Skin Breakout or Skin Purging, How to Tell the Difference

Skin Purging or Breakouts, What’s the Difference?

When I start a new treatment, I sometimes get some pimples.

If it’s a skin purge, that’s great! But a breakout can be terrible. How do you tell the difference?

First, we need to understand what happens when the skin ‘purges’.

If you have pimples, you probably have some ‘pre-pimples’ called microcomedones. These are sitting under your skin, ready to become a pimple, but are currently imperceptible.

When you use a new product that helps kill off the bacteria in your pimples, it might cause the microcomedones to go into full pimple mode.

This is a good thing, as the skin is ‘purging’ out any bad stuff.

On the other hand, sometimes some types of products will cause us to have a break out that is not a purge.

So how do you tell the difference?

  1. A purge will generally happen in the same area as your existing pimples.
  2. A purge will generally have a faster cycle, so pimples will go away much quicker than normal.

If you are experiencing a break out in a place that is new and the pimples take a long time to go away, it’s probably a break out. But if the two conditions above apply, it’s probably a purge.

We do recommend that if you are experiencing difficulty, you see a dermatologist to have any questions answered by a medical professional.

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