Don't pick at acne--leave extractions to the professionals!

Don’t pick at acne–leave extractions to the professionals!

Whether a teenager or adult, acne can happen at any age. Though blemishes fade, they often leave behind scars–physical and emotional scars. The great news is that it’s possible to heal from both! Today I’ll share some of my knowledge of to how to treat the acne and the subsequent physical scars, which make a big difference on their appearance for the long term.

Treat the Acne

Most acne can be treated holistically–through proper diet, lifestyle choices, topical skincare products, certain spa treatments, herbal remedies, and natural therapies.  Diet modification is often crucial, as most acne is triggered by the “Skin Trigger Trifecta”–gluten, sugar, and dairy.

Implementing a consistent daily skin care routine both morning and night also helps to keep skin clean, exfoliated and moisturized. Most of all – hands off! Don’t touch your acne or pick at lesions, as you’ll further break the skin and spread bacteria. This will worsen the infection and risk bigger, deeper scars.

I share more acne treatment tips and practical lifestyle strategies in my bestselling book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself.

Hydrate

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

From the inside out by drinking enough water. Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to warm water is a great holistic remedy to help clear up acne. It’s just as important to hydrate the skin from the outside in too. The best way to topically hydrate the skin is with a serum and moisturizer that contains humectant ingredients which pull moisture from the air and bind it to the cells. Pure aloe vera gel and hyaluronic acid are fantastic humectant ingredients.

It’s best to use products intended for acne prone skin, as using the wrong product for your skin type may cause more skin issues, such as drying skin out or creating an overproduction of sebum.

Wear sunscreen

Don’t believe the age-old myth that tanning will cause your acne scars to become uniform in color with the rest of your skin. In fact, UV rays cause scars to darken, sometimes even permanently. That’s why it is vitally important that you wear a broad spectrum sunscreen  daily and reapply often when you’re going to be outside for longer periods of time. Sunscreen should be applied to your face before all of your other skin care products, even moisturizer. Don’t keep sunscreen only on the shelf for the summer months, it’s important to wear sunscreen all year round, especially if you have acne scars on your face.

Topical scar treatments

Just like anything else, not all topical scar treatments are created equally and not all of them are appropriate for acneic skin. Many contain irritant and potentially dangerous ingredients like hydroquinone, and should be avoided. Ingredients such as onion extract and Vitamin E are sometimes seen in topical scar products. Though they haven’t been proven to effectively treat scars, they are good for hydration and protection, which scars need.

Dimethicone silicone is the only clinically proven ingredient that will increase elasticity in the scar tissue, relieves scar redness, pain and itching and can even treat and prevent hypertrophic scars. While other types of silicone pose risks of toxicity, pharmaceutical grade dimethicone has a relatively low risk factor according to the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

I’ve reviewed InviCible Scars previously, which contains this ingredient, as well as Vitamin C and licorice root (both known to fade discoloration), aloe and essential fatty acids (EFAs) which moisturize and decrease inflammation. InviCible Scars is available in two sizes and they also offer a 30 day risk-free trial. I’ve used it myself and recommended it to many others who have noticed a significant improvement. You can get more information at http://www.inviciblescars.com/.

Different types of acne scars:

Ice pick and boxcar acne scars

Ice pick and boxcar acne scars

When treating your acne scars, it’s important to know the type that you have. Some acne scars are easier to treat than others. Below is a list of the different types of acne scars:

  • Ice-Pick Scars: These are the most common acne scars. They are narrow with a  deep pit in the skin. In severe cases, these ice-pick scars take the form of large, open pore-like skin lesions. They develop after persistent acne or after an inflamed blemish or cyst.
  • Boxcar Scars: These types of acne scars are wider than an ice-pick scar. They appear as an oval and indented lesion in the skin with angular sides. They usually occur on the cheeks and temple.
  • Rolling Scars: These have a wave-like appearance. They occur due to fibrous bands between the skin and the underlying subcutaneous tissue which tether and pull on the epidermis. This deforms the overlying skin and causes a scar.
  • Hypertrophic/keloid acne scars

    Hypertrophic/keloid acne scars

    Hypertrophic Scars: Often confused with keloids, hypertrophic scars are raised, very firm and red and can develop after any skin injury, including acne. They often have an “overgrown” appearance and can be itchy.

  • Keloid Scars: Like hypertrophic scars, keloids result from an overproduction of collagen, which is a defense mechanism of the skin for some people. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids can “keep growing” to extend beyond the initial boundaries of the skin injury. These scars are thicker, harder, and red, overly raised and extend beyond the boundaries of the initial skin injury. These are rarest type of scars, the most difficult to treat, and often require facial scar revision.
  • Dark acne marks: Any form of skin injury, including acne, causes inflammation in the skin that can go on to cause skin darkening in the area. This abnormal pigment is known as “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)” and is often seen with acne.

Do you have acne scars?

I can help you figure out a treatment plan from the inside out and outside in. Click HERE to learn more about my Skin-Self Mastery Method coaching program and schedule a complimentary Curiosity Call..

*Image 2 from Olga Berrios, image 3 from InviCible Scars

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