Saturday, March 25, 2023

Why Does Acne Get Worse Before Better

Acne Getting Worse Before It Gets Better Heres Why

why does your acne get worse before it gets better

Im so excited to share these with you, because I see these 6 reasons why acne often gets worse before it gets better, happen in real life with my SkinCoachees often. And I know understanding them fully is going to help your acne journey feel a heck load easier.

Once you know what to expect, you can prepare.

Lets get to this.

What Can Cause Skin Purging

Products considered acne-fighting or anti-aging can cause the skin to purge because they promote a faster skin cell turnover rate. You may find some over-the-counter products can as well, specifically products that contain retinol, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid.

When your cell turnover rate is accelerated, any hidden skin imperfections are quickly brought to the surface. Existing pimples may become inflamed, microcomedones turn into pesky blackheads and whiteheads, and/or dead skin cells rise to the surface causing visible flaking.

Before you hesitate to try a new product, keep in mind that not all products cause skin purging! The products that cause purging do so because of certain active ingredients including: benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and hydroxy acids .

In addition to products, there are treatments that cause skin purging as well :

During the purging process, be patient and gentle with your skin. Its very vulnerable and sensitive at this point. Here are some tips for you to follow while your skin is purging:

Hormonal Birth Control And Acne

Acne is often the result of hormonal imbalance in the body your doctor might call it an androgen-mediated problem. In other words, androgens play a key role in your body regardless of your sex or gender. Androgens, such as testosterone, boost skin cell growth and stimulate the skin to produce more oil. This can then lead to blocked pores and thus acne.

Most hormones have a counterregulatory hormone a hormone that opposes its effects. The counterregulatory hormone of testosterone is estrogen, which is commonly supplied in birth control pills. This is why many doctors recommend hormonal birth control for treating acne. The estrogen supplied in the birth control can counter the effects of testosterone.

So now we know why birth control methods are often prescribed for acne, lets go back to our original question does birth control cure or cause acne? The reality is that birth control can both cure AND cause acne. Studies show that birth control pills can reduce acne by 55% on average. However, acne may come back even worse after the pill is stopped. Birth control can also make your acne worse if it lacks sufficient antiandrogenic properties.

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How To Tell If Youre Suffering A Reaction

Because of the Differin purge causing the acne to return, it can be difficult for a Differin user to tell when theyre suffering an actual reaction to the treatment. There are four situations in which you should have your symptoms inspected by a medical professional:

  • You break out in new areas. The Differin purge will only bring existing blockages to the surface, not create new ones.
  • The acne gets significantly worse than ever before. A resurgence of your acne shouldnt be markedly worse than it was before you began treatment.
  • Major side effects become apparent. Aside from your original acne, the development of pain or swelling on the application area, or irritation, redness, itching or swelling of the eyelids.
  • You see no improvement after 2 months. A purge shouldnt pass 2 weeks, so if there are zero improvements after 8 weeks, you should discuss other options with your doctor.

If weve prescribed you Differin and youve found yourself in such a situation, let us know. Well take a close look at your symptoms and find a better alternative.

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Youll Need To Avoid Alcohol

Getting Worse

Most doctors recommend avoiding alcohol during treatment, which is something to consider before committing to the medication. However, the level of strictness varies some doctors suggest not drinking at all, while others are a little more lenient depending on your family history and other factors.

The most common reaction is that alcohol can lower the effectiveness of the medication, says Miami dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD. Most notably, she says in larger volumes, the combination can result in liver damageeven just drinking a large amount at one party. My best advice is that if you do party often and know you cannot stay away from drinking alcohol on a regular basis, you shouldnt take isotretinoin, she says.

Im not a huge partier, but I started the medication during the holidays, and it was nearly impossible to ignore alcohol, so I did have a drink here or there. While I personally did not experience any effect on my liver, I drank at my own risk, and you should discuss your drinking habits with your doctor before starting the medication. That being said, I do wonder if drinking did lessen the effects of the meds, since my skin isnt 100% clear, so its certainly something you should be aware of.

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Also Check: What Hormone Imbalance Causes Acne

When Should I Contact My Doctor About Skin Purging

After you start the new treatment for your skin, it is important to keep a close eye on how things develop.

With all treatments for acne, you always need to give them at least 8 weeks and in many cases up to 6 months to see the full effect of the treatment.

If things get worse after you start a new treatment, you should speak to your doctor. Also consult your doctor if the problem continues beyond a few weeks.

If the new treatment is a medicine for acne, read the patient information leaflet. That will tell you of serious side effects to watch out for and so stop treatment immediately if it causes serious side effects.

In all cases, it can be very useful to keep a photo diary of your skin so you can track how the treatment affects your skin. Hopefully, over time you will see the improvements that you are seeking.

Some dermatology AI-based apps can help you take multi-angle face photographs in a consistent and convenient way and add notes about your treatment in connection with the photos. Also, you can compare images over time and even share them with your consulting physician. It is recommended to take pictures of your acne at the start of any new treatment and then at least each week for the first 12 weeks.

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Working With A Dermatologist

Not all skincare products cause purging, and sometimes purges might actually be the sign of something else, like an allergic reaction. Therefore, its very important to work with your doctor when creating a skincare plan. Your doctor can tell you whats normal after starting a new routine, and can also help you choose the best products for your unique skin.

Also Check: How To Apply Acne Cream

Does Your Acne Get Worse Before It Gets Better All About Skin Purging

Does your acne get worse before it gets better? This depends, as your skin can go through a purging! Learn more about it and how it affects the skin.

If youre experiencing a breakout, the first thing we look for is a good skincare product. A good cleanser and ointment for acne can help reduce the redness and pesky bumps. But have you ever tried new skincare products only to have the breakout worsen?

It might have you throwing products to the trash but do NOT do that! This might be something we call a skin purge. So does your acne get worse before it gets better because of this purging?

Read on to find out!

Read Also: Do Face Masks Help Acne

So Why Put Up With Purging

Why Skin May Get Worse Before It Gets Better | Vivant Skin Smart Series

Purging might sound like a pain and, for some people, it can be. However, no two individuals will have the same response to the introduction of exfoliating actives. Some may experience next to no blemishes while others will see a significant increase. For the latter, the benefits of chemical exfoliants and retinoids namely a less congested, more refined and radiant complexion will usually outweigh any side effects experienced as the skin adjusts.

Read Also: What Acne Medicine Is The Best

Be Patient For One Skin Cycle Or About 28 Days

Think of purging as the terrible twos of skin care: Your skin may be throwing temper tantrums left and right, but its only a phase .

Since purging occurs when an ingredient attempts to speed up the skins natural pace of shedding and renewal, it should only take one full skin cycle to get through the worst of it.

Everyones skin is unique, so that time frame can differ from person to person. Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen.

If your purge lasts longer than six weeks, consult your dermatologist. It could be that you need to adjust the dosage and/or frequency of application.

Is Your Skin Purging Or Breaking Out Heres How To Tell

The word âpurgeâ associated with your skin can sound scary, but skin purging is actually quite a common thing to experience when treating acne. If youâve recently started an acne treatment plan or have browsed skincare communities on the internet, you may have come across the terms skin purging, the retinoid purge and acne purging. So what is skin purging and how can you tell if itâs a normal part of the acne journey or if youâre just breaking out? First we need to understand what causes skin purging and what it is to be able to tell the difference between the two.

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Will My Skin Improve

Yes, but youll have to be patient. Not every treatment will work the same for each person. Its important to understand what specific type of acne you have and make sure to find the best treatments for that. For some, a face mask may help clear out clogged pores. For others, exfoliating chemicals may be necessary

Its very common for your skin to have several severe flare-ups while purging as it responds to a treatment. However, it is also important to understand the different types of this skin condition and the best ways to manage each one.

Why Is My Acne Getting Worse

Probiotics Make Acne Worse Before Better

Acne treatments have active ingredients that cause big changes in your skin and promote skin regeneration where skin cells are shed more rapidly. This process helps to clean out any dirt or trapped oil in your pores. Because the active ingredients are speeding up the skin process, its like getting several months worth of breakouts all at once. But these treatments also help clear out the pores. So once you get through the worse part, your skin shouldnt be holding onto any more impending breakouts.

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The Lines Of Our Lives

Some of us will experience the elevens, those vertical forehead lines that can make us look like were always in deep thought even about what toppings we want on our froyo. Others will get more prominent crows feet, giving us the appearance of a life chock-full of intense emotion, especially joy.

How Do I Know If Its Really A Purge Versus An Adverse Reaction

Ah, yes. Good lookin out. Heres how to spot the difference between a healthy skin purge and an allergic reaction:

  • Purging tends to worsen areas where youre already prone to breakouts
  • Purging clears on its own in 8 weeks or less
  • An allergic reaction usually causes redness, irritation and itching


What are your thoughts on skin purging? Have you experienced it before? Has a certain ingredient worked better for you than others? Leave a comment below, sharing your experience!

Also Check: How To Fill Acne Holes On Face At Home

How To Treat Skin Purging Vs Breakouts

When you start to experience skin purging you may be tempted to leave the recently-introduced formulas behind to escape the side effects. But the most important thing to do is to push through and reach the other side!

In the case of the , which includes a powerful retinoid called Adapalene Gel, the retinization period typically subsides around the fourth week of treatment. Thats when the true acne-attacking effects of the formula can be felt. It helps restore a more even skin tone and texture by fighting breakouts, and reduces redness and inflammation from acne. In order to access the benefits, you have to power through the skin purging, but your skin will feel healthier and fresher for all your hard work!

You can also limit your routine, at first, to the simple, gentle basics like a cleanser and moisturizer. This is where the 3-piece portion of the really helps your skin shine. It comes with the Ultra-Gentle Cleanser to gently cleanse your face, and it also comes with the Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer to help alleviate dryness.

Its also important to note that, as always, picking at the acne should definitely be avoided, and may only make the skin purging last longer or even turn breakouts into permanent scarring.

For more information on dealing with standard breakouts, check out .

Your Skin Might Not Be Perfectbut It Should Be Better

should acne get worse before it gets better?

When I finished my course of the medication, I had the skin of my dreams. Despite some lingering scars, I was finally comfortable leaving the house without wearing foundation for the first time in almost a decade. Then after a summer of clear skin , I began breaking out again. While its nowhere near as bad as it was before, my skin isnt as flawless as I had imagined it would be. Im convinced its due to my new lifestyletrying tons of products, eating too much sugar, and not getting enough sleepbut Ciraldo notes that the effectiveness of isotretinoin can also depend on the dosage in relation to your weight. If you’re not satisfied, you can check in with your doctor about adjusting it.

Recommended Reading: Why Do We Have Acne

Sharing Makeup & Makeup Applicators

While acne is not contagious, when you use other peoples applicators or makeup, the acne bacteria, oil, and dead cells from the other persons skin can land up on your skin. This can clog your skin pores, causing acne and blemishes.

Instead of using other peoples products, always use only your makeup and makeup applicator.

Constantly Popping The Breakouts

Most people tend to pop the breakouts, but remember, whenever you pop acne, you push some of the content of the acne inside. This could be pus, bacteria, or dead skin cells. This can flare up the infection, leading to more acne, along with scars and pain.

Instead, no matter how strong the urge to pop or squeeze acne is, stop yourself from touching it. You can apply acne medication or consult a dermatologist if it is too troublesome.

Also Check: How To Take Off Acne Scars Fast

Skincare Tips For Acne

Even before you start a full acne program, make sure that your regular skincare routine isnt exacerbating it. Using the wrong type of skincare product can negate the effectiveness of acne treatments.

  • Cleanser: Choosing a cleanser that is compatible with your skin is the first step. If you are unsure of the types of cleansers or ingredients that put pressure on your skin and/or cause breakouts, I recommend choosing a cleanser with the most basic of ingredients. If necessary, only then do I recommend moving on to more complexly formulated products.
  • Toner: Contrary to what many believe, toners should not be used as another cleansing step. In other words, toners should function only to rebalance the skins natural pH level of 5.0-6.0 after cleansing. That being said, some toners contain acne-treating ingredients like tea tree oil, so theyre more beneficial for skin types prone to breakouts.
  • Chemical exfoliant: Removing the dead skin often resulting in clogged pores, chemical exfoliants reveal new layers of skin. As such, your acne-treating products easily seep into the skin, allowing them to more efficiently do their job.

Acne can be physically and emotionally draining. It can result in issues with self-confidence and self-image, especially during puberty. The treatment journey can be long, confusing, and exhausting, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Your Skin May React Viscerally To Retinoids And Face Acids

Probiotics Make Acne Worse Before Better

While the purge isnt ideal, it isto be expected with certain skin care ingredients.

The most common offenders are retinoids, Mraz Robinson says. The retinoid family includes everything from retinol to topical tretinoin and the oral medication isotretinoin .

You may experience skin purging from exfoliating acids, too.

Certain facials that involve a chemical peel component may also trigger this reaction, Mraz Robinson says, because again, its all about a reaction in response to an accelerated exfoliation.

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The Difference Between Skin Purging & Breakouts

When your skin is purging, the breakouts will appear in places they typically already do. The comedones that are pre-existing will flare up. This can be alarming at first, again causing you to believe a product to be irritating. Be patient and allow time so that your skin can eventually begin to calm down and clear up.

When your skin is breaking out instead of purging, it will occur in new areas that you typically have not experienced acne before. Youll be experiencing heightened skin irritation, new clogged pores, or even a rash.

If youre noticing that a product is causing new areas to break out and the severity does not lessen over time, its best to stop using it. This just means your skin is sensitive to a specific ingredient and extended use can cause even more damage.

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