For some people, dealing with acne is like fighting a never-ending battle. Every time that they think that they finally have a chance of winning, the enemies send out reinforcements and they are back at square one again. Only that this time, the same strategy doesn’t work and their arsenal is almost depleted, thus reducing combat ability and resulting in permanent changes to the ‘battleground’, namely, their faces.
During a breakout, our blemishes get inflamed, hence destroying the skin cells and tissues around them and resulting in deep wounds. To counteract this, collagen is produced to facilitate cell renewal and tissue growth. But sometimes, the amount of collagen formed is lesser and thinner than what is required, thus causing depressed acne scars to develop. In addition, dark spots are also formed, marring the skin and causing an uneven skin tone.
To cope with this, we employ all sorts of methods — only to find our skin getting worse instead of better. Thus, this then leads us to the question, ‘what is the best way to treat our acne scars and are there specific factors that aggravate them?’ Contrary to perception, not all acne scars are created equal. Certain acne scars like ice pick scars and boxcar scars are more difficult to deal with and usually require professional help. In addition, some of our daily habits may actually worsen the condition of our acne scars, thus treating them can be a difficult process.
Therefore, it’s crucial that we become acquainted with the behaviours that we often engage in and alter them accordingly. As such, here is a list of 5 common habits that are exacerbating your acne scars.
The Guilty Parties That Aggravate Acne Scars
The tendency to scar differs among individuals. So, if you find yourself susceptible to developing acne scars, it is best to take preventive measures to reduce the probability. For instance, you should incorporate anti-acne treatment products into your daily skincare routine to decrease the likelihood of developing massive pimples that are responsible for your acne scars.
Whereas, if you already have pre-existing acne scars, consider visiting a dermatologist to advise you on the best course of treatment. Whether be it retinols, lasers or vitamin C serums — there are numerous ways to get rid of acne scars and dark marks, all of which have varying efficacy depending on skin type and acne severity.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can just rely on these acne scar treatment options without making any modification to your daily habits. Your diet, sleep quality and skincare routine habits all have a part to play in acne outbreaks and development of acne scars. Hence, it will be good to be aware of some habits that may be worsening your acne scars. Here are some:
Picking And Popping Your Pimples
Time and time again, we are told not to pop or pick at our pimples and for good reason. Whenever you pop a pimple, you cause the skin around it to rupture, exposing it to various pollutants and germs as well as increasing the likelihood of infection. In addition, as your skin attempts to recover from the damage, you also have a higher possibility of developing narrow and steep ice pick scars due to the insufficient amount of collagen produced to replace the injured cells and tissues. Asides from that, you may unintentionally push the contents of the blemish and dirt deeper into your skin while picking and popping it. Subsequently, this may aggravate it, causing it to become swollen and red. Also, the bacteria and grime on our hands can get transferred onto our face when squeezing a zit, thus potentially triggering an onset of acne outbreaks around the area. Therefore, think twice before popping a pimple as it can cause new acne scars and exacerbate the existing ones.
Rubbing Or Scrubbing Your Face With A Towel
While it may be extremely satisfying to dry your wet face by rubbing it with a towel, try to refrain from doing so. This is because the rubbing motion can irritate the skin and cause it to become flushed, thus accentuating any uneven skin texture and existing acne scars. At the same time, the friction from rubbing can also cause the skin around blemishes to tear and become infected, thus increasing the chances of new acne scars being formed.
Not Applying Sunscreen
If you are suffering from acne, chances are that you are using anti-acne products with ingredients that make hypersensitive to the sun such as retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids. So, if you are not regularly applying sunscreen, you have a higher risk of suffering sun damage in the form of hyperpigmentation. This can spell bad news for acne-prone individuals who are already highly susceptible to developing dark spots after a breakout as the harmful ultraviolet rays can actually worsen it. Therefore, to prevent prominent looking acne scars and marks, make sure to slather on sunscreen on a frequent basis.
Putting On Overly Thick And Heavy Makeup
To hide our unsightly pitted acne scars and dark spots, we sometimes pile on a lot of makeup. But the thing is – if these makeup products have overly rich and heavy formulations, there is a high probability that you will not only break out more but aggravate your existing cystic acne bumps and affect their healing process. As a result, you are more likely to develop acne scars in the future.
If you exfoliate too frequently, it will wear out your skin’s natural moisture barrier and cause it to become dry, red and irritated. This can increase the visibility of your current acne scars and make you prone to developing acne marks.