What are the possible side effects of using Obagi Nu-derm?

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Obagi Nu-Derm is a prescription-only treatment for the skin. The reason that you can only get it on prescription and not over the counter is because it is a strong treatment that contains chemicals which, if used without the proper advice and monitoring, can potentially have an adverse effect.

So, how does the system work?

Obagi Nu-Derm penetrates deeper into the skin than many other skincare products.

It contains hydroquinone, a skin-lightening treatment which you can find out more by reading our dedicated blog about it. Basically hydroquinone has in the past occasionally been misused and used incorrectly leading to unwanted side effects. The important thing is that when it’s used correctly these won’t affect you.

However, there are possible side effects that you should be aware of before you start using the system. An experienced, trained clinician should appraise you of these during your consultation.


One of the more common side effects is that the skin will be more sensitive to the sun while you are using the product. This just requires you to be sensible and take precautions such as using sunscreen, staying out of the sun, wear a hat with a brim – and don’t use tanning equipment.

It’s probably a good idea to time your use of Obagi Nu-Derm well ahead of any vacations where you want to sit on a sun lounger by a pool!

Skin reaction

It’s not unusual for someone using Obagi Nu-Derm to experience side-effects during the initial 6 weeks of using the system. These can include dryness and flaking, a little irritation and occasionally redness.

Again, if you have big events like weddings coming up, it’s advisable to make sure this early period is well before anything where you want to look your best. This is a just in case scenario. Everyone’s skin is different and you may have very little reaction to using the system.

If you are experiencing effects such as flaking, during weeks 6 to 12 these will subside as the condition and health of your skin improves. During this time you will also see the positive changes to wrinkles, age spots and pigmentation.

Follow the system as advised

You can help to reduce the possibility of unwanted and unexpected side effects by carefully following use of Obagi Nu-Derm as you have been advised.

It is highly unlikely that you will have a serious allergic reaction to Obagi Nu-Derm. However, if you are worried at all then contact the clinic that prescribed the system and they will be able to advise and put your mind at rest.

Getting the best support and advice

The quality of the results you achieve very much depends on the quality, support and advice you receive. And this in turn is dependent on the quality of the clinic you use. So do your homework. Look at different clinic websites and spend a little time reviewing their experience, transparency, availability, and commitment to quality. Reviews are a useful way of ascertaining how good a clinic is. As well as looking at website reviews, look on Google and Trustpilot.

You can start by reviewing our website. We have extremely high standards so this will give you a great starting point to compare with other clinics.

You can also check out reviews from our Obagi clients and if you’d like to find out a bit more, you can also book a free consultation or call us on 020 868 36730 for more information.

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