Ice For Acne Scars
What does icing skin do?
Icing constricts your blood vessels and reduces inflammation. This is why when you ice your skin your face gets a nice glow, you look less tired, and your blood flow improves which brightens your complexion and gives you the icing “glow”.
This is why some people ice their face every morning as part of their skincare routine, or right before they go out to a big event to get a nice glow.
Does Icing help acne?
Icing active acne helps when the pimples are the inflammatory type of acne, because icing the area helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Reducing swelling and inflammation helps the cystic acne calm down, and inflammation increases the chance of scarring so anything you can do to reduce that will help your skin long-term.
Emma Craythorne Consultant Dermatologist who specializes in acne scarring treatment at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and 152 Harley Street said in a Glamour interview that ice is a very helpful acne treatment.
She explained that ice helps acne by “reducing the swelling, redness and calming the inflammation and that will reduce the risk of scarring and post-inflammatory colour change on the skin.”
When acne is inflamed, icing helps make the acne color less red and it calms the inflammation on the skin, which also decreases the chance of getting an acne scar in the future.
Inflammatory acne types that icing can help include:
- Cystic acne
- Nodule acne
- Pustule acne
- Papule acne
Ice won’t help as much on non-inflammatory acne such as blackheads, since its main benefit for acne is reducing the inflammation and swelling. When you decrease your acne’s inflammation using ice, you are decreasing the size which in theory could help it heal faster and go away more quickly.
Additionally icing active inflammatory acne can decrease its redness and make your acne less visible on your face. It can also help ease pain the acne is causing due to the short-term numbing effect ice creates.
Does Icing help acne scars?
Icing decreases pore size and helps reduce inflammation. This means that it can make your acne scarring temporarily look better, but the positive visual effect will go away once the numbing effect from the icing goes away.
If you ice your active inflammatory acne, however, this has a positive short-term effect on the active acne and a positive long-term effect in regard to acne scarring.
This is because the icing reduces inflammation, and since inflammation interferes with your skin’s healing process and makes it more likely for your acne to leave a scar, icing and decreasing the inflammation is a good way to treat your active acne to decrease the chances it will end up leaving a scar.
In conclusion, icing is a good acne scar prevention method you can use on active acne to help calm their inflammation so they are less likely to leave a scar as they heal.
My experience icing acne and acne scars
I have tried ice as a treatment for both my active cystic acne and acne scarring before, and the research cited above was also true in my own experience.
When I’ve iced my active inflamed acne cysts and pustules or active red acne areas, I’ve immediately felt the cool numbing effect that takes away pain, immediately seen a decrease in the acne redness, swelling, and inflammation, as well as seen a healthy glow on my face after removing the ice.
Based on my experience it’s easy for me to see how treating active inflamed acne with ice can help both in the moment as well as long-term help decrease the risk of that acne scarring by decreasing its inflammation so that doesn’t interfere as much with the acne healing process.
I’ve also tried icing acne scar areas, and the ice does decrease the pore size temporarily and make skin look better, but that positive effect does go away after a few hours when the ice numbing effect is no longer there.
I will definitely keep icing any areas of active acne that I get to help decrease the inflammation and chance of future scarring, and I will use ice before big events to get a nice facial glow.
Let us know your experience with icing and acne as well as acne scarring in the comments below!