Acne outbreaks can lead to unsightly scarring marks that impact the uniformity of the complexion. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent outbreaks and prevent the appearance of these spots.
Acne: How to prevent the appearance of scar marks?
Acne Scarring: What is it?
Unlike scars, acne marks can spontaneously disappear after a few weeks or even a few months. Depending on the "color" they take on and the underlying biological mechanism that causes their formation, they are classified into two categories:
Pigmented (brown) spots: these areflat brown to black spots, depending on skin color, that occur following a skin lesion or inflammation. Thispost-inflammatory hyperpigmentationis due to anexcessive production ofmelanin, a pigment present in the skin whose main function is to protect skin cells from UV rays. Indeed, during inflammation, pro-inflammatory cytokines will stimulate the activity of melanocytes, cells that produce melanin. Although this phenomenon can affect all skin types, it is generally more common in individuals with mixed to dark skin (phototypes IV to VI).
To mitigate them, it is recommended to apply daily care containing the following active ingredients: azelaic acid,arbutin acid,niacinamide,vitamin C, chemical exfoliants (AHA, BHA, and PHA), retinoids. If this is not effective, certain procedures can be performed by a dermatologist: chemical peels, laser treatment, prescription of hydroquinone, or the use of pulsed light.
The Spots Erythematous (red): these pink to red colored marks are caused by the dilation of superficial skin vessels and are more visible on fair skin. They are also referred to as post-inflammatory erythematous marks.
How can we prevent the appearance of these marks after an acne breakout?
Even though it's not entirely possible to avoid scarring after a severe acne breakout, the following measures can minimize the risk of their occurrence.
Consult a dermatologist.
In order to prevent the onset of acne marks, it is necessary to avoid inflammation. To do this, we recommend consulting a dermatologist to treat your acne as early as possible with appropriate follow-up care.
Properly hydrating your skin.
Not only does hydration promote the healing process, but it also helps existing acne scars become less visible by unifying the skin's texture. Even if you have oily skin, it is essential to keep it hydrated with the application of products containing ingredients such as aloe vera, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid... It is also necessary to repair the damaged skin barrier with treatments containing ceramides, niacinamide, fatty acids, etc... and use treatments with anti-inflammatory actives (vitamin C, azelaic acid...). Moreover, rely on products containing soothing and healing ingredients (Centella asiatica, panthenol...). We have developed several face creamss that are hydrating, to be chosen according to your skin needs.
Avoid popping or scratching your pimples at all costs.
While it may be tempting to pop a pimple, it's important to remember that this usually does more harm than good. When you burst a pimple, you release all the sebum, bacteria, and sometimes pus onto your skin, leaving an open wound. This situation can not only worsen acne, but also cause scarring, as it interferes with the skin's natural healing process. Moreover, it can push impurities deeper into the dermis, spread the infection to other tissues, and exacerbate inflammation. This is particularly true for deep and severe blemishes like nodules and cysts.
Avoid UV exposure as much as possible.
The sun and its UVA/UVB rays intensify marks, thereby extending the time required for them to fade. Therefore, it is crucial to protect yourself daily with the application of a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreenand also limit your sun exposure. We recommend applying a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 every day, all year round. Indeed, the skin receives UV rays all year, not just during summer vacations! Moreover, UVA (long waves) have the ability to penetrate through windows and clouds.
If you are diligent in applying your sunscreen, the acne scars you develop will be much less visible, as your skin will not be subjected to the damage caused by the sun.
Diminishing acne with targeted active ingredients.
To prevent the onset of blemishes, it's crucial to anticipate future breakouts and manage your acne. Products containing ingredients such assalicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can target the acne you're currently dealing with while preventing future outbreaks. Additionally, lifestyle changes, such as regularly changing your pillowcase, limiting the intake of sugars and fats, and getting more sleep can help prevent the onset of acne and thus the scarring that can result from it.
Regrettably, you may develop acne marks and/or scars even after doing your best to prevent them. Fortunately, there are treatments available to minimize the appearance of these scars. Do not hesitate to discuss this with your healthcare professional. They can explain the treatment options available to you.