Acne scars are a sequel to acne. About 95% of acne leave behind acne scars. To prevent acne scars and stop them from forming, you have to take certain steps when you have acne. You have to address the reasons that cause acne scars so that scarring does not take place.
The scars are caused due to one’s neglect and due to the acne subsequently developing inflammation and acquiring more severe nodular and cystic forms. The scars formed from cystic acne are treated by a dermatologist and require medical treatment.
Acne is more common during adolescence and teenage but is seen in certain high-risk adults too. It can disturb the normal appearance of the boy or girl. What can be more disturbing is the appearance of acne scars, which appear after the acne has healed.
These acne scars appear as pitted scars or raised scars, can have dark spots, and can make the appearance of the person worse. You see them on the areas of the body, which are acne-prone — most commonly the face, the neck, the back, the buttocks, and the chest.
To add to the woe, the scars do not go away easily and can stay for years or even permanently. The medical treatment to treat acne scars is also aggressive and expensive. These are the reasons why preventing acne scars becomes necessary.
Therefore, if you have acne, you must follow certain methods that will prevent the acne from developing into scars.
Ways to prevent acne scars
1. Treat acne early as soon as it develops
The first time you see a pimple appearing on the face or on the acne-prone areas of the body, see your dermatologist (skin specialist) – immediately. It may be a pimple initially, which can break out into acne.
Do not wait for the initial pimples to go away on their own. They may go away or may acquire a moderate or severe form, in which case the scarring is inevitable.
Your dermatologist may initially advise over-the-counter creams, and skin hygiene measures for mild acne, to prevent it from acquiring a severe form. If your acne does not respond to this mild treatment, he will prescribe more potent topical creams under prescription. Further, if required, he may advise medical treatments for acne, which will clear away the acne and prevent scarring.
2. Avoid irritating your skin
Use mild soaps to prevent irritating the skin over the acne. Dry by gently patting with a clean towel. Do not scrub because this will cause inflammation. Inflammation of acne is a sure shot ground for developing acne scars. Preventing inflammation of acne is of paramount importance to prevent acne scarring.
Use skin products that are mild and not harsh. Most skin products contain chemicals that are not skin-friendly. Look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label of the product before you buy it.
3. Do not squeeze, pop or pick at the acne
The worst thing you can do is squeeze or pick the pimple and damage the skin tissue. This is going to cause inflammation, which is going to result in a scar. This is a temptation, which you must avoid. Inflammation results in wound formation, which heals by the formation of scar tissue only.
4. Continue acne treatment as advised
You have to take the treatment prescribed for acne to its full course. That means continuing treatment even after the acne has cleared, and practicing skin hygiene all your life. Acne is not just a young age problem but can occur in adults too and so can scarring.
5. Do your genes make you acne scar prone?
If your immediate relative has or had developed acne and acne scars, you must take extra care to prevent acne formation. You do this by practicing proper skin hygiene and adopting other acne prevention methods.
6. Eat healthy foods to prevent acne scars
Eating healthy should be a habit throughout life. Here let us see how this habit can help prevent scars.
It is suspected though not proven, that eating dairy products and carbohydrate-rich food like bread and chips can trigger an acne onset or worsen existing acne. Chocolates are also suspected of making acne worse. Avoiding these types of foods can help prevent acne and acne scar formation.
However, whatever be the fact, it is always wise to eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish to have healthy and glowing skin. They contain antioxidants, which have anti-aging properties and prevent wrinkle formation. They are good for maintaining clear and healthy skin and will promote the healthy healing of existing acne.
7. Drink adequate water
An average healthy adult must drink 8 to 12 glasses of water throughout the day. Adequate water in the body will dissolve the waste and the toxins in the body and help get rid of them through the skin (in the form of sweat), urine, and the bowels.
Without enough water, waste in the body will build up. Undissolved waste under the skin can accumulate and lead to worsening of existing acne. Besides other health benefits, drinking adequate water throughout the day will go a long way to preventing acne scar formation.