Follow these simple tips to banish post-acne scars.
- Understand - An acne scar is any change in the skin's texture following a breakout; it can be a divot, dent, or even a large pore. It forms when severe inflammation - what makes a pimple red and irritated to begin with - breaks down the collagen in that area, A scar can range in color from red to purple in lighter skin tones to brown in darker complexions as inflammation causes this type of mark by turning on the cells that make extra pigment.
- Prevent - The first line of defense against post-acne scars and spots is to prevent new pimples from forming. Use a deep-cleansing face wash every morning and night, but don't scrub too hard because this will irritate the skin and increase breakouts. Follow up with a good moisturizer.
- Treat it Topically - Dotting a small amount of Tea Tree essential oil directly on the breakout can improve spots. Don't expect the blemish to disappear overnight, though. Mine, personally, disappear in 3-4 days.
- Inside Out - For best results, treat skin internally, too. Vitamins A and C, zinc, and protein are all important for wound healing, which is what a breakout essentially is. Load up on omega-3 fatty acids (found in flax seeds, walnuts, and avocados, among other foods), which will help reduce inflammation in the body and skin. Try adding a pinch of thyme or oregano to your meals as well; they contain agents that help fend off the bad bacteria that can be a factor in skin irritations.
- Don't Pick - Just don't do it; period. If you absolutely need to pop that zit, schedule an appointment with a facialist as he or she will use a sterile tool for the job. When you do it yourself, your dirty nails end up digging into the skin and changing the pustule into a scab, which will then scar.
- Bring in the Pros - Sometimes acne is just too severe to treat yourself. Cystic acne, for example, has a greater risk of sever scarring, so if you're dealing with very painful and inflamed bumps, it's wise to enlist the help of a professional, so make an appointment with a reputable dermatologist.