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skin still very oily after almost 14 weeks of RAM -- now what?

red tea red mark

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#1 amorfati



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Posted 13 October 2008 - 03:20 PM

The topic title says it all: I am a few days away from having done 14 weeks of Retin-A Micro, at 0.04%. Not only am I still getting nasty pimples and cysts, but my face is still very oily. Within an hour of washing I feel like I want to wash again. It's gross. I should note that I started RAM pretty slowly -- it took me a full month to be applying it every night.

I definitely don't have severe acne -- but almost all of the pimples I get are cysts. They are going away faster these days, though mostly I think that's because I've discovered tea tree oil.

In terms of products, I wash with Cetaphil, and use Olay Complete for Sensitive Skin SPF 15 in the morning. I'll spot treat with Tea Tree oil and/or Neosporin.

I want to try to stay on RAM as long as possible, since people seem to have real success after three months (I just past the three month point), but the fact that my skin is still extremely oily makes me worry that RAM just isn't for me. Do I need a higher %age? Should I ask about Duac instead of tea tree oil for spot treating? (I guess that is a different question.) Should I try something like Spiro? I am 30 and female if that matters. Also, it's difficult to judge my progress as it wasn't until last spring that I started getting these cysts with any regularity. But certainly my skin is WAY WAY WAY worse than it was at this time last year, and about the same as it was (+ a lot of red marks) when I started RAM.

Thanks for any suggestions.

#2 Brandy


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Posted 13 October 2008 - 06:29 PM

In my experience, Retinoids aren't always effective by themselves on inflammatory acne. Ask your dermatologist about adding an anti-infective for daytime use, perhaps something with benzoyl peroxide in it.

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#3 Siouxsie


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Posted 14 October 2008 - 05:29 PM

^ Agree with something for the anti-inflammatory.

You might try BP in the morning, but don't use it at the same time as retin-a, as they "cancel" each other out. If you use Duac (which is BP + clindamycin, a good option), then apply it all over to prevent inflamed acne. Spot treating doesn't prevent. Moisturize very well morning & night, cuz all of this is very drying, and while you may be oily, you can still get tight & flaky on the surface. You might consider something oral like spiro for that reason. I think spiro is one of the few medications that can reduce sebum production; besides that & accutane, everything else only dries surface oil, so there is nothing to be done about sebum production.

Also, if your skin has adjusted well to .04%, then yeah, it may be time to increase the concentration.

Right now I take an oral anti-biotic to prevent inflamed pimples, & I spot treat with clindamycin. My skin looks decent, with maybe 1-2 inflamed spots. The retin-a has helped me a lot in evening out my skin tone. Even if I get a zit, my whole face just looks more even and red marks don't last long. It did take me about 3 months to get the results though.

The best regimen I had as far as clarity was BP in the morning + tretinoin and clindamycin at night. It was really drying though & hard to keep moisturized. My skin was clear, but flaky on the surface & still very oily. So for now, an oral antibiotic seems to be my best choice, especially since I am on the strongest retin-a. If your skin is mostly clear, then the oiliness isn't so bad either....I just blot a lot shrug.gif

Nature of the Beast: Moderate, inflammatory, several cysts, large pores & very oily
Current Status: Very mild overall, with some red marks & mild "bumpiness" on chin (possible scarring).
Use: Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser or Acne.org Cleanser / Acne.org 2.5% BP day & night / Acne.org Moisturizer for day / DHC Cleansing Oil or Neutrogena Towlettes to remove makeup at night / Oil of Olay Regenerist Night Creme at night

Makeup: Stila Stay All Day Foundation in Light 2 or Beige 3. Cover FX compact powder in 10.


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#4 l3br0n23



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Posted 21 October 2008 - 02:27 PM

My skin is very oily throughout the day with Retin-A.Maybe it's either hormones or the Retin-A itself? Anyway, get some oil blotters or pads to deal with it through the day.

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