Fact or Fiction: Acne Scar Edition

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Acne is the most common skin condition in the entire U.S., affecting as many as 50 million Americans every year. However, acne can still be incredibly embarrassing for those who deal with this condition, particularly when conventional treatment options have failed. Even if you work with a skin doctor to get your acne under control, you still may be faced with scarring — which can serve as a painful reminder of your skin problems. Fortunately, these scars are typically treatable with help from a qualified dermatologist. Still, there’s a lot of false information floating around about acne scar treatments. Do you know the truth about the following statements? Are they facts or complete fiction?

FACT OR FICTION? Tanning can hide or heal acne scars.

Answer: Fiction. Sun exposure can be dangerous for people of all skin types, but it can actually make matters worse for acne sufferers. Tanning can actually darken these scars permanently and can make your skin appear more inflamed or prone to wrinkles and significant damage. A spray tan may achieve more of the desired masking effect, but keep in mind that these sprays may contain irritants that could make existing acne worse. It’s better to consult with skin care specialists to decide on more effective (and less harmful) acne scar treatments for you.

FACT OR FICTION? Vitamin E is a cure-all for acne scarring.

Answer: Fiction. Sadly, there really is no such thing as a cure-all for acne or for scarring. Acne can be caused by a number of factors (or a combination of factors), meaning that treatments are incredibly individualized. Acne scar treatments are unique to each person, as well. But one treatment that really doesn’t work is vitamin E, which some people believe helps scars heal more quickly. One study actually found that applying vitamin E to an acne scar can prohibit the scar from healing at all. While there are some home remedies that may have merit, you should always talk to a specialist before beginning any type of treatment regimen.

FACT OR FICTION? Some acne scars heal naturally.

Answer: Fact. Some acne scars may heal on their own without any specific acne scar treatments performed by a dermatologist. This process can take a lot longer, but with time and a good skin care routine, some scars will heal completely or fade significantly. This may not be the case with all scars, however, which is why you may want to talk to dermatologists in your area about laser skin treatments, chemical peels, or other options that might work better for you and provide a faster result.

FACT OR FICTION? Acne scars can’t be prevented.

Answer: Fiction. Acne scars are actually somewhat preventable, provided you do all the right things when acne first emerges on your skin. Picking, popping, or squeezing your acne can cause the condition to spread and result in scar formation. Avoid these behaviors at all costs, despite how tempting they are. You should also cleanse regularly but avoid rough scrubbing, use a dermatologist-recommended moisturizer, and wear sunscreen to prevent skin damage. While you may not always be able to prevent acne scars, being more careful about how you treat your skin during a breakout can help.

Interested in learning more about treatments for acne and acne scars? We’re here to assist you. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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