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The only thing that’s more frustrating than dealing with a huge, painful pimple, is the scar that forms when it’s finally gone and stays around FOREVER. We discussed the different types of acne scars and methods for treating them in a past post, but like most things in life, the best approach is prevention. Before you angrily lash out at your next zit, here are some tips on how to prevent acne scars – and yes, no picking is one of them! 

Use an acne treatment for prevention

If you have acne-prone skin, consider using an acne treatment for maintenance, even when you don’t have current breakouts. Many factors contribute to the formation of acne, including the overproduction of sebum (oil), the improper shedding of dead skin cells, and bacterial overgrowth. Different outside factors like stress and diet can also cause breakouts. The best way to prevent or lessen the severity of these breakouts is preventative care. Using salicylic acid or sulfur in your daily skincare routine will keep your pores unclogged and reduce sebum levels to stop that next pimple before it even starts.

Don’t pick at your pimple! 

Everyone knows that you should never pick at a pimple, but we also know how tempting it can be. Take away the temptation by putting a pimple patch on your pimple. Pimple patches are transparent, adhesive patches made out of hydrocolloid that keep out bacteria, dirt, and your little fingers that can’t keep to themselves. These hydrocolloid patches also absorb pus and oil from the pimples and create a moist environment to speed healing and reduce scarring.

Calm inflammation

When bacteria infect your pimple, your body’s immune system responds, resulting in redness, swelling, irritation, and scarring. Use an acne treatment as soon as you feel a zit coming to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. Also, try to reduce stress and remove high glycemic foods from your diet. Taking an oral supplement containing zinc and probiotics has also been shown in small trials to reduce systemic inflammation and help with inflammatory acne.

Use an SPF 

Breakouts or no breakouts, it’s so important to wear an SPF every day to protect your skin from skin cancer and early signs of aging. Your skin considers a pimple damaged skin, similar to when you get a sunburn. The body’s immune system responds by sending different cells to the infected area, including melanocytes, which produce melanin. Using sunscreen will help minimize excess melanin production around the pimple when you are out and about during the day.

See your doctor

If you have an especially inflamed lesion or commonly get acne cysts, you might want to consider visiting your doctor. Your doctor can give you a cortisone injection to quickly minimize inflammation and prevent your pimple from turning into a painful cyst. Stopping the severity of the pimple at its early stages will decrease your chances of scarring.

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