Acne outbreaks can lead to unsightly scarring marks that impact the uniformity of the complexion. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent outbreaks and stop these spots from appearing.
Acne: How to prevent the appearance of scar marks?
- Acne scarring: what is it?
- How can we prevent the emergence of these marks following an acne outbreak?
Acne scarring: what is it?
Unlike scars, acne marks can spontaneously disappear after a few weeks or even months. Depending on the "colour" they take on and the underlying biological mechanism that causes their formation, they are classified into two categories:
Pigmented (brown) spots: these areflat brown to black spots, depending on the skin colour, that occur following a skin lesion or inflammation. Thispost-inflammatory hyperpigmentationis due to anexcessive production ofmelanin, a pigment present in the skin whose main function is to protect skin cells from UV rays. Indeed, during inflammation, pro-inflammatory cytokines will stimulate the activity of melanocytes, cells that produce melanin. Although this phenomenon can affect all skin types, it is generally more common in people with mixed to dark skin (phototypes IV to VI).
To reduce them, it is recommended to apply daily treatments containing the following active ingredients: azelaic acid,arbutin acid,niacinamide,vitamin C, chemical exfoliants (AHA, BHA and PHA), retinoids. If this is not effective, certain procedures can be performed by a dermatologist: chemical peels, laser treatment, prescription of hydroquinone or the use of pulsed light.
The spots erythematous (red): these pink to red marks are caused by the vasodilation of superficial skin vessels and are more visible on fair skin. They are also called post-inflammatory erythematous marks.
How can we prevent the emergence of these marks following an acne outbreak?
Even though it is not entirely possible to avoid scarring after a severe acne outbreak, the following measures can minimise the risk of their occurrence.
Consult a dermatologist.
In order to prevent the onset of acne marks, it is necessary to avoid inflammation. To do this, we recommend consulting a dermatologist to treat your acne as early as possible with appropriate follow-up care.
Properly hydrating one's skin.
Not only does hydration aid the healing process, but it also helps existing acne scars to be less noticeable by unifying the skin's texture. Even if you have oily skin, it is essential to keep it hydrated with the application of products containing ingredients such as aloe vera, glycerine, hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid... It is also necessary to repair the damaged skin barrier with treatments containing ceramides, niacinamide, fatty acids, etc... and use treatments with anti-inflammatory actives (vitamin C, azelaic acid...). Moreover, opt for products containing soothing and healing ingredients (Centella asiatica, panthenol...). We have developed several face creamss that are hydrating, to be chosen according to your skin needs.
One must certainly not pop or scratch their spots.
While it may be tempting to pop a spot, it's crucial to remember that this usually does more harm than good. When you burst a spot, you release all the sebum, bacteria, and sometimes pus onto your skin, leaving an open wound. This situation can not only exacerbate acne, but also cause scarring marks, as it interferes with the skin's natural healing process. Moreover, it can drive impurities deeper into the dermis, spread the infection to other tissues, and worsen inflammation. This is particularly true for deep and severe blemishes like nodules and cysts.
Avoid UV exposure as much as possible.
The sun and its UVA/UVB rays intensify marks, thereby extending the time required for them to fade. Therefore, ensure you protect yourself daily with the application of abroad-spectrum SPF sunscreenand also limit your sun exposure. We recommend applying a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 every day, all year round. Indeed, the skin receives UV rays all year round, not just during the summer holidays! Moreover, UVA (long waves) have the ability to penetrate through windows and clouds.
If you are diligent in applying your sunscreen, the acne scars you develop will be much less visible, as your skin will not be subjected to the damage caused by the sun.
Alleviating acne with targeted active ingredients.
To prevent the onset of blemishes, it is crucial to anticipate future outbreaks and manage one's acne. Products containing ingredients such as thesalicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can target the acne you are suffering from while preventing future outbreaks. Moreover, lifestyle changes, such as regularly changing your pillowcase, limiting the intake of sugars and fats, and getting more sleep contribute to preventing the onset of acne and thus the scarring that can result from it.
Regrettably, you may develop marks and/or acne scars even after doing your utmost. Fortunately, there are treatments available to minimise the appearance of these scars. Do not hesitate to discuss this with your healthcare professional. They can explain the treatment options available to you.