Can a Tanning Bed Help Heal Acne or Scars?

Can a Tanning Bed Help Heal Acne or Scars?

The relationship between tanning beds and acne is a complicated one. Many believe that tanning beds can help heal or reduce the appearance of acne, either because of the drying effect of tanning or because they think that tanning will “even out” the skin tone and make acne less visible. However, neither theory is based on scientific evidence, and both are misguided.

Read: Does Tanning Get Rid of Acne Scars?

Indeed, the reality of tanning beds is that there is no scientific evidence that they can help clear up acne. In fact, tanning beds are more likely to worsen the skin’s appearance by contributing to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that tanning beds (similar to outdoor sun exposure) can lead to skin cancer.

It’s true that there’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence that tanning improves the appearance of acne. However, the truth is that any improvement is highly temporary, because even though the darkening of the skin can mask the redness associated with acne, it does not heal the acne and as soon as the tan fades, the acne will still be there.

How Do Tanning Beds Affect Existing Scars?

Just as with acne, there seems to be a common belief that tanning beds can mask the appearance of existing scars. Many people use tanning beds in an attempt to darken the skin around the scar, camouflaging the scar and reducing its visibility. But how an individual scar will respond to tanning is unpredictable. A newer scar may become inflamed in response to UV rays and the result may be delayed healing or even a permanent darkening of the scar. Older scars may not tan at all, resulting in a stark white scar made even more visible next to the darker surrounding skin. In either case, the result is obviously not desirable.

Besides, tanning beds are simply not advisable due to the reasons mentioned above. They contribute to skin cancer and premature aging, and simply do not achieve what many hope for: clearer skin and less noticeable scars.

A Safer Option

A much safer and healthier option likely to yield better results than a tanning bed is the spray tan. The response of a scar to a spray tan is also difficult to predict, but a spray tan is more likely to achieve the desired result than a tanning bed. Also, you won’t be exposing yourself to harmful UV rays in the process. The masking effects of a spray tan on a scar may vary depending on the age of the scar, but in general, spray tans are less likely to worsen the appearance of the scar than tanning beds.

Read: How Does the Sun Affect Scars?

Keep in mind that a spray tan does not provide protection against the sun’s UV rays, so you should still use sunscreen when you go outdoors to protect your scar and the rest of your skin. Be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area of your skin to make sure you don’t have an undesirable reaction to the product.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and let us know!

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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.
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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5 Surprising Causes of Adult Acne

5 Surprising Causes of Adult Acne

It’s an unfortunate fact for many that blemishes don’t magically disappear at the age of 18, with high school’s end signaling the arrival of a flawless complexion and vanishing pores. Acne follows men and women throughout their adulthood, affecting approximately one-third of the total population. It ranks among the most common – and most frustrating – conditions in the world.

What is Acne?

Acne is a long-term skin infection. It occurs when the glands are clogged by oil, dead cells, or ingrown follicles. This interferes with the body’s sebum production and causes a series of bumps and blemishes to appear.

Read More: Acne

What are Five Unexpected Causes of Adult Acne?

Most adults are familiar with the common causes of acne – stress, hormones, or a diet high in dairy, to name just a few. There are other ways to experience breakouts, however, and these can be easily overlooked.

Salt

Salt contains iodines. These properties are sometimes difficult to sweat out, leading to them being embedded inside the pores. This causes inflammation and, subsequently, the development of pimples.

Styling Products

Sprays and gels, conditioners and lifters – there are endless styling options. When these options are applied to skin instead of hair, however, acne tends to occur. This is because heavy formulas cause a sudden imbalance of oil, clogging the pores with serums, creams, and pomades due to the alcohol content and the build-up of chemicals over time. Breakouts happen.

Liver Toxins

The liver is natural “detoxifier”. It processes harsh toxins and converts them into less harmful substances that the body can then get rid of safely. When this organ cannot perform at optimum levels, acne can occur. This is because toxins remain in the bloodstream, eventually circulating to the pores and causing inflammation.

Sweat

Sweating is a necessary process. It purifies the body, flushing away contaminants, bacteria, and other toxins. These toxins can sometimes cause irritation within the glands and form pimples. This typically occurs when sweat isn’t properly washed away, but is instead allowed to stay on the skin. Always shower and/or wash your face after a good work out.

Tight Clothing

Acne is often associated with the face. However, adults can experience full-body blemishes due to tight clothing. Fabric that constantly touches the skin (such as undergarments, athletic wear, or slender-cut jeans) can aggravate the pores. This – when combined with harsh dyes or detergents – can cause breakouts.

Solutions

These causes are frustrating. Their solutions, however, aren’t. Treat these acne-issues through:

Salt – Eliminate table-salt whenever possible. Rely on sea salt or other flavor alternatives.

Styling Products – Try not to use them daily and when possible, look for styling aids with a low alcohol content, are oil-free and contain more natural ingredients.

Liver Toxins – Consult with a doctor to test the liver’s performance. A change in diet – such as reducing alcohol or eliminating fatty acids – may be needed.

Sweat – Wash skin thoroughly after any excessive sweating. Use cold water to improve pore appearance and maintain moisture balance.

Tight Clothing – Eliminate tight fabrics. Be sure to launder necessary clothing items such as undergarments regularly, and use all-natural detergents.

Read More: Acne Tips

Try InviCible Scars to fade acne scars.

Want to know more about the causes of acne? Send us a line! We’ll be happy to answer your questions. Be sure to subscribe to Scars and Spots as well for email updates.

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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How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars

How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars

Severe cases of acne not only cause problems during breakouts, but they can also leave lifelong reminders in the form of scarring. One common type of acne scar is known as ice pick scars, which caused depressions in the skin. Because this type of scarring affects deeper layers of skin, you often have to treat it with more aggressive scar treatment measures.

Read: What Are the Different Types of Acne Scars?

What Causes Ice Pick Scars?

Ice pick scars typically form after an infected blackhead or whitehead becomes excessively irritated and inflamed. This infection can lead to pressure on the skin that causes further inflammation and damage to the skin, especially if it remains untreated. This can lead to the formation of nodules or cysts, which is a more serious type of acne that affects the collagen in the skin. Because the collagen and fibrin is damaged, the regular structure of the skin breaks down, causing the scar tissue in the area to sink into the skin.

What are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars?

Because of the nature of ice pick scars, you typically have to undergo more aggressive treatments rather than relying upon an over the counter treatment cream. You should talk with your dermatologist about the best options for treatment. Many doctors will use a treatment known as punch excision, which removes the scar from the skin, allowing the collagen to form correctly when the skin heals. It may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Other common treatments for ice pick scars include laser treatments, dermabrasion, and chemical peels.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments are a common form of aggressive treatment for all types of acne scars, including ice pick scars. During a laser treatment, your doctor will remove the top layer of skin, which is the most damaged. Depending on the severity of the scarring, you may have to undergo several treatments. There are three different types of laser treatment: CO2, YAG, and fractional laser. The YAG laser treatment promotes the new growth of skin and often has reduced side effects and healing time. Fractional laser is gentler, so it typically is used for ice pick scars that are not as severe.

Other Ways to Remove the Top Layer of Skin

There are other ways to remove the top layer of skin to promote healing, including dermabrasion and a chemical peel. Dermabrasion uses an abrasive tool that scrapes off the damaged skin on top, allowing the healthier skin underneath to come to the surface. A chemical peel works in a similar manner by removing the top layer of skin but uses acids rather than an abrasive tool. You may have red and inflamed skin for a few days to a week after these treatments, and you may have to do it more than once to get the effect you want.

It is possible to reduce the appearance of your acne scars, including your ice pick scars. With the help of your doctor, you can decide which aggressive treatment will work best for you. If you have less severe scarring, you can try a topical acne scar treatment to see if it works before using a more aggressive form of treatment.

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

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