Allergic Reaction to Proactive

by Kirstie
(Ventura, CA)

I started out with a couple of pimples here and there and so I ordered Proactive to get rid of the acne problem. The Proactive burnt my skin when I first used it and I thought maybe it is just working and it is supposed to do that. Wrong! I kept using the Proactive and a couple days later the skin on my face was red, itchy, and peeling really badly. I looked horrible, not to mention that all of the sudden I broke out into this combination of hives, clustered blisters, and maybe some pimples as well, and my skin was extremely itchy. I had hundreds of bumps along my jaw line on both sides of my face. Therefore, because of this reaction to the Proactive, I hid in my house for a week. I have never had pimples that itched before.

I then called Proactive and they told me to use the wash and oil free moisturizer. My rash was so inflamed and gross but I did as they asked for three days. I called them back again and told them that the rash is painful, itches, and is swollen. It felt like I got beaten with a crowbar! Every time I moved in my sleep I would wake up in pain. My husband would come home and find me in tears. I was a prisoner in my own house and it was so depressing.

After calling Proactive back, the woman on the other end of the line told me that I was allergic to the Proactive and to stop using it. However, I should switch to the gentle formula instead. I quit using the Proactive but the side affects just seem to be getting worse. It feels like I have a heavy person sitting on my chest, my throat was tight, my eyes burned, and I was so swollen with this rash along my jaw line. So, a couple days went by and I could not take it anymore and I called my doctor. She gave me a Cortisone type shot on my butt and the next morning all the swelling on my face was down, but I still had red marks, bumps, and a smaller rash area.

I tried Benadryl to combat the skin rash symptoms and it made me too drowsy to keep using. A couple of days went by and I had to go shopping for food and so I picked up Cortisone 10. This medication is making the itchiness stop and it seems to be calming it and this is only the second day of using it. I also have an appointment with a dermatologist in two days.

I still look awful and I am seriously upset and down, but I am hoping that in a week from now this will be a thing of the past. I am fine with going back to my two pimples, but my jaw line is caked in red marks, I have a couple of hives and a couple of clustered blisters left. I might also have a couple of acne spots, but the rest itches and burns. In the long run I have done serious research and now I am eating nothing but organic foods, juicing carrots, apples and bananas, and drinking a ton of water. I am trying my hardest to flush the components causing my allergic skin reaction on my face out. I am not a doctor but I am trying my best to solve this skin rash problem. I want to feel pretty again and confident. I miss my gym and my friends since I have been hiding out for two weeks now, but my house is clean and it gives me time to do research on this skin rash problem.

Comments for Allergic Reaction to Proactive

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Sep 22, 2019
Pro-active Caused a Red Skin Rash Like Seborrheic Dermatitis
by: Anonymous

I used proactive because of a few bumps on my face. A friend introduced me to the product. After using the product three four times, I felt a tingling nd burning feeling on my face. I thought it was normal. It felt like when you wash your hair in tea tree shampoo - that cool funny feeling but a burning warm feeling at the same time. A few days later, I saw small red rash like pimples that were inflamed on my forehead and a burning feeling or itching in the crease of both sides of my nose. I never had this problem until I used the product and now I am having ongoing issues with my face. It looks like Seborrheic Dermatitis, which I determined after researching what I could use to treat skin problems. I only used this product to get rid of a few bumps on my face, but I never had an issue with rashes or inflammation before.

Aug 24, 2017
Proactive Reaction
by: Anonymous

Yes I have the same problem. So I am a teenager and with a teen's face with acne and changing hormones everyday. So I asked my mother to buy me some Proactive. I honestly got so excited. The first couple of times I used it, it was fine. It was not until the third or fourth time that the stuff started to burn my skin and leave it dry and itchy. Now my face has tiny little bumps EVERYWHERE and is very swollen! When I am at school I feel so shy to go out and walk around. My experience with this skin care product did not work out well.

May 13, 2016
Same Skin Reaction to Proactive
by: Anonymous

I had the same problem! I always "go back" to Proactiv when my skin breaks out from time to time and every single time it ends the same. I get the jawline itchy rash, dryness, and irritation. It's awful. I know a lot of people love this product and say it works, but I am not a fan!

May 29, 2014
Proactive is Stupid
by: Anonymous

I used to get one or two pimples now and then but they went away with the clear natural face washes that I used to get over-the-counter. So I thought I would give this Pro-active a try since it was conveniently mailed to my home. Let me tell you, this whole Pro-active healing your acne and preventing it is a great big con. Please do not fall for it! I am not allergic to any ingredient in the Pro-active kit, but it made my skin dull and full of acne. I couldn't even hide at home because I had work commitments. It was a nightmare but I stopped using it in just 15 to 20 days, so I got away with just the cluster of acne on my cheeks and forehead for which I had to go for dermatological treatment. It has been four years from then to now but I still don't have the clear skin I used to have before Pro-active. This brand should be banned if you ask me!

Mar 31, 2012
Same Issues with Proactive
by: Chanda Berryman

My daughter has used Proactive off and on for a year now. There is something definitely going on that is not normal! She has blisters that ooze all over her face. They started out as blemishes and have turned into a nightmare. I am scared to death this will scar her beautiful face. We met a boy her same age yesterday from Indiana with the same issues. We are from Texas and the only things they have in common is the fact they both have been using Proactive. We buy my daughter's Proactive out of a kiosk at the mall and the boy from Indiana has his mailed to him! This is definetly not regular acne! I contacted Proactive but only got the nonsense run-around! They are messing with my daughters gorgeous face! What do we do?

Mar 03, 2012
by: Anonymous

I had the same reaction to Proactive. I came to find out that I am allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide.

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