Prevent Acne Scars by Reducing Inflammation
All acne lesions will not necessarily result in acne scars. For example, inflamed “chin acne” that typically precedes menstruation in women, will not cause scarring if the inflammation is reduced quickly.
Yet once you experience an inflamed acne lesion, you can take measures to prevent you chances of acne scarring. The most potent thing you can do to reduce your chances of developing an acne scar is to reduce inflammation.
The entire acne scar process results from the body’s attempt to remove inflammation caused by an acne lesion. You can reduce acne inflammation by:
1. Increasing your intake of antioxidants
2. Limiting irritation to the site of the acne lesion
3. Encouraging removal of excess fatty acids at the site of the acne lesion.
As dermatologist Peter T. Pugliese points out in his report “The Skin’s Antioxidant Systems” in the December 1998 edition of the journal Dermatology Nursing, all skin disorders, including acne, are characterized by inflammation and thus will benefit from antioxidant therapy.
While the exact inflammation response that characterizes a acne lesion is not fully understood, the Global Alliance to Improve Acne Outcomes links the inflammation response to blood and cellular responses due to the increased presence of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).
Additionally, the inflammation could result from a hormonal response due to an increase in the androgen levels in the skin the ultimately increase oil secretion and thus the changes of developing an acne lesion caused by a clogged pore.
When examining the effect of hormones in the development of acne, James C. Shaw reported in a 2002 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology that androgen plays a key role in the development of acne generally acne lesions do not form without the presence of androgens.
Regardless of the exact mechanism of your acne lesion inflammation, consuming foods with high levels of antioxidants can mitigate the effects of inflammation.
1. Increase intake of antioxidants
Foods containing vitamins A, C and E help reduce inflammation as help neutralize free radical damage and reduce inflammation.
Vitamin A foods include: organ meat, sweet potatoes, spinach and apricots
Vitamin C foods include: peppers, lemons, strawberries, broccoli
Vitamin E foods include: shrimp, sunflower seeds, nuts, and oils
2. Limit irritation to the site of the acne lesion
When you have an acne lesion, it is tempting to touch the lesion and wonder when of if it is going to go away. Each touch to an acne lesion further irritates the skin.
When you touch or press and acne lesion, you could force an acne lesion contained in one pore to burst and thus spread the infection to surrounding pores, and enlarge the acne lesion.
Also, touch an acne lesion increases the chances that you skin will come in contact with more bacteria via your hands. This additional bacterium gives your skin one more factor to defend itself against and increases the inflamed, red, painful response even more.
3. Encourage removal of excess fatty acids at the site of the acne lesion
You can reduce the presence of fatty acids on your skin by using an effective clay mask to absorb the excess oils. As these oils are removed, the inflammatory response within the skin can be reduced.
In short, blemishes need not result in scars if you take the three-pronged approach to limiting skin irritation.