Acne scarring happens, and often it can be as upsetting as having acne in the first place. Even without picking, acne lesions- particularly cysts- can lead to scarring because the inflammation that accompanies a pimple damages collagen around the infection, suppressing healing.
Here we look at 5 tips to win against acne and be confident
- Identify the scars: There are many different types of acne scars. Atrophic scars are the very shallow ones that often can be easily concealed with light make-up. Boxcar scars are shaped in square-like troughs, deep into the skin. Icepick shaped scars are very narrow and very deep, and rolling scars are the most difficult to deal with- they are gentle and undulating across larger skin areas. Knowing the type of scar you are dealing with means that when seeking advice or medication, you can discuss your condition more accurately and so receive the most correct treatment for your scar type.
- Less touching: Picking and squeezing causes scarring because scars are made mainly of collagen- the protein fibre in the skin’s second layer- and this is how the body repairs itself. But acne scars are typically indented because of collagen loss from inflammation. Picking means more inflammation and injury to the skin, adding to discoloration and scarring- so just don’t do it. Also, squeezing and popping pimples can cause pus and bacteria to filter deeper into the skin, meaning even more collagen damage- so the cycle is perpetuated.
- Know what makes them worse: Sun is a major irritant for acne scars, so wear sunscreen. Exposing scars to the sun causes darkening, and that slows the healing process. The ultra-violet rays stimulate pigment-producing cells melanocytes, which means discoloration. You’ll look great for a tan… but less great with the terrible skin results it will encourage.
- Scar tissue: Over–the-counter acne creams can calm skin, as they are absorbed by the skin cells and reduce red inflammation. After that use something to lighten hyper-pigmentation. Kojic acid works as a natural skin lightener, derived from mushroom extract, but there are loads of skin lightening agents out there so it’s worth experimenting to see what works. Also, healing takes time, too. Persevere with treatments over a period of time in order to establish if they are providing the desired results.
- Find your confidence: Acne scarring can really affect confidence, so it can be important to monitor the effect of how we feel about our face on how we feel about ourselves. Dress pretty. Not for anyone else- but to feel good about the way a new skirt dances around your ankles. When we feel ugly we dress uglier, perpetuating the I am not worthy mentality we have. So make the effort. Work out. Engaging our bodies in physical activity connects our heads to our hearts, and ultimately, our soul. From a light yoga class to running like the wind in the park, it’s time to use our body and pay attention to its capabilities. We’re incredible machines- we just forget that sometimes. And make eye contact. Acne scarring can make us feel like we should hide away, so fight the urge. Make eye contact, smile, and remember that you are worthy.
This post is guest authored by Laura Jane Williams, who has just released a free acne guide, ACNE: a comprehensive guide to identifying and treating spots.
Note: All views expressed in this blog post are the personal opinions of the guest blogger. mySkin.com doesn’t favor any particular skincare brand or take advertising from any of them. Our scientific algorithm is entirely unbiased based on your skin profile.
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