Skin Purging: Everything you need to Know by Dr. Blake Raggio, Board-Certified Facial PlasticSurgeon

In Birmingham, AL

By Blake Raggio MD


Published on June 2024

Skin Purging: Everything you need to Know by Dr. Blake Raggio, Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Skin Purging: Everything you need to Know by Dr. Blake Raggio, Board-Certified Facial Plastic SurgeonSkin purging is a phenomenon often encountered in professional skincare and facial rejuvenation treatments. As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Blake Raggio frequently educates his patients in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan area and surrounding regions, such as Huntsville, Auburn, and Montgomery, about this temporary but normal skin reaction. Skin purging occurs when new skincare products or treatments accelerate skin exfoliation and regeneration, leading to a transient increase in breakouts.

Understanding the Mechanism of Skin Purging

Skin purging arises because certain active ingredients or treatments expedite the turnover of skin cells. This rapid cell renewal can bring underlying congestion, such as pimples and blackheads, to the surface more quickly.

Common Triggers of Skin Purging

  1. Chemical Exfoliants: Ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and retinoids (e.g., retinol, tretinoin) are notorious for inducing purging. They enhance cell turnover and exfoliation, bringing impurities to the surface.
  1. Professional Skincare Procedures and Treatments:

– Chemical Peels: These involve applying a chemical solution (Jessner Solution, TCA, Phenol, etc.) to exfoliate the skin. This process can bring pre-existing impurities to the surface, causing temporary breakouts.

– Laser Treatments: Procedures such as fractional CO2 laser resurfacing represent a powerful modality to stimulate skin regeneration. This can lead to a temporary increase in breakouts as new skin cells replace older ones.

– Microneedling: This technique uses fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, promoting collagen production and cell turnover. The resultant rapid skin renewal can cause purging.

– Energy-Based Devices: Treatments like radiofrequency and ultrasound devices (e.g., Thermage, Ultherapy) stimulate deeper skin layers, enhancing cell turnover and potentially causing purging.

Advanced Facial Rejuvenation Treatments with Dr. Raggio

Dr. Raggio uses advanced facial rejuvenation treatments that often equate to less risk of skin purging and other unwanted reactions. His expertise in Facial Plastic Surgery and skin health, and his utilization of cutting-edge technology, ensure that patients achieve optimal results with minimal side effects.

Customized Professional Skincare Line at Raggio MD Facial Plastic Surgery

To further optimize results and minimize unwanted side effects, Dr. Raggio offers his own customized professional skincare line, Raggio MD. These products are specifically formulated to enhance the benefits of treatments while reducing the likelihood of adverse reactions.

Duration and Symptoms of Skin Purging

– Duration: Typically, skin purging lasts for 4-6 weeks. If breakouts persist beyond this timeframe, it may indicate an adverse reaction to the product or treatment rather than purging.

– Symptoms: Patients may experience increased breakouts, redness, and irritation in areas prone to acne or congestion.

Differentiating Purging from Regular Breakouts

– Location: Purging usually occurs in areas where breakouts are common, while regular breakouts can develop in new areas. That said, this is not always the case and skin purging can happen anywhere a treatment or procedure was received.

– Duration: The good news is that skin purging should clear up within a few weeks as the skin adjusts. On the contrary, regular acne breakouts may persist longer and may not improve until acne-specific medications are applied.

Managing Skin Purging

– Consistency: Counter-intuitively, Dr. Raggio recommends that patients should not completely abandon the offending agent is skin purging is encountered. But rather, he suggests to continue using the product (i.e., Retinol) or undergoing treatment (i.e, RF Microneedling) as recommended to allow the skin to adjust. That said, you may be advised to titrate said treatments or decrease the intensity of any procedures to give your skin the best chance to adapt and compensate for these treatment effects.

– Gentle Care: It is crucial to use gentle cleansers and avoid harsh scrubbing or additional exfoliation to prevent further irritation. Confer with your doctor for guidance.

– Moisturization: Keeping the skin well-hydrated supports the skin’s barrier function and mitigates irritation. But Dr. Raggio strongly recommends using a non-comedogenic, or “light” moisturizer that won’t clog pores and potentially worsen your purging.

Professional Guidance

Consulting with Dr. Raggio or other dedicated skincare professionals is essential to determine whether the skin is purging or reacting adversely to a new treatment. Personalized advice can help adjust the skincare regimen to ensure optimal results.

Dr. Raggio’s Final Remarks on Skin Purging

Skin purging is a common but temporary phase associated with active skincare ingredients and professional treatments designed to accelerate cell turnover. Dr. Blake Raggio, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, emphasizes understanding this process to manage expectations and maintain a consistent skincare routine for long-term benefits. “Skin Purging is not necessarily bad,” says Dr. Raggio. He adds, “If anything, the reaction that is skin purging tells us the treatment is in fact, working and stimulating cell turnover. Basically, your skin just needs some time to adapt, that’s all.”

Dr. Raggio treats patients in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan area and surrounding regions such as Huntsville, Auburn, and Montgomery. His practice, Raggio MD Facial Plastic Surgery, is located in downtown Homewood, AL, and offers advanced facial rejuvenation treatments and a customized professional skincare line to ensure optimal results with minimal risk of unwanted side effects. If in doubt, seek advice from Dr. Raggio or another dedicated skincare professional to ensure the best care for your skin.

Schedule A Consultation

Contact Us

Patient reviews

  • Torrey

    5 Star Review

    I am a week post-op from my cosmetic rhinoplasty with Dr. Blake Raggio, a Facial Plastic Surgeon here in Birmingham, Alabama. I just had my cast removed today and I could not be happier with my results already!

  • Jessica

    5 Star Review

    Thank you, Dr. Blake Raggio, for the excellent work on my nose. The Rhinoplasty to correct the deviated septum and nostril closure went so smoothly. My breathing has improved and the before and after pictures were amazing. Your knowledge and skills improved my health and facial profile.

  • Pamela

    5 Star Review

    Dr. Blake Raggio is an amazing Facial Plastic Surgeon. I am one week out from having my
    Blepharoplasty and Browlift and could not be more pleased. Not only is he a talented Facial Plastic Surgeon he also has a wonderful bedside manner.

  • Elizabeth

    5 Star Review

    Dr. Raggio and staff get an A+ for their superb care! From the time you walk in the door to the time you leave, you will be treated like family! Best of all you’ll leave looking younger and feeling good! You can’t beat the care and compassion from Dr Raggio and his staff!

  • Chelsea

    5 Star Review

    Dr. Raggio is the absolute best! He listens and is very precise with his injections. I am extremely happy with the results I have gotten with him. He does not push any services on you, either. I have uploaded two pictures to show the difference. I get Botox and lip filler.

  • Sheila

    5 Star Review

    I went to Dr Reggio for my eyelids. They were folding over. I was scared to have the surgery but the right eye was bothering me. So I decided to have the surgery and this Doctor is such a delight and kind-hearted. I am very, very happy with the way my surgery turned out. I would highly recommend Dr. Raggio to anyone!

Patient Resources

We’re here to help, with a number of patient resources designed to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Read through the materials below, and don’t hesitate to reach out and set up your consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.

Patient Forms

Online Forms


Learn More


Sign Up

Call Text Schedule Gallery