Picking at pimples is an absolute no-no—it'll only leave behind lasting acne scars. If you do end up with red or dark spots, some people recommend applying ice to heal the scarring. But does this old home remedy really work?

Alternating between ice and heat on any wounded area is known to reduce swelling, shrink blood vessels and stimulate blood flow. As a result, oxygen-rich blood speeds healing. Icing acne-infected skin and scars may help to gently heal scar tissue, but it's not exactly tried and tested. Even if icing does reduce some scarring, it won’t help deep pitted scars like ice pick scars.

Ice is most beneficial in the early stages of scarring, when acne inflammation is active. Icing the inflamed areas for 15 minutes at a time during this stage can minimize scarring, reduce inflammation and help the eruption heal. Ice can also diminish the pain of inflamed acne, helping to reduce the likelihood of picking or prodding.

But honestly, more potent treatments are more likely to be effective than plain old ice. Exfoliate with a scrub two to three times a week, and invest in a vitamin C cream or serum to fade scars.

About the Author

Tracy Morris

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.