A body scrub is an exfoliating cosmetic preparation that is applied on the body to cleanse and hydrate the skin, making it smooth and soft. It’s like giving a facial for your body. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and reveals a new, smooth layer of skin.
A body scrub is generally done with an abrasive material such as sea salt or sugar and often mixed with some aromatic massage oils or essential oils. But, there are some instances when you must not use a body scrub. Here we look at five instances when an exfoliating body scrub must be avoided.
1. Before Or After A Chemical Body Peel
A chemical peel is a method to improve the appearance of the skin on your face, neck, arms, or legs. A skin-friendly chemical solution is applied on the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel away. The new, regenerated skin is smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
So, a body scrub before or after a chemical peel is unnecessary as it will only hurt or burn the skin and prevent the chemicals in the peel from exfoliating the skin.1 You must allow the skin to fall away naturally after a chemical peel and must resist the urge to scrub it off, as it can cause pain, hyperpigmentation (dyschromia), infection, or persistent erythema.
2. If You Have A Bug Bite
Avoid a body scrub or exfoliation on the area of the skin that has been bitten by a bug or an insect. Even if the insect or bug is not venomous, it may contain certain skin irritants. A scrub or an exfoliation only causes the venom or the allergen to spread, which can increase the histamine and leukotriene in the skin, resulting in further irritation or redness of the skin. Instead, just opt for a cold compress, oral antihistamines or topical anti-inflammatories like cortisone cream, which soothes the skin.
3. When You Have Sunburns
Sunburns are quite painful and occur when you are out in the sun or on a tropical beach for a long time. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV radiation without a protective coat of sunscreen lotion can significantly injure your sensitive skin. Any form of skin care after suffering from a sunburn must be aimed at healing the skin and improving its recovery, and not at causing more potential skin damage.
Abrasive body scrub treatments should be avoided as it can further aggravate the condition and delay the healing process. Instead, you should apply mild skin cleansers such as cleansing oils and intense hydrators like balms and lotions to soothe the damaged skin.
4. After You Use A Skin Lightener
A body scrub after using a skin lightener must be avoided as most skin lightening agents that are generally applied to treat hyperpigmentation can irritate your skin further. Scrubbing the sensitive skin can lead to skin inflammation, which can result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
This can be detrimental to your skin health as it may cause the skin to become a few shades darker, instead of making it fairer, which is what skin lightning in meant for. Ensure that you talk to your dermatologist before you go for a body scrub or apply any type of exfoliant on the skin on which you have applied a skin lightener recently.
5. After You’ve Had A Surgery
Your body switches into a recovery mode soon after any type of medical or cosmetic surgeries. If you use a body scrub or an exfoliation method to the area, it will take away the important components of the wound-healing matrix and can prolong its recovery and increase hyperpigmentation. It may also cause scar formation. In some extreme cases, it may also potentially cut open sutures that are yet to completely heal.
|↑1||Sharad, Jaishree. “Glycolic acid peel therapy–a current review.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology 6 (2013): 281.|