I'm Clear! Spiro Day 99, Tretinoin Day 88
Posted by shawnabowbawna, 11 March 2013 · 516 views
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I want to start from the beginning for everyone who has not been following my journey from the beginning.
I was pre-diagnosed with PCOS when I was 17 and started taking Yaz birth control. I switched between Yaz and Nuvaring and didn't have too many problems. I always had acne, but it was never severe and quite manageable. 1.5 years ago I got an IUD. I love my IUD, but it is a low dose of hormones. My acne continuously got worse over the next year until I finally saw an endocrinologist. I had a full blood work test done and was formally diagnosed with PCOS. The majority of women with PCOS are overweight, but I am a normal weight, exercise regularly and eat well. My Dr. prescribed 100mg of spironolactone to help with the hormonal acne that is likely made worse by PCOS.
Nothing happened the first month I took spironolactone. NOTHING. Even though my endocrinologist suggested that I wait to see a dermatologist, I went anyways. I wanted results! My dermatologist then prescribed 0.025% tretinoin gel and Aczone. The following 2 months were pretty hellish. My skin got worse. Much worse. I was always peeling and new breakouts were constantly popping up. I did a lot of damage to my skin and I regret it. I should have listened to my endocrinolist and waited for the spironolactone to have more of an effect before incorporating topical medication.
During my second visit with my dermatologist I expressed how frustrated I was. It seemed like the tretinoing was making things worse, the Aczone wasn't helping at all. She gave me some new samples and told me I could start using Glytone on my face. (Glytone is a glycolic acid face wash). She also increased my dose of spironolactone 150mg. Seriously, 1 week later my chin just stopped breaking out. It was strange. And honestly, I still keep expecting breakouts to pop up, but it just hasn't happened. The acne on my cheeks continued to subside. For the last 3 days now, I have not had a single new cyst on my cheeks. I'm pretty sure this is it. The spironolactone is working and it feels so good!!
So, this is what I would do if I could do it all over again.
First three months AM routine:
100mg of spironolactone
5000IU D3 supplement
Daily vitamin with Chromium, B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitmain C, Vitamin E (Rainbow Light Women's 1)
Glytone or CeraVe cleanser
Neutrogena oil free moisturizer with SPF 15
First three months PM routine:
50mg of spironolactone
Vitamin E supplement
Fish Oil Supplement
50 mg of spironolactone
Glytone or CeraVe cleanser
CeraVe moisturizer j
Now that I am no longer breaking out, I have adjusted my routine to include both:
- Argan Oil
- Tretinoin Gel (Retin-A)
I wash my face, let it dry for 20 minutes, apply tretinoin, wait 1+ hours, rinse with water, apply 4 drops of argan oil. I would use argan oil, and any other oil, with serious caution. Some people seem to be able to use oils without any problems, but I often breakout just by looking at oil the wrong way.... I've tired a lot too. However, I really wanted to try argan oil because it is an anti-inflammatory, contains vitamin e, helps with hyper-pigmentation, and is really great for dry skin. So, I am giving it a chance. I use Acure Organics and I bought it from Whole Foods for about ~$17. I expect it to last awhile. However, at the first sight of a breakout, the oil will be the first to go from my routine. Same with the tretinoin. Since my skin is no longer breaking out, I feel like I can focus a bit on the hyper-pigmentation that is quite obvious in my photos and both of these should help quite a bit.
Anyways, I am so happy. My skin looks better every day. I just want everyone to know the importance of patience and to stay diligent. Also, stay happy. I hit quite a few lows during this process and was way too hard on myself. We are not always in control and just have to do what we can.
Here is to good health and good skin!!!