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Skin purging is a common phenomenon which happens usually after using some of the new products in your daily skin regime. Most of the products that contain retinol or alpha hydroxy usually tend to cause a lot of skin purging in most of the patients. Retinol is a skincare vitamin that is derived from Vitamin A. It is commonly found in skincare products that boost the amount of collagen in the skin, thus making the skin look plumper. You may experience skin purging from exfoliating acids, too. Certain facials that involve a chemical peel component may also trigger this reaction because again, it's all about a reaction in response to an accelerated exfoliation.
Skin purging basically is the reaction that takes place on your skin which might be breakouts, bits, comedones, papules, pustules, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads which often happens after using new skin products that your skin is generally not used to. Many patients might be confused, and they might blame a certain someone for suggesting these products but the fact is that skin purging is something very natural and nobody really has a control over it. But in the long run, it's only helpful.
If you're using active ingredient products e.g., retinol or alpha hydroxy acid, these products actually go ahead and help in the increase of the cell turnover. That is, your cells multiply at a faster rate because of the underlying pathology which you have in your skin, that tries to get out at a faster speed. As a result, the deeper layers which are having problems like sea bumps or pores or acne, they become superficial at a faster rate and also might sluff off completely through the skin.
What most people do is that they stop the use of the new product having active ingredients at that point of time. That is absolutely wrong and should be avoided. Skin purging lasts for a few days and then the overall benefit that you get out of the product in the long run would be very beneficial. So, one shouldn't directly stop the use of the product if the skin starts purging and do not scratch or pick your skin as that may cause additional problems.
Usually, skin purging settles down within 21 days to a month by itself so you shouldn't worry about it lasting for a longer time. You don't need any additional or extra product for it. The only thing you must do is continue using your products and continuously seek your dermatologist's opinion for the same without getting scared and stressed. And a real acne issue or breakouts persist for more than 45 days for which you should definitely go to take the opinion of your dermatologist.
For a few people, skin purging is bound to happen and cannot be avoided. One shouldn't be afraid and stressed about it but should just take professional consultation for it from a dermatologist and make sure if you're having a lot of skin purging, you should minimize the use of your products to just twice a week instead of everyday.
The article is contributed by Dr Stuti Khare Shukla, MD, Dermatologist, Hair Growth Queen of India.
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