Even after you have gotten your acne under control, you may have scars that will stay with you for your entire life if you do not get them treated. For many people, these scars are unsightly or embarrassing. Certain types of scars, such as raised scars, may even by itchy or painful. You may want to consult with a dermatologist about the many options for removing or reducing these scars.
While you are considering home methods for reducing your scars, you may come across the concept of dry brushing, which helps exfoliate the skin. However, there are several reasons that dry brushing may not be the best stand-alone home treatment for your scars. If you are using dry brushing with another type of treatment, there are some things you should know.
Dry Brushing May Not Help All Types of Scarring
The main reason people assume that dry brushing may help acne scars is that it promotes regular exfoliation of the skin. However, this is a light exfoliation, not as intense as the dermabrasion or microdermabradion that you would experience in a dermatologist's office. It is unlikely that it would peel away scar tissue and encourage new tissue growth. However, if you have very light scars that are flat, as opposed to indented or raised, dry brushing may be helpful, especially if you combine it with over-the-counter silicon creams that improve the elasticity of scar tissue.
Dry Brushing May Irritate Raised Scars
Raised scars tend to be the type of scar that causes pain or itching. Hard bristles of a skin brush can irritate the scar and cause more pain to develop. You may need to develop a brushing technique that avoids raised scars or look into a brush with softer bristles. Your dermatologist can discuss the benefits and risks of dry brushing for your particular skin and work with you to develop techniques that do not irritate more sensitive scars.
If you begin dry brushing and begin sensing pain on particular scars, you should talk to your dermatologist about reducing or removing those scars.
Certain Treatments May Require You to Stop Dry Brushing
After most dermatological treatments such as chemical peeling, surgery, collagen injections, or dermabrasion, your skin may be extremely sensitive. You may have to stop dry brushing until your skin heals. It is important to ask your dermatologist when you will be able to start dry brushing again.
Improved Circulation From Dry Brushing May Help With Some Treatments
Dry brushing can help improve your circulation. Better circulation allows more oxygen to be carried to your scars, promoting healing and fading of scars. You do not have to brush directly over the scarred area to have the benefits of increased circulation, meaning you can continue to brush the areas of your skin that are not being treated and perhaps speed the recovery of your scar tissue.
A Dermatologist Will Be Able to Help You Decide On the Proper Amount and Style of Dry Brushing
If you want to try skin brushing to help reduce your acne scars, it is important that you consult with a dermatologist. They will be able to point out which areas brushing will be most effective on as well as help you find a style of brushing that works for you. While generally, long sweeping strokes are used to promote circulation and increased lymph flow, your dermatologist may suggest small, light circles directly over the scar tissue to cause more light abrasion to the area. Alternatively, they may suggest that you avoid dry brushing until your scars have been professionally treated.
If you have acne scars, dry brushing may sound like an appealing solution. However, it is important you discuss it with a professional before you begin a home treatment. For more information, contact a local skin clinic like Desert Dermatology.