Is it possible to become reliant on acne products?

Doctor's Answers 3

There are 4 main issues that cause acne and that are:

  1. Excessive sebum (oil) production
  2. Presence of a bacteria called P. Acnes on the skin
  3. Continued inflammation of the skin cells due to sebum leaking onto the skin cells
  4. Excessive production of cells clogging up the pores

Any lifestyle factor can trigger off any of those 4 issues, causing acne. Thus, I wouldn’t label one as “reliant” on acne medications. Just like we have to eat everyday, but we don’t label ourselves as “reliant” on food.

It’s important to examine every part of your lifestyle to find out what is the cause triggering it? Is it your late sleep? Your fingernails picking at your skin? Hormonal changes? Clogged skin pores? Etc.

Hope that answered you on a deeper level rather than superficially treating symptoms and signs.

I agree with Dr Lee that there is no real evidence that your skin can get resistant to topical skincare. The way you described your outbreaks worsening after stopping the skin care for 6 months, it sounds like something else triggered the acne after curing it previously.

It may be helpful to consult a skin doctor to see what is the reason for the flare and control any exacerbating factors. There are various types of acne and you may not need oral medication if you are just suffering an outbreak of comedonal (blackhead and whitehead) acne.

Hope this helps!

I know how frustrating it is to face the issue of persistent acne.

There is no real evidence that skin gets resistant to topical products but obviously anecdotal accounts would suggest otherwise.

To cut it short, it sounds like you might need some oral medications like doxycycline or isotretinoin to improve the acute flares first, while using a appropriate skin regimen. From personal experience myself, when facing a flare we tend to overdo things, be it using OXY 10 five times a day and having chemical burns, or washing our face 10 times a day.

Medicines I feel can be a great bridge to stabilising your skin, whilst starting a suitable skin care series.

Don’t lose heart as many have walked this path before. Consult your doctor and treat early to avoid further scarring as well as treat the existing scarring. Best of luck!

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