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Hit The 12 Week Point, Should I Ask For A Higher Concentration? (Pics)

tretinoin retinoids

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#1 frackgirl33

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:01 PM

Hey all! So I've finally made it to that 12 week mark. This is the longest I've EVER stuck with a treatment, so I'm proud of myself! I haven't been uploading pics lately, but just uploaded some new ones today...and honestly I don't see much (if any) improvement... please take a look at some of my pics and let me know what you think. Should I ask for a higher strength of tretinoin gel?

I also have a Rx for doxycycline, but was told not to actually start it unless the Retin-A wasn't doing it's job...anyone think I should start the doxy first and see before asking for a higher strength tretinoin? I tried it once years ago and it made me sick...so I've been afraid to try it again, but I will try if it will make a difference. I'd REALLY REALLY love to hear what you all think. I don't really have anyone I can ask about these things because all of my friends have PERFECT skin (oh the joys of being the only 25 year old in sight with acne! oye!!!) And before anyone says anything, I am aware that my acne could be waaayyy worse (and it definitely has been, sadly you can see the scars in some of my pics)... just frustrated because I'm nearly 26 years old and have been dealing with this since I was 10. Thanks for any input (and feel free to see my gallery if you want to see additional progress pics)

The first set of pics are the very first pics I took, taken at about my 4 week mark.

R side 1 month.jpg L side 1 month.jpg jawline 1 month.jpg

And this is the set of pics I took last night, the 12 week point.

R side 12 weeks.jpg L side 12 weeks.jpg Jawline 12 weeks.jpg

Edited by frackgirl33, 22 February 2012 - 01:36 PM.


#2 leelowe1

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:37 AM

You should be proud! Antibiotics are bad for your body and if they do help control acne, the minute you get off them, the acne comes back so in my opinion, it's not worth it (not to mention you run the risk of messing up your digestive system and developing bacterial resistance the longer you're on them).

Has your acne subsided? Because if your main issues is marks, the longer you stay on your retinoid, the more your marks will fade (or so i hear).


Weigh the pros and cons of your treatment - if it helped more than it hurt, continue to use it as retinoids like fine wine, get better with time....lol

It's a rocky road but like everything else in life, there is always a beginning and an end.  Here's to finding my end.

 

God is good to me..........more than I deserve.

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


#3 frackgirl33

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

Thanks sasch! I've not had health insurance so it's always been difficult for me to stick with a routine, would always run out of money! But this time, I'm sticking with it no matter what it takes, even if I have to sell a kidney on the black market! (ok, probably wouldn't actually resort to selling my organs lol) But yes the cons you mentioned about antibiotics are also reasons I have been so hesitant to begin taking them. I never experienced an IB, and my acne really improved within the first 4 weeks, but unfortunately I didn't start taking pics until the 4 week point so I have no reference point to compare. But when I compare my 4 week pics to my 12 week pics...I'm not seeing much difference. I'm still experiencing breakouts when it's that time of the month (I also take generic ortho-tri-cyclin, but I don't think it's doing much for acne)...but it's better than breaking out every day like I used to. Some days I feel like my acne is my main problem, and other days I feel like its the hyperpigmentation...really just depends on the day! Because I'm almost 26, and I know retinoids are great for anti-aging, I don't plan on EVER stopping the tretinoin! Haha. I was just contemplating if I should ask the doc for a bump up to the next strength, or if I'm jumping the gun. I'm only on the .025% right now.

#4 leelowe1

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

Well congrats! I just bumped up my retinoid from .025% to .050% and i am expecting an initial outbreak (praying its not that bad). I was on Ziana and while my blackheads on my forehead cleared up, i was getting more and more inflammatory acne all over.

In your case, 3 months is really just the minimum starting point to see improvement. i have heard from several people that the 6 month and 9 month mark are when drastic improvements take place. You should expect to continue breaking out for a while (as long as breakouts don't get worse and you are breaking out less and less over time). It's up to you though. If you think your skin is ready for a jump, go for it!

It's a rocky road but like everything else in life, there is always a beginning and an end.  Here's to finding my end.

 

God is good to me..........more than I deserve.

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


#5 frackgirl33

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:30 PM

Luckily I haven't really suffered from blackheads. The tretinoin has definitely helped with the smaller acne (regular ol' whiteheads) I used to get daily all over my face, and has cleared my forehead completely (although sometimes I'll still get an inflammatory mark up there time to time). Now I generally experience inflammatory acne on the sides of my face, and mostly jawline (I curse hormones!!! haha). I think I'm going to wait another 4 weeks before considering jumping up in strength because I still experience dryness sometimes and don't want to make it worse.

I just started taking Zinc 2 days ago, and think I'm going to add probiotics as well. Saw that you take both of these, what are your thoughts?

I certainly hope you do not have to endure another initial breakout, what a pain! Hopefully your recent increase in strength will help you out with the inflammatory stuff. Good luck!

#6 leelowe1

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:35 PM

Thanks! i have not seen a difference with zinc but i hear it is supposed to help with your immune system so why not. Also, the probiotics have helped tremendously with my constipation issues (TMI) and its important to be regular overall. Try them though, it may work for you. I have been on my new regimen for about two weeks and i am breaking out - nothing out of the ordinary though. I hope i don't get an initial outbreak but then again, i am not holding my breath on that one.

Keep us posted on your progress

It's a rocky road but like everything else in life, there is always a beginning and an end.  Here's to finding my end.

 

God is good to me..........more than I deserve.

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


#7 Sexxyangelic1

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:04 AM

I actually think your newer pics do show some improvements. Your skin looks a lot smoother in the second set of pics. I would stick with it. 12 weeks isn't always the magic number for everyone.
Acne I'm gonna kick yo azz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#8 frackgirl33

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:06 AM

I actually think your newer pics do show some improvements. Your skin looks a lot smoother in the second set of pics. I would stick with it. 12 weeks isn't always the magic number for everyone.


Thanks for the feedback! It's been a couple weeks and I've taken new pics, and I agree, I think the overall texture of my skin is smoother. And I currently only have 2 actives right now, haven't had any new ones pop up in a few days! Just hope it stays that way, and that I can get this dang hyperpigmentation to fade! Thanks again!

#9 leelowe1

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:31 AM

Frackgirl, just took a look at your most recent pictures and i would say progress has been good. I definitely think you should stick with it! I've been told that month 6, 9 and 12 are when MAJOR changes can be spotted. Keep at it girl!

It's a rocky road but like everything else in life, there is always a beginning and an end.  Here's to finding my end.

 

God is good to me..........more than I deserve.

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


#10 frackgirl33

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:21 AM

Frackgirl, just took a look at your most recent pictures and i would say progress has been good. I definitely think you should stick with it! I've been told that month 6, 9 and 12 are when MAJOR changes can be spotted. Keep at it girl!


Thank you! Months 6, 9, and 12 huh? I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

#11 leelowe1

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:02 PM

Frackgirl, did you end up upping your percentage? I am in week 11 of my regimen and i am in the breakout phase. Holding on hope that week 16 will show some significant results - if it doesn't get worse by then, maybe i'll continue the same regimen over the summer.

Can't wait to hear about your progress.

It's a rocky road but like everything else in life, there is always a beginning and an end.  Here's to finding my end.

 

God is good to me..........more than I deserve.

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.