A zit may plague your face for a few weeks, but an acne scar can stick around for years, and in some cases, a lifetime. Acne can be treated with a proper skincare routine. However, you will never have clear skin unless you take the necessary measures to prevent scars from forming.
Never Pick at a Zit
Picking can be tempting, but the absolute best thing you can do to prevent a zit from becoming a scar is to avoid breaking the skin. Squeezing, scraping, and picking will cause the acne to become an open, infected sore. This will turn into an unsightly scab. When it eventually heals, you will be left with a darkly-pigmented spot that can take years to fade.
Alternatives to Picking
People tend to pick at acne to relieve painful pressure or to attempt to open the clogged pore. Fortunately, it’s possible to do this without breaking the skin. Hot water compresses can promote blood circulation in the infected area, open the pore, and help drain the infection. Natural remedies such as tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar may also be effective in combatting the infection.
In Case You Already Picked Your Acne
Even if you have already picked and squeezed a zit, you can still take measure to promote healing and prevent an acne scar from forming. The first thing is to stop picking at the scab immediately. Treat your broken acne as you would any other wound: apply antibiotic cream or gel and keep the broken zit under a band-aid whenever possible. This will help heal the infection and minimize the formation of a scar. A topical gel will also keep the skin soft and moist, which is also helpful for preventing scar formation.
How to Fade Old Scars
Once you have successfully prevented new acne from forming through medication, appropriate skincare habits, or dietary changes, you can take measures to diminish the appearance of old scars. Drink plenty of water and use a skin moisturizer. Well-hydrated skin regenerates faster and can more quickly shed old cells. Gentle exfoliation will keep skin smooth and over time reduce the appearance darkly-pigmented scars. Apple cider vinegar is a common home remedy to promote exfoliation to reduce scars.
The Key to Clear Skin is Preventing Acne Scars
Preventing acne is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to having clear, beautiful skin. Scars can stick around much longer than acne. The best strategy is to take careful measures during a breakout to prevent new scars from forming. Fortunately, if you messed up and picked your acne, you still have several strategies at your disposal to prevent or fade acne scars.