Fortunately, for most of us that suffer from acne, the condition is temporary. Unfortunately, the acne scars left behind by acne breakouts can be difficult to reverse or even permanent. Acne scarring is the result of healthy skin tissue being damaged by the acne infection. While complete prevention of such scarring may not be possible, there are measures that can be taken to minimize the severity of scar development:
1. Treat acne as soon as it develops. The best method to avoid acne scarring is to minimize the severity of the acne outbreak. Do not simply wait to see if your skin clears up without any treatment. Start treatment immediately, and see your dermatologist if the condition is unresponsive to over-the-counter acne treatments.
2. Prevent inflammation, if possible. Inflamed acne lesions tend to be significantly more likely to produce lasting acne scars than non-inflamed lesions. Do not do anything that may further irritate your skin. This includes overusing skincare products such as Retin A, or rubbing or scrubbing the face to the point that rawness or irritation develops.
3. Do NOT pick, pop or squeeze any pimples. Squeezing a pimple can force the infection deeper into the skin, worsening the potential for acne scarring. Picking at the skin can produce acute inflammation and cause serious harm to the tissue. Popping a pimple will lengthen the healing period and also may cause a permanent scar. Allow your blemishes to heal on their own.
4. Know your skin. The likelihood of scarring is different for each individual, so it helps to know if you scar easily. If you are prone to scarring, visit your doctor right away to discuss options for treatment to help minimize the chances of permanent scars.
5. Visit your dermatologist if you are experiencing deep, extensive breakouts, or cysts. Deep nodules (or cysts) frequently leave behind permanent scars that are deep and difficult to treat. Quick, effective treatment is required to prevent scarring in this situation.
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