Jump to content

Photo

Retin-A Micro for occassional cystic acne (30, F)


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
108 replies to this topic

#21 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:51 PM

Day 49.

Hello millions of blackhead-y bumps on my forehead! Hello horrible nose! Hello initial breakout -- I hate you!

#22 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 29 August 2008 - 11:45 PM

Day 50. Mostly just reporting so that when people want to know what an IB is like in the future, they can read this.

Most of my nose activity has flattened out (yay), though I still have one more spot emerging. Which makes NINE zits on my nose in NINE days. My nose is not that big people. It is awful. Though at least now not that painful, and somehow more bearable -- visibly -- on my nose than elsewhere? I just look like I have a sunburned nose tip, complete with peeling, or like Rudolph.

Dear IB: PLEASE STOP.

I think my face keeps reaching new lows where I'm like, wow, it's NEVER looked this bad before. I have had about three days of being clear this summer, and I'm tired of thinking about this all the time. Sucks.

#23 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:18 AM

Day 51. My nose is back to hurting like an MF, though at least it's only that one spot. This is absolutely my IB though, as I can see that in areas of my nose that are healing, my blackheads are gone. It's just unbelievable to me how many of my pores in my nose are getting inflamed though. I mean, looking at my nose, I guess I understand since the whole thing is swollen, and the blackheads actually look deeper because of the swelling, so I guess stuff if trapped in there? Glad to get it out and all, but please please please be over soon. My nose is soooo red, it's awful. Also, my forehead is a sea of very small bumps -- a few small inflamed spots but not so many thank god.

Man, I am so ready for this to be over. My nose hurts so much that when I wash with Cetaphil and warm water (and my hands), it hurts to touch it. I am too old for this!!!!!!

#24 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:32 PM

Day 52. I know, there is no point in updating this everyday -- it's more for my own sanity. We are now on 11 inflamed spots in 11 days on my nose. ELEVEN. Before this, I had ONE pimple on my nose last spring, and then the time before that was probably 10 years ago. (I got lots of pimples other places inbetween.) My nose is SO inflamed right now -- all over. The good news is that I wasn't home alone today, so I basically had no opportunities to touch to pick at my nose, which I hope will make it better sooner?

I guess this makes sense since I had really persistent (though stable) blackheads on my nose for so long and they have to come out somehow, but god, make it get better! Also, now the IB is moving to my upper lip area, where I have two emerging spots/cysts that I will NOT touch/pick. (Okay, I guess one of them gets itchy so sometimes I'll give it a little itch accidentally.) My forehead is maybe making a little progress in getting less bumpy? It's still pretty bumpy (whitehead-ish), though at least for the most part not inflamed. And my face is still an oil slick -- I thought RAM was supposed to dry my out? I am using BP on my forehead in the morning at this point to help things. Who knows what that is doing - kind of hard to tell.

I am really hoping that the IB is over by the end of this week. I read a story today on Jezebel about Retin-A that gave me hope I guess -- both in the sense that I am not the only adult who wants to wear a bag over her head during the IB, and that RAM actually worked for this person. I think I need to expect possibly one more month of crappy skin before it gets better? Hard to imagine that I'd ever have porcelain skin, but I am hoping that this is the worst of it, and that it will be worth it.


#25 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:54 PM

Day 53.

Things are getting better. I have one remaining painful spot, though it is very small and unpainful compared to the others, and the rest of my nose is just red and horrible looking, but at least no longer inflamed. The morning I saw someone who I hadn't seen the entire summer and she was like, I see that you have got a sunburn -- ugh, I was just like, don't say anything! Because it's really splotchy looking from where all the zits were, not just like a sunburn.

The good thing is that nothing new has come up today. And the pain has stopped. I really really really hop that was the worst of it, because I can't really handle more than that. Also, I've been noticing that within like 30 minutes of putting the RAM on at night, my nose gets slightly better/less painful.

I still have blackheads on my nose, but they look different now -- first, fewer, less prominent, and scarily, they seem further down, though I think that is just because my whole nose is still swollen. I didn't realize the extent of the swelling -- not just in the areas where I had pimples, but everywhere, until now, when the swelling is going down further up my nose and I can feel my cartilage along the ridge of my nose again.

Seriously, I still cannot believe how bad this was.

#26 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:20 PM

Day 54. Coming up on the end of Week 8.

My nose is getting so much better! Of course, it looks like a war zone to other people, but compared to how it used to be a few days ago -- even yesterday...I think that by Thursday I might be back in the realm of normal human being who gets pimples from time to time.

I also have a big old cyst growing on my chin -- about 1/2" from where the last two cysts were. So far no redness, and I am trying to drown it out in BP. Also of course some old red marks on my chin from other zits.

My skin still looks kind of shitty all over, but whatever, I can deal. Mostly it is just bumpy/not smooth and I have gigantic pores. It's funny because my time horizon for improvement keeps getting longer and longer -- at first I was thinking 8 weeks, then 3 months, and just now, I decided six months.

#27 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 03 September 2008 - 08:27 PM

Day 55. My nose still has *bright red* like a lobster marks all over it. But I can deal. Sadly, the area up towards the bridge of my nose, while not showing any signs of problems, is somehow kind of sore, which I can only assume means I'm going to get another horrible nose spot there. In the meantime I am icing and BPing that area.

Also BPing the now gigantic cyst on my chin, which is actually doing okay redness wise. For now. Though a second smaller one is appearing alongside of it. And there is something else going on off to the side between my nose and my lips -- kind of on my cheek. Not a cyst though, thank god. If there is such a thing as good news today, it's that the pimple under my mose completely went away and barely left a mark. It was there for about two days, and then see you later!

I really hate my skin right now.


#28 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:01 AM

Day 56. I actually have quite a few spots brewing right now:

-- two cysts on my chin -- one small (that oozed some white goo today when I wasn't even really trying to squeeze it), one big, which hurts a bit and itches and is big but isn't THAT red and is maybe now going down
-- another something is brewing underneath the surface spot between my nose and lips on my cheek
-- another one of these that feels like two of something together on the far side of my left cheek
-- another painful nose spot emerging in a field of red healing spots

But I'm kind of happy -- certainly in WAY less mental anguish than I was a few days ago when my nose was literally swollen in all dimensions and so painful (though current spot on nose is pretty painful). I had a friend visiting from out of town tonight and I think I barely looked like I had problem skin at all after some spot concealing. The skin on my cheeks for the most part is looking good right now, despite my large pores.

My skin still is very oily (genetic, my 60 year old father's skin can be used as a mirror in the summer, though I don't think he's eer had an acne problem), and it kind of stung all day today because I am trying to douse things in BP in the mornings, but psychologically, I am feeling so so so much better.

#29 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 06 September 2008 - 04:11 PM

Day 58. The fact that I missed a day posting is a good sign!

Things are getting better. Here is an update:

Nose: I still have one active spot that fills up with pus from time to time, but I feel SO much better psychologically, even if this spot is really right in the middle of my nose. It's not that bad. Other red spots are almost healed. I did notice that my blackheads are all still there, and with light pressure I can get goo to come out of some of them quite easily, but I can tell that the skin is thinner all over. Not sure if the blackheads will stay? I kind of don't care.

Chin: Small spot = completely gone, large spot is on it's way away. I really doused that guy in BP, and as a result, the skin on top got a little bit brown and dry, but it never became a hideous, omg, I have a zit spot. Pretty happy about how these two turned out. Moral of the story: don't pick!

Cheek: Spot between my nose and mouth is almost gone, and was basically never visible on the surface. I can still feel a little lump underneath but whatever. Doubled spot over near my ear is still there and isn't getting smaller yet. Using lots of BP.

Forehead: totally clear but with many small bumps. Though these seem to be getting better?

Overall: skin is still VERY oily, esp. in humid weather, but more glowy, finally, especially in the cheeks. I am starting to feel like RAM is actually working.

#30 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:53 PM

End of Day 62.

So, things were getting better and then they started to get worse again. Mostly in the form of my friends The Cysts. Since I last posted, I got another one on my chin, and one in the middle of my forhead. The big cyst I already had on my chin was indeed going away, but I find that even if I don't squeeze, it still does the thing where it crusts over and leaves a big brown mark that is around for a long time after the thing has flattened out.

Plus I just have a million red marks all around my mouth/chin area, which are taking forever to go away. They are still going on my nose too, and the glowy-ness that I had to my skin a few days ago is gone again -- everything just seems rough and broken out. My nose is still blackhead filled, even after all of that horrible breaking out.

The last few days I've had some pretty down moments emotionally. I feel like everyone in my life has perfect skin, and I don't understand why all of a sudden mine has gotten so bad. (I swear it wasn't think bad before last spring.) I keep thinking...if only I hadn't taken that Plan B (it was a measure of extra precaution)...what if I hadn't started with RAM....it really sucks to think about this so much at my age.

Really hoping to see some real results in a few more weeks. Going into week 10 as of tomorrow.

Also: do people ever use moisturizer on top of RAM (after waiting for a while)? My face is still super oily, but my red spots keep peeling/scabbing over. I was thinking that moisturizer at night might prevent that/help things heal?

#31 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 13 September 2008 - 05:14 PM

Day 65/Week 10.

Things are still bad. My face looks like a battlefield. Red marks everywhere. In a way I want to say that the problem is that I am picking the peeling skin off my spots, but I also have a spot on the side of my face that I never touch that has been bright red and scabby for over a week. My face is still extremely oily, I have blackheads on my forehead where I didn't used to have them. My nose isn't any better. I HATE THIS.

I totally did not think that this would happen to me. I thought all of the horror stories on the web -- I don't know, I was just convinced that RAM would work for me. I'm not sure how long to keep with it -- I know that I definitely have to go through the three month point, but that is coming up soonish and things are just so bad right now. Will these cysts ever go away? I just want clear skin!

ALSO: I know I have said this before, but starting tomorrow (well, tonight), I am going to try to go one week without picking. Even the dead skin -- I'll let myself dry my face with a clean towel after I wash but that is it. AND, I'm going to start drinking more water. I'll be updating on the picking progress. This will be hard since I have this huge brown crust over a chin cyst right now, but I know that it's half my problem. I just wish that my face didn't get itchy, which makes me want to touch it.

#32 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 16 September 2008 - 06:21 PM

Day 68.

So, what's red and white and peeling all over but still thinks its face is "totally getting better and almost clear?" Someone on their 10th week of Retin-A. Ba dum bum.

Okay, joking aside, DESPITE having many new spots in the last three days even (another cyst on my forehead, two more painful lumps under the skin on my upper lip, and at least two more on my chin), I AM STARTING TO SEE THE EFFECTS OF RETIN-A! In a good way. FINALLY!!!!

I still have tons of red marks, but I am finally entering the phase of zits that come and go pretty fast without ever becoming too much of a problem. All of these things of course still feel like cysts, which made me SO worried (why am I still getting somewhere around 7-8 cysts a month at this point -- there is no improvement!), but all of a sudden, just in the last day or two, the bumps have started to come and go much faster, and my skin is rosy, FINALLY less oily (the fact that it's finally no longer 80% humidity outside probably helps), and recovering SO much faster. Also got two more problematic and painful nose spots, both in the corners of my nose, both of which went away quite fast.

I don't want to get too excited, but this is the first time since...oh god, I don't know -- JULY, that's I've felt truly optimistic about where my skin is heading.

Oh, I have totally still been picking, but definitely less. And drinking more water. I'm sure that hasn't hurt either. And although this post is cheery, I still have had WAY too many moments when I'm like, I can't believe what has become of my face, it's so horrible.

#33 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:04 PM

Day 71 -- week 11.

It's true, my skin is getting clearer and looking better in the areas where I don't have...MORE CYSTS. I forgot to try Aleve this month, and these were all totally hormonal, though I did take Advil, and that didn't stop them. (I know that Advil was found less effective in that study, but I was taking 3-6 a day, and they are still anti-inflammatory). I got three cysts under my nose on the left side (ugh!), have 2-3 on my chin, and 1-2 on my forehead this month (in the last week). I had really been trying not to pick at them/touch them, and then yesterday/today I lost it and screwed up and my face is a mess! Though still, strangely, better than a few weeks ago. It's so embarrassing, I hate it. Especially since I can feel two more brewing.

It's like each week is a different area of my face's turn to have an IB. Nose, chine, above the mouth, then forehead. Wondering when the cheeks will happen.

I am starting to see signs that this will work out in the end, but boy does it suck now!

Oh, and for those of you who complain about incompetent dematologists...I just renewed my RAM prescription, and I noted my doctor's original instructions (she is a GP, I'm not allowed to see a derm just for acne with my insurance) and it said to use 1" of RAM at bedtime. Ridiculous!

#34 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 22 September 2008 - 09:11 AM

Day 74.

Here is the deal: my good areas -- they look great -- really truly.

The area where I got three cysts within one square inch last week? A DISASTER. God, I just want it to heal. The first one that emerged is pretty far gone, but the other two are still red and scabby messes. Which also means uncoverable, which I try to do anyway. Probably looks worse that way.

I'm really feeling like once they go away, I might be in the clear though. The only place I worry about is my forehead, which is all of a sudden much more blackhead laden than ever before, but somehow the breakouts there aren't that bad.

#35 suspect

suspect

    New Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 17
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 09-September 08

Posted 22 September 2008 - 07:38 PM

sounds like your persistence and efforts are finally paying off with RAM- congratulations amforati! I can sympathize with you somewhat i'm 27, probably had mild acne for the past 10 years, but started using tretinoin after i had somewhat of a major break out bout 3 months ago. i thought i was too old for acne. Anyways, the cream made the skin on my face extremely oily. my pores started to clog, and i got small little bumps on the sides of my cheeks, some cysts not as much as you...mostly white heads...but lots of em. 2 weeks ago, just when i thought i was done with my IB, it started to come back. ugh. i will admit my skin is much smoother and softer to the touch after using tretinoin, but the break outs are not stopping. i get really embarrassed at work, and i tend to hide myself whenever in large group settings. i've been thinking about waving the white flag and jumping to the dreaded accutane pill. this stuff is so frustrating. why do doctors prescribe such volatile stuff?

i do like reading your log. please keep on posting. i can relate to everything your saying...well, most of everything. good luck.

#36 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 23 September 2008 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for the words of encouragement Suspect! It's nice to hear from readers. Keeping this log has been a huge help psychologically -- I am a very open person, but I've haven't been able to talk to anyone about this, so it's nice to have a place where there are other people who understand. God, sometimes I just can't believe the psychological toll of this -- I am so vibrant otherwise, and it is very unnatural for me to shy away from interaction with people, yet I find myself doing it because of a few spots on my face. It's ridiculous! I can't think of anything else that has affected me like this.

Onto other topics, why did no one ever tell me about NEOSPORIN before? Last night I came home and was SO frustrated with these two cyst scabs above my lip that I was googling the best way to treat them -- thinking that some moisturizing would help -- and that maybe I shouldn't put RAM on them as they are healing. Neosporin came up as something that is moisturizing AND antibiotic at the same time, and works against redness, and I immediately went out to the 24 hr drug store. (This was around midnight).

This morning I work up and my face was completely clear! Okay, I kid. But things did get better overnight with it. I have a new non-inflamed cyst friend above my eyebrow, which I was SO tempted to try to pop last night (but I didn't), and it went down significantly last night. (And then I stuck it with a thin pin to drain it this morning -- I actually think that this method works. It sprayed all over the mirror when lightly pushed upon -- ew, but also so satisfying!) And I do think it is helping take the red out of my healing spots. I am in week 11 right now, and really hope that by the three month mark, I'll have decent skin again. Actually, not just hope, but think it is totally possible. (3 months being 13 weeks)


#37 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 24 September 2008 - 11:01 PM

End of Day 76.

God, is the IB really supposed to last 3 weeks. Because that's how long it's been. And I am still getting cysts.

Why do I only get cysts?!?!?! I really hate my skin right now. Three active cysts (chin, forehead, side of nose), plus a jillion red marks. Who cares if my cheeks are glowy when all anyone sees is my gross T zone.

So annoyed that I'm using an f-ing emoticon.

#38 Sunnygirl

Sunnygirl

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 332
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 20-June 06

Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:38 PM

I feel your frustration! I'm around the eight week mark of using tazorac and my skin is still breaking out. Some weeks are really good and I think I'm turning a corner, and then the next day I'll have another breakout that comes out of nowhere. Maybe it's because I'm really close to my cycle starting, I don't know, but this breakout right now is non-stop. There are times I feel so incredibly low.....like today. I'll keep at it, but the journey is a hard one.

#39 amorfati

amorfati

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 103
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 11-July 08

Posted 26 September 2008 - 10:51 PM

End of Day 78. In week 12 at this point.

Thanks for the words of encouragement Sunnygirl. I am seriously committed to staying with this -- I have faith that my face will actually start to look good someday. Really. Though it's kind of horrible to go back and look at pictures of me before I started RAM and realize how so NOT bad my skin was in comparison to now. Yeah, that's really sad.

But, well, my skin is what it is now, and once again, I maintain that it's on the up and up. It is definitely way softer, and I have no new cysts forming! For now, but yay! I am still getting some peeling/flaking around my chin, but everything feels velvet-y smooth, which is good and makes covering things up a LOT easier these days, which is good. I think that the Neosporin is REALLY helping -- cysts are going away really quickly, things aren't dry and scabby anymore.

I saw elsewhere that someone wrote something to the point of, "I'm not religious, but I'm praying that this gets better." I'm not so desperate anymore that I need to pray, but I definitely have been in that situation in the last few weeks. I just really hope that in a week or two I am clear for the first time since July.

#40 patience08

patience08

    New Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 2
    Blog Entries: 13
    Likes: 0
About Me
  • Joined: 29-September 08

Posted 29 September 2008 - 01:35 AM

i've had the worst acne for about eight years, and i started using retin-a a week and a half ago because in a few months i'll be attending a few interviews for medschool, and i really don't want to look like i don't take care of myself!

i'm so impressed that you've stuck it at so long, after 11 days of retin-A my face looks horrible but you've really motivated me to continue using it! please keep writing your log so that you can continue to inspire the rest of us =)

good luck!