Stop Acne Scars Before They Start

The best way to prevent your skin from potentially scarring post acne is to stop your breakouts dead in their tracks with topical products, and if need be, oral medication before it becomes a full-blown problem. Picking is a huge part of why the skin scars, especially with deeply inflamed breakouts. Limiting the amount of internal inflammation can make a big difference in the skin, too. Here's how:

Stage 1: When You Feel a Blemish Coming On
Apply medication to the area. Almost all acne patients require medication of some degree, be it antibiotics, tretinoin or something that helps regulate hormones, to get the skin under control.
Dont overload your skin with products that are too harsh or too drying. Stick to one zit-zapping ingredient with a proven track record (unless your dermatologist instructs you otherwise) like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur.
Steer clear of overcleansing and overexfoliating the skin. This can strip away too much of the skin’s natural oils, making the skin dehydrated and instigate additional breakouts.

Stage 2: When You’re Faced With a Full-On Breakout
Dont squeeze it, pop it or pick at it. The pressure incurred from picking or squeezing can push the infection deeper into the skin and spread it to the surrounding tissue, in turn causing more inflammation and the potential for further damage.
Wear an oil-free noncomedogenic sunscreen. “This is especially true of darker skin because an inflamed spot that is exposed to the sun will hyperpigment and scar,” says Orlando, FL, dermatologist Kathleen Judge, MD.
Get the blemish injected. “Patients often benefit from cortisone injected into larger cysts to improve acne,” says Santa Monica, CA, dermatologist Karyn Grossman, MD. Extractions may help too. 

Stage 3: When the Pimple Starts to Dwindle in Size and Intensity
If a scab forms, let it fall off on its own. Forcing or picking a scab off the skin will most likely leave behind a discolored spot.
Apply a brightening lotion or cream. Topical products that work to lighten and brighten may reduce how dark a spot may be, especially if you are prone to post-acne discoloration.

Find Acne Treatments Doctors near you:
  • Sheryl
    Posted on

    Try Using JBio micro refining facial Serum. It works and I love it I use it daily now I haven't had a breakout for over 1 month. I was told it is all natural human growth factors.

  • Anne
    Posted on

    Hi mrs.davis33 try using dermalogica I have been using it about 3 months and 3 weeks now together with my Clarsonic brush it really works. Now my right face are clearing while my left face still have a few but mostly it's clearing and my dark spot are lighter now too. I love this products I've tried so many acne products but only dermalogica help me to clear my skin.

  • Mrs.Davis33
    Posted on

    My face makes me so frustrated..I've used neutrogena for about a month..That made it worse.. Looks like i see a pimple everyday.. I've used different types of saps.. My chin get so greasy looking..Don't know what else to use..Help. help.

  • carl
    Posted on

    What kind of sunblock cam i use? Especially for thos.sensitive and oily skin?

  • Rebecca Fitzgerald Rebecca Fitzgerald
    Posted on

    Correctly managing the life cycle of a pimple definitely makes a difference in whether or not you'll scar. The occasional light level breakout can rely on topical medications and resisting the urge to pop or pick does have strong merits. So all the recommendations above stand as excellent advice. The problems come in for those who have acne at a physician-necessary treatment level. Complicated acne requires far more intervention and that intervention needs to be part of an every day regimen. Acne is controlled rather than cured. What about picking and popping? Some people simply can't keep their hands off their face - others unconsciously pick at both pimples and the scabs that follow. What kind of advice can we give those acne sufferers when the "hands off" policy simply isn't going to be adhered to? When the pimple is cystic or angry and inflamed - and the urge to do self surgery is too strong - a steroid injection at a dermatology office can save the day - and the face. Since deep cystic acne is impossible to control on your own, the absolute best tact is to go to a dermatologist and set up a control and prevention program. Small pimples "can" be opened on your own, but you really do need to have a tutorial so you do it right and don't force bacteria into other areas. A dermatologist or medical esthetician can quickly show you how to "pop" so that your scar risk is at its lowest and you use the correct sterile techniques.

  • Nancy
    Posted on

    For lightening cream, what brand do you recommend, especially for sensitive skin?

  • TabathaL30
    Posted on

    This is actually very good to know, very informative! I hav always heard never ever pick or pop a acne blemish but I never really knew why ppl were saying that. Now that I know it causes acne to not only spread but possibly leave it discolored or even leave marks I will, from now on, never do it again! I have a bad habit of picking the scabs and the dry skin around them,, I especially like to pop them as they come to a head! Never again! Ty for this article

From around the web