Contrary to popular belief, not all acne scars are caused by picking at pimples. Some acne, such as cystic acne, is prone to scarring even if you don’t touch it at all. These painful lesions trap inflammation and do not easily connect with the skin’s surface. Cystic acne is inflammatory acne which triggers a white blood cell response as the skin tries to heal itself, resulting in scars even if you keep your hands off.
So if you do get one of these pimples, how can you minimize potential scarring? The first step is to get the acne under control in the first place. For ongoing cystic acne, a prescription might be the most effective way to control or eliminate it, so don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Abrasive over the counter acne products can be irritating to your skin and may contain questionable chemicals, so talk to your doctor about which products are truly safe and effective. If you can’t see a dermatologist for any reason, make sure to keep the skin clean to avoid infection, but steer clear of abrasive or harsh products.
Once you get rid of cystic acne, how can you get rid of the mark left behind? There are several options for fading scars caused by cystic acne. For the most severe acne, a visit to a dermatologist might be in order for a chemical peel, facial scar revision, or other powerful treatments.
There are also several natural remedies that can help fade these difficult scars. Aloe vera has been shown to help speed healing and keep the scar tissue moisturized. Vitamins A and C are both effective scar healers, and can be applied to the skin or consumed in the form of foods or beverages that contain them in large amounts. Licorice is a natural and safe ingredient known to help fade scars.
Silicone is another very effective scar healer. Numerous studies have shown that it softens scars when used regularly, even hypertrophic or older scars. However, the sooner treatment is started, the better the results. A product that contains silicone along with the above mentioned natural ingredients packs a powerful punch when it comes to getting rid of cystic acne scars.
Hydroquinone is one ingredient found in many scar treatment products that you should steer clear of. Hydroquinone has been shown to be potentially dangerous, irritate the skin of some patients, cause common allergic reactions, and even cause permanent discoloration of the skin.
Keep in mind that while you are treating your acne scars, you should keep them out of the sun. Your face is frequently exposed to sunlight throughout the day, so if the scars are on your face, be sure to apply sunscreen every time you go outside, even if you are going out for only a few minutes. Sunlight can, at best, delay scar healing, and at worst, it can exacerbate scars and permanently darken them.
Acne is never fun, and when it is painful and causes scarring, it is even worse. However, you don’t have to live with unsightly acne scars. You can take a proactive stand against them and within just a few months dramatically improve the appearance of your skin.
Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.
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