How to Treat Acne and Reduce the Appearance of Scarring
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 50 million people in the US suffer from acne. This common skin condition can have a negative impact on a person's confidence and can cause long-term scarring of the skin. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for both acne and the scarring it can cause.
Causes of Acne
Knowing the common causes of acne is one step in the process of treating it, but the causes of acne are complex and vary from person to person. The hormone changes of puberty are a common trigger of acne, causing sebaceous (oil) glands to work overtime and thus clog the pores. But acne can happen to adults too. Stress and a diet high in carbohydrates are suspected of affecting hormone balance well past the teen years. Sometimes, hair products like gel and hairspray can cause breakouts, or a simple habit like the friction from resting your chin in your hand can clog pores.
How to Treat Acne
Keeping up with a regular skincare routine is the first step towards gaining control of your acne. A cleanser with benzoyl peroxide or AHAs like mandelic acid will get rid of pore-clogging dirt and oil so that breakouts are prevented. Note: benzoyl peroxide is not a good choice for darker skin since it can cause pigmentation problems. Mandelic Acid is an excellent option for those with skin too sensitive for benzoyl peroxide or glycolics.
For some, these treatments cause mild initial skin irritation, redness, and even flaking and peeling (The peeling is necessary; peeling removes the dead skin cells that are covering the pores and holding in the impacted cells which make a comedone). Using them every other day for the first week or two will minimize these effects. With continued use, breakouts should be reduced. It takes about eight weeks for noticeable improvement when starting a new routine, so it's important to be patient.
Overcleansing can be as harmful as not cleansing at all. Once or twice a day is sufficient. Also be sure to remove all of your makeup before going to sleep. Some makeup contain comedogenic ingredients. A water based mineral makeup is better than oil based makeup.
It's very tempting to pick at or pop pimples, but doing so often causes scarring to take place. While there are ways to minimize the appearance of scarring, and many acne scars fade over time, the best course of action is to prevent scars from happening in the first place. Squeezing a pimple can drive the infection deeper which results in scarring. You should save extractions for a skin care professional.
When Scarring Happens
Treating your acne will hopefully prevent scarring from happening, but if you already have scars from previous breakouts or if scarring occurs despite your best efforts to prevent it, it is possible to see improvement with the right skin care regimen. Pigmentation and redness minimize as the healing of the lesion takes place. Be patient; it may take up to 6 months to see less redness.
Exfoliating your skin will help remove scarring and minimize it over time. Vivant Skin Care offers a variety of products that gently exfoliate skin to give it a smoother, more even tone. Combining exfoliating action with a gentle AHA like mandelic acid will give the best results and reduce the hyperpigmented areas. Vivant's Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser can improve the appearance of your skin with regular use.
Are you looking for ways to clear up your acne? Browse our skin correcting products to find the best option for your skin.