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When I start my topical treatment, will my acne get worse before it gets better?

The answer to this question is depending on what was used on our skin. There can be an adjustment period where our skin adapts to the new topical acne treat­ment. In the process, the skin can look red and feel irritated or more sensitive, and occasionally with scaling of the skin. This can be minimized by increasing moisturizing of the area and by starting the treatment more slowly.

From the acne clear and acne care point of views, it is advisable to start only one new medication at a time when possible so that if there is an unaccept­able reaction it will be more clear as to which is the most likely offending agent. Another way is to start by using the medication less often and then increasing it as our skin tolerates it. Never use too much of the product at one time, in fact, what is needed is just a thin coat over our skin; anything else is only waste and may increase the risk of skin irritation.

Usually what we often perceive as our skin getting worse when we start a new topical treatment is simply irritation and peeling from this adjustment. On the same note, if the predominant type of acne is comedonal and the comedones are deep under our skin, our skin may look tem­porarily worse (may take one month or longer to be back to normal) as these lesions move through to the surface and are expelled.

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