Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
A: One of the most frustrating parts of acne are the scars
that it leaves behind. A pimple that only lasts a week can leave its impression
on your skin for weeks, months or even- forever. There is number of ways to deal with scars –
some that can start even when you still have acne and others that are only
suitable after your skin improves.
fact is however that the firth thing you need to do in your battle with acne
scars is to stop acne so your skin doesn’t get injured anymore! This is why I
recommend AcnEase to do this since it stops the acne cascade and prevents new
pimples form forming. While putting prevention first, it is definitely worth it
to also look at other options that could be very helpful in managing acne
it’s important to also realize how acne scars form so you can help it not
happen! In general, scars on our skin result from a
wound or injury. Most superficial wounds heal without scarring. It's when
the skin is really damaged that scars form on the skin.
Acne scars are most often the product of inflamed
breakouts such papules, pustules or cysts. Inflamed blemishes cause the pore to
become engorged causing a break in the follicle wall. If the rupture occurs
near the skin's surface, the lesion is usually minor and heals quickly. More
serious lesions arise when there is a deep break in the follicle wall. The
infected material spills out into the skin and destroys healthy skin
tissue. In response, the skin forms new collagen fibers. Unfortunately, the
finished "repair job" never looks as good as before the injury and this
patching is called a scar.
look at some professional ways to deal with scars…
Microdermabrasion: This is a treatment that can only be
done after your acne has completely cleared. Personally, I think this is a very
aggressive treatment and can only be handled by a few skin types. If you are
using active topicals, like alpha-hydroxy acids or Retin A, you must
discontinue them for at least a week before treatment or opt out of the
treatment all together. If you have even slightly sensitive skin, I would
suggest another service. Also, you must have patience with this because it
takes multiple sessions and the healing process also takes time. Finally – deep
scars cannot really be removed by microdermabrasion, and you must have a
skilled professional do the treatments.
Light chemical peels: I have seen good results through chemical
peels with my clients who have suffered from acne scarring. This is a good
option because you can get these done while you still have some active acne (not
cysts or lesions but occasional pimples), and it will make scaring less visible
and skin less oily at least for a while.
lots of different peels out on the market and it can be confusing to decide
which is best for you, and what the results are going to be. The newer
philosophies with peels are that the light to medium depth peels are best, as
opposed to the "strip your face off" aggressive treatments that were
more popular in the past. These more superficial peels can take a series of
treatments to obtain the acquired results, but each time reveals better looking
skin, so the process is encouraging. The best peels for sensitive skin are
mandelic acid, and lactic acid, in concentrations below 20%. Glycolic acid and
TCA are much more aggressive and not suggested for sensitive skin.
switch over to vitamins now. Vitamin C is great for helping fade
scaring. This is a great brightening
vitamin and will give your skin a more overall even tone. My favorite way to
use Vitamin C at home is in the form of a lemon sugar scrub. This gives you the
benefit of the brightening Vitamin C, as well as the glycolic exfoliation from
the sugar cane molecule. Mix in a few drops of lemon juice with a few teaspoons
of organic sugar cane and a teaspoon of olive oil. Do this scrub nightly to
reveal a more even-toned brighter complexion.
is also a key to helping scarring. Vitamin A is the king of exfoliation
because it encourages your cells to shed faster from underneath, as opposed to
taking off the superficial layers of skin on the surface. The post-inflammatory
hyper-pigmenation that is created after a pimple has healed is occurring in the
deeper layer of the skin. This is why using a light at home scrub a few times a
week seems to get you nowhere when it comes to scarring. Prescription retinols
do work for some people, but I always stress the importance of listening to your
skin. If it feels tight and dry, use the product less.
I think the
best form of retinol comes from natural sources, and may take more time to
work, but produces less inflammation in the skin. Rosehip seed oil is a wonderful oil to use at night. This oil is
non-comedogenic, so it will not clog your pores. It is high in trans-retinoic
acid and also essential fatty acids that support your skins repairing and
don't’ forget however - professional skin treatments, vitamins and oils alone
aren’t going to prevent the scarring from happening. This is why I recommend something like
AcnEase, which treats the imbalance from within and prevents you from having to
deal with scarring in the first place!
probably guess what I’m going to say next too…finally, we need to talk sunscreen. Contrary to some beliefs, sun exposure does
NOT help your acne scars. Therefore, the
continued use of sunscreen cannot be more stressed.
reaction that takes places when there is inflammation around a pimple is
primarily what is causing the discoloration in the skin. When the skin is
exfoliated, it is more sensitive to sun and needs to be protected accordingly.
If you exfoliate, but do not protect the skin, you will actually make your
scars worse by making them more visible. The bottom line is if you exfoliate, which you
should if you have scars, you must protect your skin against the sunrays every
singe day, not just when you are in direct sunlight.
So I hope
this answered the question about how to help scarring. Let me know what you want to hear each week
and I’ll be glad to answer! Reply to me