Welcome to your skin check-in with Life & Style’s resident health and beauty expert, Dr. Will Kirby, a celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway. Every week, he’ll be spilling his candid thoughts and professional advice on all things skin, beauty and wellness as it relates to you — and your favorite stars.

While unsightly acne breakouts can be annoying and embarrassing, it’s imperative to address them properly so that a temporary blemish doesn’t become a permanent texture change! I reached out to the nation’s leading skincare experts to find out the best way to avoid acne scarring.


“Avoid picking at your acne! The inflammation and wounds it causes makes scarring more likely, and spreads the acne forming bacteria,” explains dermatology and acne expert Dr. Marc Serota.

“Yep, the single most important thing to remember when dealing with a zit is to not pick!” concurs dermatologist Dr. Amy Spizuoco. “Manual manipulation of a zit will increase the chances of a permanent scar.”

“Best way to avoid acne scarring is to avoid picking, scratching, poking or squeezing your zits!” agrees dermatologist Dr. Phil Werschler. “When you pick at zits, you are adding to the tissue destruction and the skin’s repair mechanisms can become overwhelmed. If they do, your body will heal with scar tissue instead of healthy skin cells. Scars are permanent and in fact, acne scars often look worse as the years go by.”


“All too often I see prolonged skin discoloration and even scarring when a patient tries to address a breakout on their own. I recommend simply placing a hydrocolloid patch over a blemish to avoid a long term skin issue from an angry pimple,” says dermatologist Amy Spizuoco

“Patches are great,” agrees board certified dermatologist Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson. “It’s tempting to pick, but in doing so, patients are doing more damage and causing more inflammation, which can cause long-lasting redness or discoloration of the skin. To help keep your hands off those tempting zits, apply a Zitsticka which can help treat and heal at the same time!” 

The absolute best way to prevent acne scarring is to stop popping and squeezing your pimples. If you can’t help yourself, use Nexcare Acne Blemish Covers to keep your fingers off of them!” teaches dermatologist Curtis Asbury.


Retinols have been proven effective in the treatment of acne scars,” explains skin expert Camille Morgan. Nightly use of My Hero will make your skin smoother, softer and more supple all the while helping address acne scars!”

“If the acne scar is pink or red, the use of SkinMedica’s Scar Recovery Gel would be appropriate,” says Dr. Mona A. Gohara. “It should not be applied onto active acne lesions and remember to act quickly because it is not expected to work on scars that have matured and appear white and flat.”


“To help avoid the discoloration associated with acne, keep acne out of the sun,” advises dermatologist Dr. Jeanette Black. “Wear sunscreen daily and avoid excess sun exposure. If active acne is exposed to the UV radiation from the sun, acne lesions are more likely to leave red marks and brown discoloration.”

“When addressing acne, consumers and patients often confuse the word ‘scarring’ with the word ‘discoloration,'” explains aesthetic registered nurse Chelsea Nathie. “The aftermath of an active breakout is frequently the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown discoloration). Lighten Up Dark Spot Corrector with 2% Hydroquinone not only will help improve the unwanted hyperpigmentation associated with a bad acne breakout in just a few short weeks and better yet, after a brief video consultation you can have it directly to you!”


“When friends or colleagues are bothered by acne scarring, I always suggest they talk to their aesthetic clinician about a laser treatment,” suggests epidermis empress Adeena Fried. “The great thing about Fraxel is that it only treats a fraction of the skin at a time, leaving surrounding skin intact. This promotes a faster healing time and helps speed up collagen regeneration. It’s also safe for all skin types!”


If you have significant, active inflammatory acne that is leaving scars, you should consider seeing a dermatologist right away. While mild acne eventually goes away usually without leaving permanent marks, scarring acne may require medical attention to prevent future problems.