Acne scarring may not be entirely preventable, however you can take measures to minimize scarring. The good news is that non-inflamed blemishes such as whiteheads and blackheads are unlikely to cause scarring. Unfortunately, not all acne remains in a non-inflamed state; therefore, it is necessary to take steps to minimize the after effects of inflamed acne also referred to as acne scarring.
Identify Inflamed Acne
You have to keep an eye out for acne that is embedded deep into the follicle wall. It is not the nice and neat surface acne that will damage your skin cells, but rather it is the ones far beneath the surface that inflict the most potential scarring damage. These inflamed lesions are typically a form of a cyst, nodule, papule, or pustule. To better identify them, they are marks that appear red and swollen and take a long time to heal. They can be painful and occur from infection caused by either bacteria, dead skin cells, excess oil, hormones, or ingrown hairs.
The Reason You Should Not Pop
The first thing every medical professional will tell you as the best way to prevent scarring is to refrain from popping your pimples. How many of us are truly capable of not popping that puss pocket once it is ready? I know the urge always gets the better of me! Unfortunately, of course, doctors are right even if we cannot help ourselves. Whether you enjoy the act or you simply do not like being told what to do, try your best to stop yourself from squeezing and picking.
While the popping of a pimple provides us with relief either from the built-up pressure or the self-inflicted irritation of being told not to touch it or pop it, the action of popping a pimple also releases infected material back down deeper into the skin cells causing even greater irritation and inflammation. And, popping pimples can lead to spreading the infected materials thus creating more acne and causing more scarring that may have been prevented. As it is easier said than done, we should all abide by the advice of not popping pimples.
For the times you are unable to resist the sweet relief of the squeeze, here are some ways to help prevent acne scarring:
- Wash your face after you workout and before you go to bed.
- If you cannot help yourself, clean the infected area after you touch and pop it.
- Use anti-inflammatory skincare products with ingredients such as mint and witch hazel.
- Avoid inflammatory inducing foods such as sugar and refined flour.
- Ice can bring relief to painful pimples to prevent additional touching.
- For some, cortisone injections are an option from your dermatologist.
- Laser treatment can help in extreme cases.
- Wear sunscreen to minimize the effects of scarring.
Pimples are a pain and a fact of life for over 50 percent of adult women, according to the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, and a smaller, yet significant, percentage of men. While it may not be possible to stop adult acne or scarring entirely, it is possible to minimize the effects of scarring by washing your face each day, using the right products, trying to refrain from pimple popping, and eating the right foods.
Is adult acne a concern for you?