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About theComfyCat

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  • Birthday 09/03/1985

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  • Gender Female
  • Location Midwest

theComfyCat's Activity

  1. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Ortho Cyclen/sprintec Success Stories?   

    I've been on Ortho Cyclen for around 5 years now (I'm 29). For the first 3 years or so, I took it in conjunction with spironolactone and was almost completely clear the entire time. Now I just use Ortho Cyclen and a topical benzoyl peroxide, and stay mostly clear.

    Ortho Cyclen doesn't really keep me clear on its own, but it never worsened my skin or caused any health problems so far.
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  2. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Just a question   

    Well, there are several factors involved in acne formation: hyperkeratinization, sebum (over)production (which is stimulated primarily by androgens), presence/activity of P. acnes bacteria, and inflammation. Hyperkeratinization is abnormal shedding of skin cells within the follicles, which creates plugs... these "plugged follicles" are called microcomedones... if there is some drainage (of sebum and the other contents), it will become an open comedo, or blackhead. If there is no drainage, it will become a closed comedo, or whitehead, which can become an inflamed lesion, such as a pustule or cyst. So, microcomedones are the precursors to all acne lesions.

    Current scientific research suggests that an inflammatory response, caused by our innate immune system (meaning this is a hereditary difference), interrupts the normal cycle of the sebaceous follicle, causing hyperkeratinization... and because of the other substances in the follicles (e.g. sebum and keratin), plugs form. Several factors have been implicated as triggers for this initial immune response, including various combinations of: androgens, certain hormone receptors, certain regulatory neuropeptides/ cytokines, deficiency in certain anti-oxidants, and certain environmental factors (specifically, stress response or topical stress, diets containing pro-inflammatory substances, and smoking).

    A further immune response can result due to chemical changes which occur to the obstructed comedo as it progresses, which is where P. acnes can be involved. At this point, pustules or other inflamed lesions are formed.

    So, why we get acne is pretty complicated, which is why there's no easy solution that works for everyone. Antibiotics are anti-inflammatory, which is why they're helpful for acne treatment in many cases.
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  3. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Spiro and Yaz to treat adult acne   

    Most people take spiro in conjunction with hormonal birth control.. yaz is a common choice because its progestin is chemically similar to spiro.

    Spiro can take up to 10 months for full effects, but most people see effects in 3-4 months... if you're not getting clearer in the next three months, I'd consider talking your your doctor about other treatment options...

    You might also consider doing a topical regimen along with your hormonal treatments... stubborn acne sometimes needs to be tackled from a few different angles... your gyno will be able to talk to you about it (and write prescriptions) if you're interested.
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  4. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Just a question   

    This is true.

    It's good that you don't have a hormonal imbalance to deal with, though, deenem. Hormone imbalances just complicate things... but hormones are always involved with acne formation.
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  5. theComfyCat added a post in a topic i've been using tazorac for about a month   

    Yes, the gel should be better than the cream for oily skin. I suppose if you can't get the taz gel (because of insurance), you could check if retin-a micro (0.1%) is covered by your insurance... they are similar products.

    Good luck, I hope your skin starts to clear up soon
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  6. theComfyCat added a post in a topic i've been using tazorac for about a month   

    What % are you using? I'd say give it a couple months or so, and if your skin isn't improving, talk to your derm about increasing the concentration... that seems to be the trick with retinoids for most people.

    But in general, it does take 3-4 months for results... however, it seems like stubborn acne that doesn't clear up in a few months needs a higher concentration.

    Are you using any other topicals?

    Also, smart guy has a good taz log... I find reading successful logs to be encouraging
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  7. theComfyCat added a post in a topic On Spiro WITHOUT being on BCP?   

    For me so far, spiro has made my period come a week early two times now... hopefully things normalize for both of us!

    From the data I've read, it seems like things don't usually normalize until after the first three months, though

    I'll be reducing my dose after a while, so hopefully things get better at that point, if not before then.
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  8. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Acne getting worse :'(   

    Read through this post. ("Good Things For Acne condensed handbook")

    It has a TON of info on which supplements/ dietary habits/ etc are good for acne... all up to date with scientific research.
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  9. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Good Things For The Many Factors That Lead To Acne   

    I agree that this post should be pinned, so that it's easier to find, since it's so awesome

    The vast amount of info here is up-to-date with research... and I'm often browsing this post to further my understanding of the various supplements/ diet changes recommended to me by my doctor. This post definitely has good info for those of us with acne prone skin, but ultimately the info is relevant to general health as well. I think everyone trying to get clear will benefit from reading this post. (...though maybe they'll appreciate it more appropriately after researching acne formation, so that they also know the purpose/mechanisms of their various acne treatments.... and thus will further understand why the info here is valuable for any regimen...)

    Thanks for keeping this updated, alternativista!
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  10. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Yaz and full body cramping   

    Well, drinking lots of water should generally help with the muscle cramps (it's a good idea to stay well hydrated while on yaz anyway).. it's not unusual for you to get muscle cramps while using yaz (or spironolactone... which is similar to the progestin in yaz). It will likely pass... but you should always call your doctor if you're worried.

    It's also a good idea to go back to the doctor after the first month of using yaz, so that they can do some blood tests to check your potassium levels, etc...
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  11. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Differin -- VERY long term   

    Have you tried hormonal treatments, like birth control or spironolactone? These are often the next step for women who are unresponsive to other treatments...

    You won't necessarily become "immune" to the differin, but it might not be doing enough on its own to keep you clear...
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  12. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Differin -- VERY long term   

    You should definitely see results in less than a year if you're going to at all, I'd say. Have you tried a different retinoid, such as tazorac or tretinoin (aka retin-a)?

    Also, are you a girl?
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  13. theComfyCat added a post in a topic Retin-a + AHA   

    You can use AHA's with retin-a so long as the combo isn't too drying for you. I use a glycolic wash and tretinoin (generic for retin-a) without any problems.

    You should use the AHA in the morning and the retin-a at night.

    It's a good idea to start off slowly with the retin-a... use it every three nights, and slowly work up to using it nightly over several weeks (and always take a break if you get redness or irritation). It's good that your skin is already used to the AHA.
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  14. theComfyCat added a post in a topic On Spiro WITHOUT being on BCP?   

    Well, spiro seems to cause more side effects the higher the dosage... so you might be more likely to experience irregular periods or spotting between periods since you're taking 200mg/day.
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  15. theComfyCat added a post in a topic AHA and Ziana OK?   

    That should be fine.

    I'd recommend you keep using the jojoba as well, to prevent dryness.
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