How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

Excess oil beneath the skin signals a variety of problems, with the most frustrating of these being pimples. These tiny pustules appear on the face and body, housing bacteria, dead cells, and sebum secretions. They cause surface inflammation, irritation, and even scars.

According to the Acne Resource Center Online, 25% of individuals suffering from pimples will have some form of scarring – whether atrophic, hypertrophic, or hyper-pigmented. To combat this statistic we suggest examining both the causes of scars and the available treatments.

The Causes of Pimple Scarring

Acne is far more than a series of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It’s also a medical disorder, triggering several effects beneath the skin. These effects – which include cyst production, nodular inflammation, and blood vessel penetration – directly impact surface and interior tissue, damaging them both.

With this damage comes a sudden production of collagen, with the body trying to repair itself. These repairs, however, often fail:

Too Much Collagen: the body produces an excess amount of collagen and causes tissue build-up. Scars then form, with raised appearances and reddened edges.

Too Little Collagen: the body produces too little collagen and the skin begins to sink, pitting the tissue and causing scars.

Read More: Acne Scars

How to Avoid Pimple Scarring

Pimple scarring is unfortunate. It’s also often avoidable. Those wishing to reduce their chances of atrophic or hypertrophic effects should:

Treat Acne Immediately

Utilize OTC or prescription treatments as soon as acne appears. This will interrupt the damage cycle and maintain tissue health.

Avoid Picking at the Skin

Popping a pimple may seem wise. Too often, however, does this cause further complications, releasing bacteria back into the skin (which often creates more acne) and triggering collagen production. Don’t do it.

Follow Hygiene Regimens

Daily, gentle scrubbing of the skin often proves essential in avoiding scars. Remove excess oil, dead cells, bacterial pus, and other free radicals to maintain appropriate moisture and elasticity levels. Tissue remains balanced and less likely to require collagen.

Study Genetics

Multiple factors shape the body’s healing process. None are more important, however, than genetics. Pimples are prevalent in some families, with members prone to breakouts and scarring alike. See how often these issues have occurred in the past to better prepare for their developments in the future.

Utilize these suggestions to reduce acne and avoid scarring.

Read More: Get Rid of Acne Scars

Consult With a Dermatologist

Acne is a disease. Seeking help from a dermatologist, therefore, is highly recommended for those who suffer from frequent breakouts. These specialists deliver key information about prescription options and OTC cleansers. They also prove helpful for patients wishing to improve the appearance of existing pimple scars, offering access to dermabrasions, tissue injections, and more.

Read More: Dermatologists

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Why is my Scar Darker Than my Normal Skin?

Why is my Scar Darker Than my Normal Skin?

Scarring can lead to rough texture in the skin, an increase of collagen bundles, and a lack of hair follicles or sweat glands. However, it may also create discoloration within the skin, with damaged tissue taking on a darker shade. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and it ranks among the most common effects of hypertrophic, keloid, and atrophic scarring.

What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when a body’s cellular process is changed. Damaged tissue is detected and several chemical responses occur, with a sudden increase of collagen, protein, and melanin (the property that determines the color of a person’s skin, eyes, and hair). These elements are meant to heal the scar. However, they often trigger a sudden darkening of the skin.

Read More: Hyperpigmentation

How Does Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Affect Scars?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation directly targets scars, sending an excess of melanin to the damaged tissue. This causes instant discoloration, especially around the edges, and can create a variety of shades: brown, black, gray, or even red. Spotting, freckling, or patching can also occur.

It should be noted that no pain is associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Its effect on scars is purely cosmetic. However, those suffering from the condition may still wish to treat it.

What Solutions are Available for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation has no cure, but it does have several treatments – all of which can lessen its severity and restore most of the skin’s original texture. These include:

Topical Scar Creams

Topical scar creams prove ideal for treating most post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation cases. They offer much-needed nutrients (such as Vitamin C) that penetrate the skin and restore balance to the melanin production cycle.

Chemical Peels

Those experiencing extreme post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may find topical creams lacking. Chemical peels may instead be needed to address the issue. These options remove layers of damaged skin, softening both the appearance of scars and the starkness of discoloration.

Sunscreen

Ultra-violet rays can exacerbate the effects of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Those wishing to correct the issue must therefore protect their skin. Use lotions with high SPF counts and avoid extended exposure to the sun.

These methods have been proven as successful in the treatment post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. However, it is important to note that the healing process can never be guaranteed. Results will vary.

Hydroquinone: A Warning

A common treatment for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is Hydroquinone. This skin-bleaching agent is meant to counter discoloration and lighten skin’s overall appearance, but these results come with a cost.

Hydroquinone has a high toxicity level. This means it can cause severe damage to the skin, including blistering, burn marks, new discoloration, and extreme tightness. While the product is legal and available without a prescription, it should be avoided. There are better, safer alternatives.

Read More: The Dangers of Using Hydroquinone to Fade Scars and Hyperpigmentation

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Do Over the Counter Scar Treatments Really Work?

Do Over the Counter Scar Treatments Really Work?

There are so many different types of over the counter scar treatments that it can be difficult to know whether or not they actually work. The ingredients of the treatments play a significant role in their effectiveness. The right ingredients, especially in the right combination, will facilitate the natural healing process, reducing the appearance of the scar, while other ingredients may not work, or even cause more damage.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is commonly found in skin care ingredients since it is a powerful antioxidant that promotes beautiful skin. However, there is no real evidence that using vitamin E actually improves the scar. Instead, the benefits are most likely due to continued moistening of the area, rather than the infusion of the vitamin. Many people also develop contact dermatitis from vitamin E, so it is another ingredient to avoid.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant, and it plays an important role in the body’s healthy immune response, which includes wound healing. Furthermore, it is essential for proper formation of collagen and elastin in skin, which helps build healthy skin cells, rather than damaged scar tissue, after the skin is injured. Vitamin C also fades the hyperpigmentation that can come with scarring. Therefore, it is an effective and safe ingredient in an over the counter scar treatment.

Silicone

Silicone is another ingredient that has been shown in studies to aid in the treatment of scars, while not promoting any danger. It reduces any redness, pain and itching associated with the scarring, while also improving the elasticity of the skin.

Aloe Vera

Another beneficial, and effective, ingredient for over the counter scar treatment creams is aloe vera. This plant has long been used in cosmetics and first aid creams due to its moisturizing and healing effects. It protects the wound while also promoting healing, reducing inflammation, and strengthening the collagen structure.

Hydroquinone

Many popular over the counter scar treatment creams contain hydroquinone, and it has a reputation for effectively lightening scars. However, it is a very dangerous ingredient that has been banned in several countries. Even in the smaller doses found in over the counter creams, it can lead to problems such as impaired wound healing, irritation, nail discoloration, and ochronosis (permanent skin darkening).

Kojic Acid

Another seemingly effective scar treatment ingredient that is commonly found in over the counter creams is kojic acid. Like hydroquinone, it may work, but the negative effects are not worth its lightening abilities. Studies have found that prolonged use leads to more sensitive skin and contact dermatitis. It also is not effective at improving the appearance of scars, beyond lightening the skin color.

When OTC Treatments Do Not Work

If you have a keloid, indented scar, or certain other scars, then over the counter treatments will not work. These scars require more invasive treatments, such as laser therapy, collagen injections, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, dermabrasion, or microneedling. If you are unsure about the best form of treatment for your scar, then you should discuss it with your dermatologist.

When looking for an effective over the counter scar treatment, you should look for all natural ingredients that do not include preservatives or fragrances, as this could also aggravate the skin. You do not want to use any harsh ingredients; instead, you want to support your skin’s natural healing process, which will reduce the appearance of any scars.

Have a question about your scar or a particular ingredient? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Should I See a Dermatologist About My Scars?

Should I See a Dermatologist About My Scars?

When you have a prominent and unsightly scar, especially in a location not easily hidden by clothing, you likely want to work on minimizing its appearance. There are many different scar treatment options, and the most effective for you will depend on the type and severity of scarring from which you suffer. There are many scar treatment options that do not require any doctor’s intervention. However, there are times where seeing a dermatologist about your scars is the best way to proceed. Therefore, it is beneficial to know when you should see a dermatologist about your scars.

What Does a Dermatologist Do?

Dermatologists are specialized doctors who work on conditions affecting the skin, including acne, scarring, eczema, and more. Therefore, they are experts in solutions for reducing the appearance of scars, especially prominent ones such as keloid scars. They also offer more invasive procedures to remove scars, including laser surgery, dermabrasion, grafting, and more. However, not all scars require the assistance of a dermatologist to treat.

What Type of Scars Require a Dermatologist?

Large, prominent, and raised scars, especially keloid scars, will most likely not find any help from a scar treatment cream. Instead, you will need to see a dermatologist to discuss other scar treatment options. Any injury to the skin that harmed many layers of the skin tissue, such as a third degree burn, or did not heal correctly typically forms a larger and more prominent scar that will need more advanced treatment options to reduce the appearance of the scars. Certain acne scars, including ice pick scars, rolling scars, and boxcar scars also often require more invasive treatments offered by dermatologists.

When Don’t You Need to See a Dermatologist?

Any time you have scarring or other skin conditions about which you have a question, you can typically benefit from the expertise of a dermatologist. However, for less prominent scars, you do not have to see a dermatologist for help. These include scars formed by injury to the skin that only affects the top layers of skin or from wounds that healed correctly, such as occur after surgery or with some cases of acne. Those scars that have not caused much damage to the collagen or to deeper layers of skin can typically be reduced by over the counter scar treatment creams. You can also use many of these scar reduction creams for pigmentation problems, such as hyperpigmentation, also known as dark spots. For hypopigmentation (aka white scars) tattooing a white scar flesh-colored is also an option. Over the counter creams are beneficial, but they do take time to work. If you do not see any improvement in the appearance of your scar or discoloration after you have been using the cream for a few months, then you should see a dermatologist for help.

A dermatologist can be your partner and best friend when it comes to ensuring you have smooth and flawless skin, especially when you are working to reduce the appearance of any scarring. They not only will be able to offer you help with the invasive procedures, but they can also provide expert advice on the best ingredients for an effective scar treatment cream.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!

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How to Get Rid of Purple Scars

How to Get Rid of Purple Scars

When the skin has experienced trauma due to injury or surgery, the healing process produces scar tissue, which usually creates a visible scar. Although most scars are initially red in color, many scars turn purple. This is very common in scars caused by burns, boils, and acne. The purple color can make the scar stand out even more, which can be embarrassing, especially if it is in a prominent location such as your face. Although the purple coloring can be a natural part of the scar maturation process, there are steps you can take to fade it.

Proper Wound Healing and Prevention

One way to reduce the abnormal purple pigmentation is to ensure that the wound heals properly. When you experience a skin injury, treat it right away. Clean it to reduce the risk of infection. Be sure to keep the wound covered and moist during the healing process. Use of an antibacterial cream can help to reduce infection while keeping the wound moist. Acne, too, can cause purple scarring so avoid causing more inflammation and avoid picking at it. (Read: Skin Care Tips for Acne Prone Skin)

Treat the Scar with the Right Ingredients

One of the best ingredients in a topical scar therapy is vitamin C, which helps the skin create normal collagen, an important component of healthy skin. It also helps fade the excess pigmentation seen in some scars. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports the body’s natural healing and fights free radicals that contribute to scarring by damaging the skin at a cellular level. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of inflammation and infection, which can also contribute to the abnormal purple color and other forms of hyperpigmention.

Another ingredient to look for in your scar cream is silicone, which helps to flatten and fade scars. Licorice root extract is also a powerful ingredient as it promotes healing while also lightening hyperpigmentation.

When to See a Doctor

Complete healing from any trauma to the skin can take time, which can be frustrating. However, if you find that your scar seems to be getting worse, see your doctor to make sure everything is healing properly. A doctor can also discuss other options for treating scars and hyperpigmentation, such as laser surgery or microdermabrasion.

Have a question about your scar or dark spot? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!

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