Acne Treatment Reactions
It’s happened to the best of us: reactions to acne treatment ingredients. The peeling, redness and inflammation is not only uncomfortable, it’s even less attractive than the acne blemishes you were trying to get rid of it the first place! Treating reactions and irritation related to acne treatment products is fairly simple in most cases. Here’s a quick look at the most common forms of irritation and what you can do about them.
Most people experience redness, peeling, dryness, stinging and warmness when using a new or more aggressive acne treatment. These slight reactions are somewhat normal, and usually go away as your skin gets used to the active ingredients. Most skin types experience some sort of vague irritation when using an acne treatment; however, sensitive and reaction-prone skin types are definitely more likely to experience these and more severe side effects.
Less common and more worrisome reactions include blistering, swelling and crusting, severe burning, extreme redness, changes in skin tone (darkening or lightening), and skin rash. If you experience any of these side effects while using an acne product, you should discontinue use of your product or regimen and consult with your physician or dermatologist as soon as possible. These signs of irritation could be symptoms of an ingredient allergy, and you could risk permanent damage, such as scarring, if these symptoms go untreated.
In the event of a mild reaction, it’s ok to continue using your clarifying product as long as the irritation clears up within a couple weeks. If the irritation is too uncomfortable, you can try decreasing your treatment dosage by using a less concentrated product or applying the product less often. If your irritation worries you or doesn’t clear up soon after beginning your acne care regimen, discontinue the use of your products and consult your dermatologist or general doctor.
Many treatments for acne that are currently on the market use gentler ingredients in order to avoid causing irritation. However, more severe cases of acne are generally too stubborn to be treated by mild products, making more aggressive ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, a must for these patients.
If decreasing your application frequency or product concentration is not a choice for you, and you are not experiencing symptoms of a severe or allergic reaction, there are things you can do to diminish discomfort. It may be helpful to begin using a more moisturizing oil-free skin care cream or simply adding jojoba oil to your moisturizer of choice. In addition, there are many travel-friendly hydrating spritzes that supply lightweight, non-comedogenic hydration that can help ease the dryness and discomfort associated with aggressive acne clarifying products.