Most acne sufferers aren't just concerned with treatment; they also want reassurance their skin conditions won't lead to permanent scarring. Preventing scarring involves taking appropriate measures both before and after the acne clears up. Here are some steps to decrease the chances of scarring.
Get the Right Treatment from the Start
The first thing is to get treatment as soon as the acne strikes. Don't take a wait-and-see approach if you want to minimize your risks of scarring. Consult a dermatologist to prescribe the best medication for your skin type. The dermatologist may also give you a cortisone injection or cream (especially if you have cystic acne) to reduce the inflammations, and minimal inflammation means reduced risk of scarring. If you take the at-home-treatment approach, then you risk using abrasive agents that may irritate your skin.
Use Gentle Hygienic Routines
Some people have the idea that acne results from poor personal hygiene. If you hold the same belief, then you may be tempted to scrub your skin vigorously in an attempt to keep it clean and reduce the acne. Unfortunately, this will not help you since poor hygiene doesn't cause acne, and it may even worsen the condition. Keeping your body clean is good even if it doesn't magically clear the spots, but you should be gentle enough not to irritate your skin further. Just observe your normal hygiene routines.
Don't Pop Them
Acne spots may be unsightly, but this doesn't give you the license to squeeze and pop them all the time. Doing so will break your skin, and the open wounds may serve as entry points for disease-causing microorganisms. This is bad since infection increases the size of the acne wounds, which make them difficult to treat, and they are more likely to scar than non-infected ones.
Use Alpha Hydroxy Acids
These are natural acids that originate from food sources such as milk and sugar cane. Examples include glycolic, mandelic, and lactic acid. They are effective because they dry up the whiteheads and exfoliate the skin, thereby getting rid of the damaged cells so that newer ones can regenerate. Apart from reduced risk of scarring, the acids will also hasten the healing process for all types of acne.
Your dermatologist will give you specific instructions to follow when you first go for your acne consultation. It's important to follow these instructions to the letter if you want to reduce your chances of scarring. Also, note that there are lots of acne myths and (supposedly) natural treatments out there. Don't try a strange treatment without consulting your dermatologist first.