At some point in our lives, we’ve all popped a pimple. It’s completely understandable. Few things in everyday life are more annoying than a pesky pimple that just won’t seem to go away. Unfortunately, impatience can cause serious damage. “Seemingly harmless behaviors can result in scarring,” explains Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, a board-certified New York dermatologist. “The good news is, you can reduce your risk by simply not engaging in those behaviors.”
Don’t let a temporary annoyance turn into a very permanent scar that bothers you for the rest of your life. Check out Dr. Gerstner’s 4 simple tips for avoiding scarring.
1. Never pick a pimple. Scars are the body’s way of healing itself. It may give you an instant sense of relief, but picking causes additional inflammation and injury, which can result in a larger scar.
2. Never squeeze a pimple. A pimple is essentially a little mound of pus trapped beneath the skin. (That’s a pleasant mental image, isn’t it?) Squeezing pushes the pus and bacteria deeper into the skin, causing more damage.
3. Protect your skin from the sun. Think of the sun as a pimple’s worst enemy. Sun rays stimulate the skin’s pigment-producing cells, which cause the skin to darken, which in turn slows the healing process. Always wear sunscreen, and, whenever possible, limit sun exposure.
4. Stop acne before it starts. Acne can have a multitude of causes: it can be environmental, it can be hormonal, it can be stress-related, it can be a symptom of a more serious condition. A variety of treatment options are available. In order to find the treatment that’s right for you, you need to get a real diagnosis from a real dermatologist. Make an appointment with a derm.