Perhaps the only thing that strikes more fear into the heart of a chronic acne sufferer than the idea of a breakout? The idea of long-term scarring. Unfortunately, severe acne does have the potential to leave lasting damage, even after the initial breakout has cleared away. With proper care, though, this risk can be greatly minimized. Here are a few of the most important things you can do in order to reduce the long-term effects of acne on the skin.
1. Prevent acne breakouts. This may sound obvious, but it’s worth including anyway. The most important thing that you can do in order to avoid long-term damage from acne is to do everything that you can in order to avoid having serious breakouts in the first place. This is easier said than done: after all, many of the causes of acne breakouts are, in fact, hormonal. However, making sure that your skin stays clean and moisturized can help–as can practicing a healthy lifestyle that includes a wholesome diet, proper excersize, and regular sleep habits.
2. Treat acne when it does arise. Of course, some acne is always going to be inevitable. That is why it is crucial to respond to acne properly when it does occur. Clean new breakouts gently yet thoroughly, keep them moisturized, and–besides that–leave them alone! Popping, breaking, or otherwise manipulating your acne breakouts will only increase your chance for scarring. If you have a large lesion that will not go away, it is far better to make an appointment with a dermatologist than to try to treat this acne yourself.
3. Stop Smoking. Of course, you’ve probably heard this from every doctor you’ve ever spoken with, but we’re going to repeat it here because it is relevant. Smoking causes veins to contract, which limits oxygenation of healing wounds and lesions. In simpler terms, smoking makes wounds slower to heal, which increases the risk (and severity) of scarring.
4. Avoid excessive sun exposure. One more important lifestyle concern when it comes to reducing scarring. Excessive sun exposure is bad for the skin in a number of ways–not least among which is that this can also impact the way your skin heals itself after being damaged. Avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun, and always use a non-comedogenic sunscreen when exposure is necessary.
Are you struggling to manage and treat an existing acne breakout? Hoping to remove the traces of previous acne scars? We can help. Schedule a consultation today!