments are also fantastic for reducing the redness from highly vascular inflamed skin,
Laser treatments require skin preparation, seek out professional advise to see which treatment is best for you.
4. Chemical Peels
Chemical Peels are fantastic for those with acne, scarring, undulating skin as well as irregular pigmentation. Chemical Peels range in percentage strength and will require a series of treatments just like any other professional intervention treatment.
Depending on your concerns a couple Peel bases include;
There are many more! This is an excellent option for those on a budget as some laser modalities can be on the more expensive side. Don't be fooled, chemical peels can be just as effective as laser treatments.
Rectifying scarring is more of a challenge than preventing it. We'll offer a few tips for preventing the worsening of current scarring and the formation of new scars.
1. Pick at the Scars
Picking at your acne scars will usually worsen them, causing your skin's texture to exacerbate. Although controlled skin ablation and abrasion can stimulate enough collagen to smoothen skin, picking at your scars removes too many skin cells.
When your skin does heal, you might find pockmarks. Although there are treatments that specifically cater to patients with pockmarks, it's best to prevent them entirely by not picking at your scars.
2. Pop Pimples
Notice a new, pus/sebum-filled pimple? Leave it alone, or it will otherwise exacerbate your acne problem.
After you've popped it, it'll most likely look angry and inflamed. Not only that, but the sebum might penetrate surrounding dermal acne friendly area's, provoking new acne formation.
If you pop too roughly, you also risk acne scarring. As mentioned before, too much damage could prevent your skin from fully recovering, resulting in new scars.
3. Neglect Skincare
An everyday skincare routine is crucial for keeping your skin at peak health, even after renewing it with acne scar treatments. Without a cleanser, you're less able to keep acne at bay. Without a moisturiser or SPF, your skin is more prone to irritation and damage too.
So although newly youthful skin might make you feel invincible, don't take any chances. Uphold your skincare routine to protect your skin from further damage. Otherwise, you might book another scar treatment earlier than you would like.
4. Treat Breakouts Beforehand
Although you shouldn't pick at your blemishes, you can treat them before they worsen and inflame. Besides abiding by your skincare routine, you can take extra maintenance and preventative methods for incoming pimples. Such methods include:
- Using non-comedogenic products
- Avoiding excessive makeup application
- Wearing sun protection
- Showering / Cleansing after intense physical activity
- Avoiding pressure on affected areas
- Over the counter products
- Avoid extreme heat and extreme cold
It's best to let blemishes run their course instead of irritating them. But whenever possible, it's even better to prevent them from worsening to a scarring degree.
Choose the Best Acne Scar Treatment!
Preventing acne scars from forming is the best acne scar "treatment." But for those already with scars, seeing an acne scar treatment specialist could make a world of difference.