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A dermatologist's guide to preventing acne scarring

We have all had to deal with acne at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a constant problem or an occasional breakout, whether its related to puberty, or it makes an appearance later in life, the fact is almost 100% of humans will have acne at some point in their life. Dr. Lisa Kellett is sharing her expert advice for preventing outbreaks, and improving scars. 

WHAT IS ACNE?

Acne is the result of an overgrowth of oil in the sebaceous glands and also can occur when a hair follicle sheds as this may cause the pore to clog and create sebum which feeds the acne bacteria in our skin.

WHAT CAUSES ACNE?

The cause of acne is found in the skin’s pilosebaceous glands which house both hair follicles and oil-making glands. Oil production can be increased secondary to hormonal influences from such things as puberty, pregnancy or menopause, as well as other factors such as cosmetics, skincare or medications. Lastly, on top of all of the other negative effects of stress, it can also lead to acne breakouts.

WHY DO PEOPLE SCAR FROM ACNE?

Acne scarring in some form is very common. When someone suffers from inflammatory acne, it can leave behind acne scars as a result of either an increase or decrease in tissue - lthough decreased-tissue scars (icepick scars) are much more common. The bad news is that as we age because of the loss of collagen and less skin laxity, acne scars can become more obvious.

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT ACNE SCARRING?

Easy, don’t pick, prod or pop! As tempting as it is, you should never perform extractions on yourself or anyone else for that matter. The skin has its own techniques to open and close the pores properly and when we interfere with this and open a pore, it becomes susceptible to bacteria which can lead to inflammatory acne.

ACNE BLEMISHES

Of course not everyone’s acne will result in acne scarring, but more often than not we are left with some sort of blemish. The quick and easy way to deal with these is by using a product with benzoyl peroxide in it and just exfoliate regularly using a gel-based exfoliator with beads once or twice a day.