We all procrastinate. Sometimes it’s no big deal – but there are some things that cause us lasting pain if we don’t nip them in the bud. Acne is definitely one of them! While many acne lesions come and go, others can leave behind permanent scars that can persist for a lifetime. Acne can also cause social and emotional stress leading to lower self esteem and in some cases depression. These are just some reasons why treating acne, at any stage, is so important.
Why treat acne early?
Acne is a multifactorial skin condition meaning, many factors contribute to the formation of acne lesions including stress, hormone fluctuations and genetics. Breakouts can often be unpredictable and difficult to manage making it hard to know what products and routines are right for us.
With so many factors at play, it can take on average up to 2-3 months for your body to adjust to treatment – this means it may take this long for you to notice a difference. Despite this, only about 15% of acne sufferers stick to their treatment regimen for the recommended period of 8-10 weeks. In fact, most ditch their routine right before they begin to see results!
Dr. Jeannette Jakus, a board-certified dermatologist at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, advises,
“Don’t be afraid to treat! While treating acne may seem overwhelming, the best treatments are often the simplest. In fact, the key to acne treatment and prevention is not piling on the products, but finding the right routine and sticking to it. Remember, it can take a good 2-3 months to notice improvement–persistence is key! And while some people may get better sooner, others may actually notice worsening of their acne during the first month of treatment. We call this “purging”–the process during which your skin starts to get rid of all the non-visible or “under the surface” blemishes. While this may be concerning or frustrating, it may actually be a good sign that your skin is responding to the treatments.”
Benefits of treating acne early
The American Academy of Dermatology names 7 science-backed results of early acne treatment. Here they are (with our two cents thrown in).
- Acne clears up much faster
Caring for acne-prone skin always takes a bit of effort and perseverance, but the sooner you get on a routine that fits your skin, the faster you will clear! It takes a lot more time and effort to clear things up once pimples turn into deep-seated acne cysts. Trust the AAD on this one – don’t wait to find out for yourself.
- Scarring is minimized or eliminated
Early acne treatment is the best way to help prevent permanent scars. It’s almost impossible to predict which acne lesions will lead to scars so the sooner you begin treatment, the fewer acne lesions you will get, and therefore the less risk you will have for scarring. It’s pretty simple – No Acne = No Acne Scars. Oh, and yes, it is true that picking pimples can increase the risk for scarring, so try to avoid that, too.
- Post-breakout spots are less likely
Aside from permanent scarring, acne can leave behind temporary changes in the skin. Depending on your skin’s tendency to tan, these changes may lead to red or brown discoloration called “post-inflammatory erythema” (PIE) or “post inflammatory hyperpigmentation” (PIH) respectively and can linger for months or even years after the acne spots have gone.
- Acne doesn’t get so severe
This one is kind of a no-brainer – treating acne early will keep it from spiralling into severe acne. A simple but consistent routine can help minimize or even prevent future breakouts.
- Strong medicines can be avoided
Acne medicines can often lead to irritation and discomfort. More severe acne may require treatments with monitoring by a dermatologist – which means more office visits, more time and more cost. Getting on a good routine before things spin out of control not only saves time and money, but can help you take responsibility for your own health making you feel better, stronger, more confident.
- You get more acne-free years
Acne can begin at a very young age and stick around for decades. Treating acne early with the right routine and products can reduce the number of years with active and visible lesions. It’s not hard, but it does require persistence. Once you get the hang of it – make great skin care a habit – it’s really easy and so worth it.
- Emotional distress is alleviated
Research shows that acne can take a toll on one’s mental health. Your self-esteem and confidence can take a real hit with prolonged acne. Some acne sufferers find themselves isolating, avoiding events, and even sinking into deep depression. The good news is that studies also show that treating acne can alleviate these feelings.
The known benefits of early acne treatment include clearer skin with fewer scars and marks. What we have also seen, is that those who take skin care into their own hands – and really commit to a daily routine – end up feeling more confident and gain a better sense of control over their skin health.
While it may take a little jumpstart to begin and ever stronger willpower to stick to the routine that works best for you – both your skin and your mind will be thankful!.
We know you can do it. And Skincoach is here to help. It’s what we do!
American Academy of Dermatology. “Acne comes of age earlier.” News release issued August 2, 2013. Last accessed May 28, 2020.
American Academy of Dermatology. “Skin conditions by the numbers.” In: Burden of Skin Disease. Last accessed May 28, 2020.
Zaenglein AL. “Making the case for early treatment of acne.” Clin Pediatr. 2010;49(1):54-9. Pubmed