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Initial breakout from tretinoin

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#1 Jordan9595

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 08:59 AM

Hi everyone, I've been using tretinoin for almost four weeks now. I'm having rather mixed results. My forehead and upper cheeks have cleared up dramatically, even though they used to be my most problematic areas. However, I have several big pimples under my nose, and my lower cheeks are covered in big red pimples that might be cysts. My lower cheeks look like someone shot me in each cheek. Does what I'm describing sound characteristic of the initial breakout to you? And when should I expect to see improvement?

#2 Dave Alexander

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 11:47 PM

QUOTE (Jordan9595 @ Jan 2 2011, 10:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi everyone, I've been using tretinoin for almost four weeks now. I'm having rather mixed results. My forehead and upper cheeks have cleared up dramatically, even though they used to be my most problematic areas. However, I have several big pimples under my nose, and my lower cheeks are covered in big red pimples that might be cysts. My lower cheeks look like someone shot me in each cheek. Does what I'm describing sound characteristic of the initial breakout to you? And when should I expect to see improvement?


hi ive been on tretinoin for just about 4 weeks too and im getting the same results too. im starting to get more acne to the sides of my lower lip and the lower part of my cheek as well. i talked to a dermatologist recently and he said that after around a month of tretinoin the breakout should take a turn towards the right direction so i'll try to be optimistic!!

#3 denz_denz

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:09 PM

hi... are you using the ointment? usually, in the first 2-4 weeks, breakout will be experienced since tretinoin is pushing out the comedones seated in your skin, then after that.. your skin will start to clear out and will look radiant. make sure to also apply a topical antiboitic to help heal the pimples. you may use the antibiotic twice a day, morning and before bed time. Also, if your skin is an oily type, you may use cetaphil for oily skin that will remove excess oil on the skin.

#4 sevin_nyne

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:20 PM

hey. ive been on retin-a for about 3 months already. and im telling you it's tough. i still break out now but rarely. and im sure it's just taking everything out from under cuz where ever i dont have a break out my skin is sooo smooth and soft. you seem to just be a month in. give it another two months cuz it does take time for retina to start working, and the wait is def worth it. and it's something you can ocontinue to use forever to maintain clear skin and beat signs of aging.

#5 denz_denz

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 05:44 PM

that's right seven nyne whistling.gif)

#6 20something20

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:15 PM

I'm having similar results with Differin. I THINK it has something to do with the thickness of skin. Forehead skin is maybe not as thick as the area around the mouth, so it takes more time to thin out the skin and many "hidden" break-outs are coming to the surface, whereas the forehead is clear very soon. Just my intuition, nothing scientific tongue.gif.

#7 freeride6772

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:58 PM

Sounds like an IB to meee! I'm on month two and am still breaking out horribly sad.gif I have heard to hang in there, so per everyone who has told me this . . . . hang in there!! smile.gif

#8 eagles05

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 09:35 PM

hey guys, 5 more days til the 1 month mark for me on tretinoin .05% but i was just wanting to say tht i have also been getting what seem like crysts on my lower cheeks so at least this is a similiar reaction to the medications we are all getting, it makes it a little easier knowing we are not the only ones dealing with it. so ya thanks guys:) i was worried befor reading this post

#9 freeride6772

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 11:05 PM

QUOTE (eagles05 @ Jan 11 2011, 09:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hey guys, 5 more days til the 1 month mark for me on tretinoin .05% but i was just wanting to say tht i have also been getting what seem like crysts on my lower cheeks so at least this is a similiar reaction to the medications we are all getting, it makes it a little easier knowing we are not the only ones dealing with it. so ya thanks guys:) i was worried befor reading this post


All these posts have helped me too smile.gif

We're all in this together!!

#10 eagles05

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:26 PM

yep we are:)

so anyway can people who have used it before reply to this about there experiences with retin A like when there initial breakout was, when it started getting better, how long it took them to clear up or can people just give me an update bout there progress cuz im wondering?

#11 Lemonberry

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:07 PM

Jordan9595 this sounds like a VERY typical initial breakout. This is good news! Don't give up :]

Your skin is just purging and it's going to be a while. What I can, tell you is that you're most likely halfway through your initial breakout. It took my skin 2-3 months to start showing improvement.

Just relax and let your skin do it's work. And remember to moisturize!

#12 freeride6772

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:11 PM

QUOTE (Lemonberry @ Jan 13 2011, 01:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jordan9595 this sounds like a VERY typical initial breakout. This is good news! Don't give up :]

Your skin is just purging and it's going to be a while. What I can, tell you is that you're most likely halfway through your initial breakout. It took my skin 2-3 months to start showing improvement.

Just relax and let your skin do it's work. And remember to moisturize!


I'm not gunna lie, if it wasn't for reading your motivational posts I probably would have given up. I never knew how emotional of a time the IB period was . . . but it is.

#13 eagles05

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:43 PM

So ya idk who is actually reading this but just decided to update everyone, its the end of month 1 and i think my cryst like pimples are finally going away! i have a lot of whiteheads tho which are annoying but its improvement!:) been a pretty good day, maybe im outta the IB early? only time will tell. thanks for all the motivation

#14 shai

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 03:39 AM

hello all! ive been using tretinoin 0.01% since 2 weeks..i break out on both cheeks..i'm breaking out a lot! and there are lots of red marks! am so sick and depressed!! i cant study for my exams!

#15 xoxo500xo

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:04 PM

Hello!

I always had pretty clear skin- maybe a white head or two around my period but otherwise really easy. But over the summer, I started to get mild acne (always having a some whitehead on my face). So I started using tretinoin (and don't waste money going to a dermatologist! your pediatrician can prescribe at your check ups if you ask!). So I started using it Sept 1 and it is now the 22. I have TONS of little red bumps all over my face. They are the most concentrated on my cheeks and I have a few whiteheads. At first it looked like my skin was clearing up but after a week I started getting more and more bumps on my cheeks. I've been reading posts about why this is happening and will stick with the tretinoin until my acne clears, but has anyone had the similar timing? and if so, how long did it take for the initial breakout to end. IM DYING HERE

Edited by xoxo500xo, 22 September 2011 - 07:04 PM.


#16 gems2889

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 09:43 PM

i am on the same boat I am breaking out under my nose and mouth area ahhh I hate it.... but oh well beauty is pain I say...

#17 xoxo500xo

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:34 PM

Hey again.

I posted in September about how my initial breakout was starting after three weeks. It has now been 8 weeks and my skin is the worst it has ever been. My forehead is extremely bumpy and my cheeks are covered in small red bumps, scars from previous pimples, and a few whiteheads. I was not expecting the break out to take THIS LONG.
It has actually been a really emotional experience...I've never been embarrassed about my appearance until now. I shy away from thing because of how self-conscious I am now, it's really awful.

I don't know if I would go through this again but since I've already invested so much time I feel like I have to finish with this product. All my friends suggest going on birth control instead, but I would not be allowed to do that.
I would suggest, however, if you're doing tretinoin definitely get the anti-bacteria things because it will lessen the initial breakout. I've also found that days when I drink a lot of water, the next day my skin looks a litter better.

Hope this helps some and if anyone has a timeline of how their skin reacted, I would love to know!

#18 May853

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:12 AM

Yes, this is typical. Tretinoin is a long term treatment. I forget exactly how long my IB lasted, but it was miserable, traumatizing, and all that. Here is my log, you can do the calculations if you want. It was way worse than my skin had ever been, or if I am not remembering correctly, at least worse than it had been in a loooong time. I've been on it 6 months now, and i still have breakouts from time to time, but it has gotten better, as has the overall condition of my skin. I am currently getting over going off spiro and so my breakout right now is from that. That has been annoying! But I am going to stick it out with the atralin (that's the version I'm on now). Even if it doesn't end up being the cure for all of my acne, I feel that it will only help me big picture-wise, as I am not getting any younger (30).

#19 jeff2307

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:14 PM

I am on atralin which is basically the same thing but I really don't have Any clear spot on my face now I'm only two and a half weeks in and it sucks don't wanna give up but its hard walking around like this:(