Once those red or white menaces make an appearance on your face, you normally have three to five days of dealing with the unsightly appearance of pimples. While some people have the ability to leave these little monsters alone, others tend to pick, scratch and pop them until there’s no life left in them. Doctors and dermatologists suggest that leaving pimples alone can help minimize the aftermath since further trauma to the skin can cause acne scarring. However, even a pimple that is untouched can turn into acne scarring that seems impossible to conceal. Nevertheless, scarring doesn’t have to be permanent. Learn how to finally get rid of acne scars.
At-Home Treatments for Acne Issues
Skin care experts agree that there are numerous ways to prevent and treat acne scarring. Resurfacing products can help with existing acne and acne scars. Glycolic acid and Lactic acid help to minimize the depth and severity of scars while working to keep the pores clear. A cream with the active ingredient of salicylic acid can also work well. Retinol or vitamin A is known for a variety of skin-boosting benefits but few know about its resurfacing attributes which can help with acne outbreaks and scar healing. In mild doses, vitamin A can dry up the production of sebum. When there is less sebum in the pores, the odds of the pores becoming clogged is reduced which decreases the chance of an outbreak. In a case where a person already has scarring caused by acne, vitamin A promotes shedding of the dead skin cells. This stimulates cell turnover and collagen production to help minimize the depth of scarring and combat existing blemishes. While these treatments can work very well, it can take time to see great results. Therefore, some people opt for one of several clinical treatments that can quickly and effectively remove or reduce acne scarring while clearing the pores for a brighter complexion.
Non-Invasive Treatments for Acne Scarring
Microneedling, dermal fillers and microdermabrasion are some of the less invasive clinical treatments available for acne scarring. Each of these treatments can minimize the appearance of scars by allowing the body to naturally heal itself while encouraging or increasing collagen production. Microneedling uses tiny acupuncture-like needles to encourage the skin’s natural repair system. This treatment does not remove any layers of skin so it can be performed on any skin type and has minimal recovery time. Dermal fillers can be used to fill-in depressed skin that is created from volume loss caused by the inflammatory process during an acne infection. The filler is injected into the depressed scar to plump up the skin. Most dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid which naturally occurs in the body. Therefore, they are easily accepted by the body and have little to no side effects or recovery time. However, dermal fillers are temporary and will be naturally absorbed by the body over time. Microdermabrasion is a treatment which uses a diamond tip device or a spray of fine crystals to buff the superficial layer of dead skin cells. The body interprets the exfoliation as an injury and replaces the dead cells with healthy new cells. Microdermabrasion can also be used on all skin tones and does not require a lengthy downtime. Since these non-invasive treatments tend to be gentler, it can take several treatment sessions to gain adequate results.
Customized Treatments for Acne Scarring
Alternative treatments may include laser resurfacing or chemical peels. Both treatments are considered minimally invasive. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels can be customized from light treatments with a minor recovery period to an aggressive treatment requiring up to 14 days of recovery. These treatments work by removing the top layers of skin with either heat or chemicals creating a controlled wound. The body will respond to the trauma and create a new layer of skin which will be smoother and firmer looking. Although these cosmetic procedures have the potential for a higher rate of complications, they can quickly and effectively treat acne scarring with as little as one treatment. Anyone considering these treatments should consult with a board-certified doctor to see if laser resurfacing or a chemical peel is right for them since these treatments are not recommended for patients with darker skin tones or certain medical conditions.
Acne can be a problem for both younger and older people and this includes celebrities. Acne comes in various levels of annoyance and can affect stars like Kendall Jenner. Acne can be seen as tiny white heads or black heads. They can be sporadically placed in the most inopportune areas or appear in large clusters along the forehead, chin and cheeks. There is also inflammatory acne that sits like a large red bump that nobody can miss. People who suffer from frequent acne breakouts can end up with acne scarring which may require treatments such as fillers or laser resurfacing. The best way to combat acne scarring is to treat the skin or acne before it gets out of hand. Let’s see how Kendall Jenner got her acne issues under control.
Get Help for Acne Issues
As a teen, Kendall Jenner struggled with whiteheads across her forehead and cheeks. Like most young girls, this caused her some embarrassment and self-esteem issues. Kendall, who is now 20, got her acne issues under control with the assistance of dermatologist Dr. Christie Kidd from Beverly Hills. Dr. Kidd treats most of the Kardashian-Jenner family and helps them look gorgeous with or without makeup. Now, Kendall wants to help others struggling with acne or acne scarring with some skin care tips and routines.
Skin Care Advice
Kendall’s top advice to everyone with acne or frequent blemishes is to not use abrasive or exfoliating scrubs on the face. This includes the ones by Proactiv, Olay and Clairsonic. Rotating brushes are also a big skin care “No No”. Dr. Kidd recommends not washing the face with anything abrasive. The face should be treated very delicately and just washed with the hands. According to the doctor, using anything abrasive on acne can increase zit inflammation and make it worse.
In addition, a washcloth can be rough on the skin and can spread bacteria from the washrag to the skin. To eliminate this risk, a person should use a clean washcloth on a daily basis.
Protect the Skin
Once the face is clean and dried with a soft towel, Kendall wipes her face with an Acne Fresh pad to put the medicine onto the skin. To protect the skin from harmful UV rays during the day, the doctor suggests using a lotion called EltaMD Clear. EltaMD Clear is a sunblock, with acne medication in it, which does not leave the skin feeling greasy. This skin care regimen allows Kendall to walk the red carpet with smooth, healthy looking skin.
Pimples occur due to an inflammation under the skin that is caused by the pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells as well as excess oil and bacteria. Exfoliating the skin with a chemical exfoliant is necessary to keep the skin healthy and clear especially with people who are prone to breakouts. Although many people see themselves as expert pimple poppers, this generally leads to further destruction of the tissue and even an acne scar. Therefore, popping pimples should never be the option. However, some pimples, when left alone, can create a scar on their own. Cystic acne is a type of inflammatory acne which causes painful lesions under the skin. Due to a rush of white blood cells and enzymes in that region, the lesions never really make it to the surface and the infection spills out under the skin’s surface. As the skin tries to heal itself, acne marks and scars may form.
Acne Marks VS Acne Scars
An acne mark is not the same thing as a scar but it can still leave the person with noticeable flaws on the skin. People with lighter skin tones usually develop post-inflammatory erythema or marks that appear as red or purple. People with darker skin tones will generally have marks that appear brown in color and this is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These marks generally go away on their own but they can take 6 months or more to disappear. Acne scars are generally formed when the acne lesion destroys the collagen and elastin in the area but they often happen during acne popping or picking. This is because an indentation is created and the body is not able to regenerate the tissue properly and this results in a scar. Therefore, the best way to prevent an acne scar from occurring is to leave it alone. People who are prone to cystic pimple outbreaks may benefit from a cortisone injection to reduce the body’s inflammation levels and pimples within 24 to 48 hours and to lessen the chance of scarring.
Treating Acne Marks and Scars
If acne marks or scarring does occur, there are many treatments which can be used to improve the skin’s appearance.
- People with darker skin tones may be able to treat a brown mark using an at-home exfoliating product with glycolic or salicylic acid to bring the dark skin cells to the surface
- Retinoid skin products can be used for both types of acne marks
- Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever going outside can help to reduce the appearance of marks and scars since the sun can intensify or darken a scar
- Cortisone cream can be purchased, without a prescription, and used to reduce the appearance of a red or swollen scar
- Cortisone injections can be used to calm down a red or raised scar
- Ablative lasers can vaporize the scar and promote smoother skin
- Non-ablative lasers can promote new collagen formation to fill-in acne scars
- Dermal fillers can be used to fill-in depressed or “ice pick” scars but this method is temporary and will need repeat treatments, every 4 to 6 months, to maintain the results