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Polka dots: super-cute on clothes, not so cute on your face. Sadly, when acne pops up, it's not just the zit itself that can be a bummer — acne blemishes are wounds, so just like any other time that your skin is inflamed, a scar can be left behind for weeks. To figure out how to prevent and treat acne scarring, we reached out to dermatologist Dr. Ronald Moy, who gave us the low-down on how to de-spot our visages.
To keep your skin clear, the key is to start with prevention — and since acne is technically a skin infection, it should be treated as such. "One of the most effective ways to address acne is by targeting it at its root cause: bacteria," says Dr. Moy. "You can kill bacteria with prescription antibiotics, but there are natural options — such as sandalwood oil — which kills acne bacteria on contact."
When acne does crop up (and let's be honest, no matter how rigorous we are with our skin care routines, we always seem to end up with a big fat one at least once a month), Dr. Moy says that the key with scar prevention is to baby your complexion as you treat it, to avoid traumatizing your already-irritated skin. If you have deep scarring, Dr. Moy says, you may want to see your dermatologist to receive a laser treatment, but for your everyday spots and red marks, there are a number of products that will encourage cell turnover to reveal a more even skin tone with regular use.
Click through to see some of our favorite scar-busting picks.