The only thing worse than acne is the scars it can leave behind. Having a potentially permanent effect on skin, long after the initial blemish has disappeared, acne scars prolong the physical and emotional impact of acne. The fact is, by mid-teens, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne or acne scarring that requires treatment by a dermatologist1. If not treated properly, acne scars can be difficult to reverse.
To help prevent acne scarring, there are many easy to implement practices you may consider. This includes:
- Rinse and repeat: The best way to prevent acne scarring is to reduce the severity and frequency of your teen’s breakouts. Making acne prevention a part of your teen’s day-to-day routine is essential to help ward off future scarring. Beyond washing their face every morning and night, daily showers and routine hair washing can reduce the buildup of sweat and oils, which clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. If your teen plays sports at or after school or sweats excessively during the day, pack cleansing wipes in their backpack for a quick mid-day skin cleanse.
- Hands off policy: Picking, squeezing and popping can turn a minor breakout into a permanent acne scar. It’s only natural for teenagers to focus on the short term elimination of their acne, but bursting a pimple can spread the inflammation and worsen the blemish. Remind your child that forcefully applying pressure to remove blackheads, pimples and whiteheads can extend the time needed to heal and create unwanted scarring down the road.
- Stay shaded: Exposure to UV rays can increase the appearance of acne and cause discoloration on scars due to an increase in pigmentation. Make sure your teenager is applying an SPF moisturizer or sunscreen to all exposed skin as a part of their morning routine.
Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to learn more about your child’s unique case.
American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/conditions/acne#.Uc2hG_nvt8F