As if pimples aren’t bothersome enough when they erupt in full volcanic bloom, if you’re not careful they will leave a parting gift in the form of an unsightly scar to remind you of the confidence-zapping time you shared together. Not fun, and definitely not cute.
Blemishes come and go, but rest assured that their existence is nowhere near as eye-catching to onlookers as it is under your scrutinizing glare in the mirror. Yes, pimples are sometimes unavoidable but there is no reason why they should scribble their memoirs on your face. Read on for a how-to guide on removing all evidence that your breakout ever happened.
First up, why do scars form in the first place? A pimple is example of inflammation on the skin, which can sabotage collagen fibres, making it more likely to leave its signature mark on your face. According to top dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, your best bet is to control the acne in the first place, “the prevention of a scar is far easier than the treatment of one.” But if you do get a pimple, don’t pick and poke it! “This almost always leads to inflammation, which, in turn can lead to greater scarring.”
Battle your pimple naturally without breaking the skin with the assistance of Mother Nature’s anti-inflammatory defence squad.
Fresh crushed garlic contains potent anti-bacterial properties which shorten the lifespan of a pimple as well as reduce scarring on the skin which can linger as a permanent imperfection. Apply directly to the infected area.
Applying a dot of live yoghurt on your pimple will help to prevent a scar from forming. Its unique cocktail of nutrients, lactic acid and live cultures help banish inflammation and erase the footprint left behind.
Try combining ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric with a drop of water to make a colourful pimple-fighting paste. This is a robust anti-inflammatory spice as well as a natural source of salicylic acid which is hailed as a scar-obliterating super hero on the dermatology scene.
Vitamin E oil is a tonic for damaged skin as it accelerates the healing process of pigmentation scarring. Do not apply this oil to broken skin, only to scars. Rosehip is another scar-striking oil. The essential fatty acids and antioxidant content of rosehip work wonders by fading the trail of a pimple.
This may sound odd, but try gently massaging raw potato on your acne scars (probably best to do this in private!) Potato packs a cooling punch of minerals like sulphur and potassium, as well as vitamin C, which work overtime on scar tissue to help heal it.
Try making this natural face mask which targets pimple scars with multi-functional force. Mix 2 tablespoons of raw honey with ½ a mashed avocado and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. The honey provides a healing hug, while the avocado contains a wealth of vitamin E oil. But the piece de resistance is the cinnamon – an anti-inflammatory agent with a generous dash of anti-microbial might to minimize the scar and prevent further zits from sprouting.
Oh and protect your face from the sun… Contrary to popular belief, exposing your pimple scars to the sun in an attempt to fade them can in fact highlight them by darkening the pigmentation. Remember to apply your sunscreen, preferably containing a shot of healing zinc.
Radiant is a bi-annual print and digital health magazine dedicated to the discerning African woman and her journey to wellness through health, beauty and culture. Available at Barnes & Noble stores and other retailers (see stockists) and online. Ships worldwide. Subscribe to our newsletter and get a free digital copy of issue No.06.
Article reviewed and approved by Dr. Didi Emokpare
Content provided in partnership with Radiant Health Magazine
Faith A. Coleman, MD