So, you’ve started isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane) and your skin is going haywire. You’re breaking out more than ever before and it seems like all hope is lost. But don’t despair! This is perfectly normal and, in fact, is a good sign that the medication is working. Here’s what you need to know about purging acne and how to deal with it.
What is Purging?
Purging is when your skin gets worse before it gets better. Many people think that their acne medication isn’t working when they start to purge, but this isn’t the case. Purging is actually a sign that the medication is starting to work and that your skin is getting rid of all the built-up dirt and oil that has been clogging your pores.
How Long Does Purging Last?
The length of time that purging lasts varies from person to person, but typically it lasts for 4-6 weeks. After that, you should start to see a significant improvement in your skin.
How Can I Deal with Purging?
- The best way to deal with purging is to be patient and let it run its course. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help ease the discomfort:
- Use a gentle, non-irritating cleanser twice daily to remove dirt and oil without stripping your skin of its natural moisture
- Apply a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated
- Avoid picking or touching your skin as this can lead to scarring
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible as isotretinoin makes your skin more susceptible to burning
- If you must go outside, be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
- Talk to your dermatologist if you have any concerns or questions
If you’re starting isotretinoin and begin to experience purging, don’t panic! This is normal and will hopefully subside after 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, follow the tips above to help ease any discomfort.
And remember, If you are on the path of isotretinoin to clear your acne, it is important to be patient and understand that purging is part of the process. It can be difficult to see progress when your skin seems to be worse than ever, but trust that the treatment will eventually lead to the flawless complexion you desire.
Be sure to follow your dermatologist’s instructions carefully and take care of yourself emotionally as well as physically during this time. Have you gone through isotretinoin treatment?
What tips would you add for others who are about to start their journey? Share this article with a friend who might be considering similar treatment.