Acne purging is a controversial topic.Some agree and some disagree saying its just irritation.I have experienced acne purging,its frustrating and so many others who are on acne treatment face that too.People are confused when it happens so today’s post is everything you need to know about acne purging,myths and how to deal with it.Read along to find out more about it.
What is acne purging?
Acne purging is commonly defined as “Worsening of acne before it gets better”.Acne purging is a initial reaction that occurs when one starts on acne treatments like Chemical Peels,Retinoids like(Retino-A,Avene Triacneal,AHA’s(Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and BHA’s(Beta-Hydroxy Acid) like Glycolic acid,Salicylic acid,Benzoyl Peroxide,Sulphur etc.If you have clogged pores,you are mostly likely to experience acne purging.Acne treatments unclog pores,kill acne causing bacteria,control excess sebum production,gets rid of dead skin cells and treat acne.In the process of unclogging pores,the acne which would eventually surfaced in few weeks,just comes up to the skin surface earlier due to the rapid exfoliation process and might occur as a white head or inflamed red pimple.
How long can one experience acne purging?
Acne purging is dependent on skin type and severity of acne.If acne is severe,one might experience acne purging,a little longer than few weeks.Normally purging occurs for over 4-6 weeks.It also helps by using only non-comedogenic skin care products and by following a proper acne regimen.
When will acne get better?
Once purging subsides,gradually acne will also start subsiding.And eventually skin will start clearing up.
How to deal with acne purging?
Actually acne purging is inevitable part of acne treatment.Some doctors prescribe oral antibiotics like Tetracycline,Doxycline,Minoz,Azithromycin for initial few weeks of acne treatment to overcome acne purging.Does it help?Well yes to an extent.But long term use of oral antibiotics is not advisable.
Is it acne purging if one experiences breakouts after using certain cosmetic products?
Well the answer is no!It is not acne purging.You are experiencing breakouts because you are using comedogenic products which clog pores and lead to breakouts.So it is advisable to discontinue such products and use non-comedogenic products only.You can read more about it here.You experience acne purging only if you are on medicated acne treatments like retinoids,glycolic acid,salicylic acid etc.
What is the difference between acne purging and irritation?
Acne purging occurs only for initial few weeks on acne treatment.If the breakouts continue for more than 2-3 months,then it mostly likely a skin irritation meaning the particular treatment ain’t suiting you.In such a case,consult your doctor.
What is the difference between acne purging and allergic reaction?
If you start seeing rashes,bumps,itching or any kind of skin irritation then it means you are having allergic reaction to the product.Discontinue the product and see your doctor at the earliest.
My Experience & Final Words:
I am no stranger to acne and acne treatments.I have suffered acne for over many years.I used to get scared whenever the doctor prescribed acne medications and said acne could worse in the initial few weeks and when the pharmacy brand listed all the side effects in the leaflet.I mean when you are suffering with acne,last thing you want is acne getting worse.I was confused too like every one else.Last year my acne was just getting worse and it was progressing from mild form of acne to moderate form of acne.I was really depressed.Initially my doctor suggested I undergo a dose of Isotretinoin(Sotret/Accutane).Fortunately I was aware about dangerous side effects of Isotretinoin as one of friends had been through hell of a ordeal because of it so I point blank refused to take Isoretinoin.So then he put me on topical acne treatment Epiduo.At this point I was desperate to get rid of acne and try anything.So I started using Epiduo.For first few days,acne was clearing up and I was glad.Then started the “acne purging”.Acne was getting worse and I was not too happy about it.Since I was aware of Acne purging and I wanted to get rid of acne,I gave it time.I experienced acne purging for almost a 6 weeks.I was really frustrated during this time that I almost gave up Epiduo.But still it was my last ditch effort to get my acne treated and avoid Isotretinoin.I was determined.After 6 weeks,acne calmed and skin was better.Eventually, acne started to clear up and around 3-4 months,I felt great and change was obvious that people started to notice it and were asking what I was doing for my acne.After 6 months,my skin never felt better.Since then I have never missed a single night of applying Epiduo.I designed my own acne regimen-Epiduo Acne regimen and stuck with it until successfully defeated my acne.Acne purging is frustrating as hell.Treating acne is a slow process but only time and patience can help you get through this phase.Give the product or medication you are on the full benefit of 2-3 months before you totally give up.You must have heard of detox,well consider this as a detox for your skin.So my final advise is-Don’t give up!Hang in there and things will gradually get better 🙂