Experiencing a few more breakouts is totally normal when starting a new acne treatment. The reason is that acne medications cause rapid destruction of acne bacteria, which can cause more inflammation and sometimes result in an initial "worsening" of the condition (sometimes called a "purge").
On a positive note, itchiness can be a sign indicating that the acne is getting better. When acne is healing, the red, pustular skin needs to be replaced with new, healthy skin. During this process, your body exfoliates, or sheds old layers of skin to uncover new layers of skin.
When introducing a new skincare product into your routine, you can sometimes experience an adverse reaction like an increase in breakouts or dry, flaky skin. While this may seem like you should stop using a new product, it may actually be a sign that it's working. This process is known as skin purging.
Acne treatment needs time to work. Using a different product every few days can also irritate your skin, causing new breakouts. If a treatment works for you, you should notice some improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. It can take two to three months or longer to see clearing.
Adolescents and young adults between ages 12 and 24 tend to be the most affected group. It usually begins during the start of puberty, affecting girls earlier than boys. Typically people will outgrow acne but about 12 percent of women and 3 percent of men may still have acne even in their 40s.
How long does acne last? Acne normally starts during adolescence and can last as long as you're hormonal. The good news is that only 20% of those with acne see it continue into adulthood. It's common for acne to start between the ages of 10 and 13 and to last for 5 to 10 years, or into a person's early 20's.
Skin purging typically looks like tiny red bumps on the skin that are painful to touch. They are often accompanied by whiteheads or blackheads. It can also cause your skin to become flaky. The flare ups caused by purging have a shorter lifespan than a breakout.
Acne purging or “ skin purging ” is when a person's acne condition seems to get worse when they begin an effective topical treatment. This can mean more pimples popping, sometimes even in new areas . These breakouts can also be more intense than normal, often larger and more inflamed.
How to treat skin purging. “If the skin barrier is compromised when you see purging then start ingredients which help with barrier repair, such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid in a non-comedogenic formulation. If you are using a treatment or product continue with a slower approach.”
Grade IV: Grade IV acne is the most severe grade of acne. With grade IV acne the skin will display many pustules, nodules, and cysts. Blackheads and whiteheads are usually numerous. There is pronounced inflammation, and breakouts likely extend to areas other than the face, such as the neck, upper chest, and back.
Some refer to this phenomenon as skin getting worse before it gets better. ... As salicylic acid penetrates the pore lining, it thins the thick, sticky oil (sebum) buildup as it loosens and reduces the size of clogs residing deeper in skin.
Some people do experience worsening if they have long-standing acne. This is usually due to purging, in which the isotretinoin pushes out dead skin cells and debris. Because your skin can become red and dry, the medication sometimes makes acne look more inflamed and obvious.
CeraVe is the #1 dermatologist-recommended moisturizer brand for acne*, and our new Acne Control Cleanser with 2% salicylic acid is formulated to clear acne, reduce blackheads and improve the appearance of pores, while purifying clay helps absorb excess oil.
Cerave is known pretty well for it's reputation as being a line with mild products that won't cause your skin to flare up or break out.
Most niacinamide products also contain a variety of other ingredients. If any of these ingredients increase skin cell turnover then they may be behind any 'purging'. Some ingredients can also be 'comedogenic' which means that they are more likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
Purging is a sign that the product is working and you should continue with the treatment as prescribed. After a few weeks of purging, your skin and acne will have noticeably improved. Breaking out is when your skin is reacting because it is sensitive to something in the new product.
Salicylic acid also improves the shape of the pore lining, and once the pore is normalized, the backed-up, smaller clog can more easily come to the surface, appearing as new clogged pores (blackheads or white bumps).
Retinoids such as Tretinoin, acids such as salicylic, and benzoyl peroxide are just a few of the products that cause purging. These products contain active ingredients that increase the skin cell turnover rate, therefore causing your skin to purge.
What does it look like? Distinct, acne-like bumps may be purging. However, if you're noticing welts, diffuse redness, or anything resembling a rash, stop what you're doing. Inflammation is a sign of reaction and generally appears as all-over redness rather than individual, blemish-like spots.
The purging of the skin starts after a few days of using a new product. In a breakout, the appearance of the acne and blackheads can be concentrated on any area of the face. Purging appears uniformly all over the face.
Sudden acne breakouts can be because of numerous reasons, including hormonal changes or hormonal imbalance, an unhealthy diet including lots of deep fried and junk food, release of cortisol hormones because of excessive stress, excessive production of sebum and much more.
Severe acne causes breakouts that often extend deep into the skin. Called cysts and nodules, these breakouts tend to be painful. When severe acne clears, acne scars often appear. You may also see many blackheads, whiteheads, or both when acne is severe.