Do Acne Treatments Make Acne Worse Before it Gets Better?

Question from a reader:

OK so I just started using this new acne medicine last night. It’s not proactive but it’s just like it. I’ve read that your acne will get worse before it gets better. Is this true? And if so, why? Is it because it brings the bacteria to the surface? Oh, and if it does get worse before it gets better, should I pop the pimples or should I let the medicine do it’s trick?

Answer: There are some acne treatments which begin with a purging process. It’s like a detox period where the toxins and dirt come out through the pores of your skin. Differin is an example of a Retinol based treatment which may lead to more acne in the first week or so before your skin is renewed and the acne subsides.

Don’t pop the pimples, unless they are very ‘ripe’… this means if you have a pimple with visible yellow pus at the end, it may be better to VERY gently massage the skin so the pus is released and your pimple can begin to heal. If you do not pop a very ripe pimple, it may take a very long time to subside and even then it may still lead to a mild acne mark or blemish after wards.

But if your pimple is beneath the skin, do not force it to ripen by pressing your skin. This will cause it to break and result in acne scars… something you don’t want at all. In this case, just apply your acne treatment and let it work itself out.

If you have any questions about acne problems, send me an email using the contact form and I’ll try to answer as soon as possible. Thanks! – Emily

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