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Differin 0.1% Log (Regimen Including Bactrim And Duac)

differin log bactrim duac journey

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#1 ariesgirl55

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 06:34 PM

Hey everyone, so I thought I'd never do this, but I'm feeling like I need to share my journey on this website because I'm honestly so distraught and I need to track progress somehow. This is going to be tough for me because I know that some of the pictures might be gruesome and not show much improvement. But I'm planning on showing pictures of my journey on Differin (at night), Duac (mornings) and Bactrim (once daily antibiotic. While I have used Differin inconsisently for a little over two months (I had a bit of a different regimen, I used erythromycin + BP and Doxy instead of Duac and Bactrim) today marks the 36th of consistent use of this regimen (Bactrim-Duac-Differin).

I plan on continuing this regimen for at LEAST two more weeks (that's when I go back to visit my derm), and hopefully she can evaluate my success. I apologize for not starting this log as soon as I started treatment, but I couldn't get around to taking pictures of myself. I basically just sucked it up and decided this would be the best way to show any signs of improvement, because I honestly can't tell.

Below are the three angles of my face (the right side is the worst Posted Image ) but as you can tell, I have a few pustules, MANY MANY MANY marks of PIH and some whiteheads that may or may not be visible. I think it's definitely worse than before I started any treatment AND THAT IS SO FRUSTRATING. My skin has never ever ever looked worse.

I'll update this log next week, same time, same lighting and we'll see how things go.

Feel free to leave any comments/suggestions/questions/etc!! I would really really appreciate it. Actually, PLEASE PLEASE DO!!!

Anyways, here it goes:

DAY 36.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Day 36 front.jpg
  • Day 36 right.jpg
  • Day 36 left.jpg

Edited by ariesgirl55, 26 May 2012 - 06:37 PM.


#2 fadedjay

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 02:52 AM

Hey there,

Documenting your progress is a great idea, i wish i was not so useless at doing it lol

From the pictures it doesn't seem like much acne just a lot of flat red marks which is good.

If you havent used a retinoid or bp before then sometimes it can make things worse for a little while or sometimes it maybe that the treatment is just way too irritating for your skin.

PIH will lighten up over time.

They say to see some improvement it takes around 3 months of consistent use. That said some people see results earlier some much later than 3 months.

If you feel like in a couple of weeks nothing much has changed then only you know best and like you said you could discuss this with your derm.

Jay

#3 ariesgirl55

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

Thanks, Jay, for the response!! It's great to get feedback!

The great thing is, most of it IS just marks, but I hate waiting for them to fade. I know the retinoid will eventually take care of it, but I don't know how long it'll take. I will definitely check on things these next two weeks and talk with my derm about continuing treatment or evaluating the improvement of my skin and considering other options.

#4 CWR24

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:21 AM

Im in the same situation as you right now. pretty such using the same products. differin, benzclin and doxycycline. Im on months 3

#5 ariesgirl55

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:52 AM

Creiss24! I'm glad to know someone is in a similar boat!! Please feel free to share your experiences or log anything you want in here!!

How is your regimen going?

BTW, I will do an update soon. It's a bit hard because I've been so busy, but I will maybe post some pictures in a few days. My bumps are pretty depressed at this point, I have a few spots on my cheeks that are still a little inflamed. My forehead still has a few bumpy spots. The rest appears to be PIH. I'm trying to be patient, but I'm grateful that it's getting a little better, day by day.

#6 ariesgirl55

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 08:59 PM

I can't muster up any energy/confidence/whatever to post more pictures right now lol, but I wanted to do an update!

My skin is looking pretty similar to before, a few new inflamed spots, but generally, a lot has continued to lessen. My forehead is overall still bumpy and my overall complexion is spotted and red waaaah. But my left side is doing pretty good. My right side still looks angry -_- (stupid jawline random trail acne wtf) and lol whatever the hell else I have going on over there.

But I've got a long way to go! I'm going to see my derm next Friday, and hopefully she can let me know if this regimen is reacting properly. I don't mind waiting up to 6 months if I'm gonna have optimal results :) And my skin doesn't look very bad with makeup (even though I wish I could just be one of those "natural" people haha)

I've also began the "gentle" approach. I'm treating my skin with more respect, as to not aggravate it or encourage any more acne. I'm kind of following Dan's method of cleansing, where I just splash the water gently, use a featherlight touch, gently pat it dry, etc. It makes me feel better about my skin, and I want to reduce any irritation. I've also fasted from using any scrubs or my exfloiant (even the Aveeno one) because I DO have inflamed areas that just need gentle cleansing with Cetaphil. And I use a gel moisterizer that I prefer because it sort of drinks into my skin, as opposed to a creamy one that just lathers on and feels greasy (my skin, forehead especially, has become a lot more normal-oily. No more dryness, so I don't like heavy moisterizers. Plus when I wake up, my forehead is a shiny oil slick ewww).

BUT DESPITE ALL THIS EFFORT AND TRAMUA, I'M GONNA OVERCOME THIS. I can handle thissssss

#7 fadedjay

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:18 PM

Hey,

Sounds like you have the right frame of mind to beat this acne!

You maybe a bit oilier from the differin. Some people have said that it does make skin oiler.

Once you have gotten control of your skin you might be able to then inroduce natural products and use less of the chemical stuff and still maintain clear skin.

Jay

#8 ariesgirl55

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:35 PM

Jay, I have the right frame of mind, but I'm still letting it get to me! The worst is all the hyperpigmentation :( I'm hoping my dermatologist can help me with that, otherwise I guess I have to just let time and Differin take care of it

But yes I would love to introduce natural products!

Stay hopeful, but it's hard! I had a breakdown in the car today lol, I was basically crying out at God. But it was probably a good thing. I'm hoping I'm gonna get my prayers answered and if I'm patient, it should come.

If anyone has any suggestions for hyperpigmentation, I would strongly appreciate it! My skin is the worst when it comes to redness, my red marks are so apparent, and they last FOREVAAAA. So if anyone has any advice or thinks I should ask my dermatologist about certain things, please let me know!! :)

Oh, and yes, I definitely attribute the oilness to the Differin. I use it at night, and the morning after is always the oiliest for me grrrr

But I don't particularly mind it, after I cleanse it seems to subside. I just hope that the increased oilness doesn't allow for a healthy environment for more acne :/

PS: I'm limiting my mirror looks to 5 TIMES a day. It's necessary. I'm also avoiding my iPhone camera to check my face -_- (that's just obsessive) and I'm NEVER EVER LOOKING IN MY CAR MIRROR AGAIN. Those things are the worst! I don't care how perfect my skin is or isn't, the rearview mirror especially just makes me look like an alien and I don't need to look at it.

And I'm giving up reflections too! I always stare at myself in the reflections of car windows, doors, etc. It's ridiculous!

I think part of my struggle is, I can't stop looking at my face! But if I just let it be (like the Beatles said) and live my life (like TI says), I'll be more at peace and less worried about my appearance. I'm too insecure already, studying my face every waking moment doesn't help. It's vain, it's unnecessary, and it only makes me dwell on my imperfections more. So if anyone has any tips to share to get their mind off their skin, I'd appreciate it! I'm gonna try these tips tomorrow and see if I feel better about myself at the end of the day.

#9 fadedjay

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 01:19 AM

you sound like me lol

I could stare for hours and my imperfections and make my self into a mess.

The hardest part of dealing with it all is emotional side, it really f**ks you up i find.

For redness because your in the states people use hydroquinone with good results.

jay

#10 ariesgirl55

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:51 AM

Yes Jay!! I always do that to myself. The emotional effects are the WORST. I will definitely check out hydroquinone, I have heard it can work wonders!

If you don't mind me asking, what type of skin/degree of acne do you have, and how are you dealing with it? Is your regimen working well?

#11 ariesgirl55

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:05 PM

Another update for today!

I feel good about myself! Sure my skin isn't perfect, but I have a lot else going for me, and I *think* things are pulling through. Gotta work on my patience!

I broke my mirror rules though, which is a shame. However, I don't know if I was just expecting worse, I applied my makeup really well or what, but I was pretty good with every instance I saw of myself! I still need to steer away from mirrors and reflections though because it only fuels my obsessiveness and causes vanity.

But I'm hopeful right now. Old stuff is still healing, PIH is being HORRIBLY slow, but I don't look like a freak, despite what I maybe thought before. I've got a better mindset and I'm just accepting of what I have going on right now. But fingers crossed that no new breakouts occur!!!

#12 fadedjay

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:25 AM

damn right you sound feel good about your self! :) Post as many time as you need it will all help.

My acne is moderate, pretty shitty to be honest, i have been on tretinoin gel 0.05 for nearly 4 months and I still break out. Been through loads of antibiotics etc, skin burns from BP and doesn't work all that well.

I need to think of a new plan but kind of frustrated with it all and need some down time just to give up for a while as emotionally it batters you at times having acne. I get back up every time but sometimes it’s a little slower.

Sounds like you’re doing well, you have a good routine. If possible try to come off antibiotics earlier rather than later as in the long run there not too good for the body talking from past experience.

ah the mirror rule gets broken every day i don't know why i do it to myself lol

Keep positive and you will be clear in no time :)

#13 ariesgirl55

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:05 AM

Jay, you're the best! You're keeping me going! I definitely want to ask my derm if I can get off the antibiotics because even if I have to use the Duac and Differin for several months/years/whatever, I definitely don't want to be taking antibiotics everyday!

But I'm SURE you just have to find the right regimen. Maybe consider seeing a different derm who can analyze your skin and see what works best for you? I wish we could all just have personal skin care specialists who could tell us exactly what our skin wants.

If I get off the Bactrim, do you think my face is gonna freak out? I'm scared that I'm not ready to get off of it. I heard most of the time, they're prescribed to aid with the initial breakout (although, by the time the drug gets in your system, I don't think it helps with that too much). I'm very fortunate that much of my skin is not active or inflamed. But it still looks spotty and I don't like not wearing makeup...and I still have certain areas that need to die down.

Mirrors are the worst. But all I can do is remind myself that it only looks bad to ME. Nobody else cares what my face looks like

Best of luck to you though! I'm sending good vibes your way that you'll be set with the best regimen soon! Do you know what triggers your acne? Like do you think it's diet related/bacterial/hormonal? That can definitely help with your regimen as well

Of course I'm not an expert, just a girl who's been doing way too much reading for my own good and is obsessed with having perfect skin. Just remember, everyone wants something and we all have to work for what we want. But patience, positivity, and activeness should bring us what we need :)

#14 fadedjay

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:52 PM

hey,

I wouldn't just come of bactrim, i would speak to your derm about it. The best way would be to ween off it like 1 every other day etc, the body will handle it better than a shock of going cold turkey.

I agree you want the topicals to be doing most of the work antibiotics are only good short term.

The bumpiness and redness will go down, sometimes moisturizing helps to heal the skin.

I am not sure what triggers my acne, i am pretty knowledgeable about the whole diet stuff and the skin in general. Suppose i know too much that at times science can't always explain why your body does something and your looking for answers and just annoying your self.

Indeed we work hard and sometimes we will not get what we want that is life, but we always get a bit closer or have hope. With treating any diesease we have to be patient but have to be smarter and logical about the treatment we need.

Derms are really good to a certain extent but they do a lot of trial and error to find out what works and i believe we know our skin the best and what it reacts to to etc.

Thanks for the good vibes!

As always keep posting your findings it will help you and others in the future and also it is a form of release from the emotional issues with acne.

:)

#15 ariesgirl55

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:56 PM

Another update! I agree Jay, it helps to release all of this! I also agree that derms do a lot of trial and error and I hate feeling like a test subject. But I haven't gone through a lot of different regimens, but I still feel unsure and doubtful about what I'm doing. I'll ask my derm if I can slowly ween off the Bactrim though! I know of course that it's not good to quit altogether, but if I can take it a few times a week, or every other day, I think that could really help

I honestly think I have a mild case of rosacea. That or I just have a lot of color on my face and I'm so obsessed with every pigment of uneven skintone-ness. I have all these little spots that are concentrated in one area, I hate that! I look like I have a rash on my face or something waaaah

Whatever, I still have a lot going for me. Gotta remind myself of that. And makeup covers up whatever I dislike about my skin, even though I really wish I could just not feel the need to wear it.

I had a good talk with my friends tonight though. It was definitely relieving. We talked about how we all have insecurities and the things we notice or hate about ourselves are really not important or noticeable to other people. But my one friend shared that she constantly feels insecure about her size, that she's not as small as me or some of my other friends. Case in point, nobody's perfect, we all wants something, and we all feel alone and singled out at times.

My imperfection is my skin. But a lot of people can relate to that! At least my imperfection isn't something like a missing limb or a deadly disease.

STILL I HATE THE WAY MY FACE LOOKS UGHHHHHH. Please clear up!

Tomorrow I'm visiting a skin care center at the mall. Let's just say I'm less than thrilled, because I'll get to walk in with no makeup on, and talk to people while I feel naked and insecure! I'm seeing a physician's assistant. Hopefully she'll give me some good advice/second opinion, but I'm not intending to spend a million dollars on Obagi products or book a chemical peel anytime soon. Still it'll be good to see what she'll have to say, and hopefully I'll be enlightened in some way. I have to thank my mother for doing this for me, and I really shouldn't complain about going there because she's paying this out of pocket and doing this so I can feel good in my own skin (literally lol) and she thinks this will be of help. I love her so much!

Ultimately, despite my facial disease, I have the world's greatest mother, among a lot of other great things. So I'm good!

But still. I want clear skin dammit.

Oh! And I told my friends I'm on acne meds, and that was also relieving. Telling people what you're going through really helps, because that way you don't feel insecure or judged and you aren't "hiding" anything! My other friend was actually taking stuff earlier, but she kind of weened off. Her skin looks pretty good, she still has some breakouts, but she's confident in her skin and I think she looks great personally. Plus she doesn't really like wearing makeup and she feels confident the way she is. I WISH I WAS LIKE THAT. And she has really cute freckles.

But if I feel more confident WITH makeup, that's just something I need to use! It's not fake of me, it's just my way of expressing myself and feeling comfortable. I'm not hiding my face, I'm just presenting myself in a way that I like. She told me that and I felt a lot better. I didn't want to come across as some girl who "cakes it on" and isn't naturally beautiful.

My other friend is blessed with pretty nice skin, but her siblings have severe acne. They're both on Accutane actually, and I didn't even know that! Her youngest sister actually started taking it when she was 8!!!!!! Crazy. But I still think they look fine.

SO IT'S ALL IN MY HEAD REALLY. I just gotta be confident with what I got

#16 fadedjay

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:35 AM

its good to talk to people, i haven't got the confidence to do it with my family as to be honest its a hard thing to talk about it when everyone else has pretty much clear skin.

we all have insecurities thats what makes us human/humble really.

Nit picking and searching for perfection will always lead us to hate the smallest blemish even if the rest of the face is clear its just what we are searching for, a lot of times things in our head like pictures of our selfs are not what people see us as. Though if we focus on it people around us will pick up on it and focus on it then we are like shit there looking at my skin, it must be really bad etc.

some things are easier to change it all depends on the person and how much they will go to get it e.g. going on a diet, joining the gym to get into great shape etc - all these things take time and some form of trial and error until we work out what works for our bodies.

obsessing over anything is not healthy, being concerned is fine but obsession can be bad for you as it eventually will sink into your unconscious mind and always play a part in your life. Easier said than done is to try detach your self from your skin, its something that will be FIXED but just takes time and in the short term its going to go up and down like a rollercoster.

Ask your derm when you should come off it i.e. after how many months etc, if it helps you may want to ween your self off it over a coulple of months ask the derm for their thoughts.

jay

#17 ariesgirl55

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:51 AM

Thank you again Jay! I really do appreciate all your assuring and helpful responses. I'm sure I'll have a million questions for my derm on Friday!

Well today I woke up and my skin doesn't look half bad. But it's one of those "I-just-woke-up, all-the-redness-in-my-face-isn't-there-right-now"

I hate waiting for the PIH to fade. I guess day by day it gets lighter, but it's not DRAMATICALLY lighter. It doesn't help that I expect a flawless face every time in the mirror. I'm gonna ask my derm when to expect most of it to fade, so I can judge it better then. Day by day doesn't help, although my skin feels pretty smooth this morning!

Also, my skin has been exceedingly more oily as of late, but last night after I washed my face, it felt tighter and drier! After I used my retinoids I actually used a thicker Cetaphil lotion and I felt like it was too heavy. But surprisingly, when I woke up, my face wasn't an oil slick and was actually pretty normal! So I think I made a good choice in using a heavier moisturizer last night. Hopefully the oil levels in my skin will even out soon

Oh and today is day...55? WOW! That's my lucky number! Okay so I'm expecting good things today!! :) hopefully all will be well at the skin care center. I'll update this evening!

#18 ariesgirl55

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:10 PM

Okay, so I'm back from the skin care center!

My mom basically paid $85 for some reassurement and reccomendations, but she was expecting it to cost at least 100, plus I think consulting with the Physican's Assistant DID help me.

She and the nurses basically affirmed to me that my skin IS healing, I have mostly scarring (pigmentation marks, not pitted scars), and less than 10 active spots on my face. Although she isn't my dermatologist, she did encourage me to stick with my regimen, continue taking my Bactrim and in 6 months I should see a dramatic difference in my skin. She does think the medications are doing a good job of controlling my acne and they are working as they should be. I'm hoping that in a month, I should see good improvement in my skin.

She then figured out that my pigmentation is what I am mostly concerned about. She recommended doing a chemical peel (ALTHOUGH I am very weary of even considering it....) and stressed that I use sunscreen to prevent my spots from getting any darker. I know that I've been lazy and disinterest in applying sunblock in the morning, but I'm going to be sure to do it from this point on. The makeup I wear has a SPF 15 but I was told that that alone is not enough.

She also recommended I check out Clinque's Redness Relief SPF. So I may take a trip to Macy's or wherever they sell Clinque and consider purchasing that.

I HATE THE WAY MY SKIN LOOKS. But I think time is the only thing that will help now. As long as I stick with my regimen, I should have healthy, clearer looking skin, week by week.

But anyways, I don't really know if I'm interested in the chemical peel at all. She recommended four treatments, each about 3 weeks apart. It just that it's quite costly, and I don't feel like I'm gonna get the results I want anyways. My mom is more than willing to pay for it, but I think that if I stay consistent with my retinoid, I should eventually have less redness. I don't particularly mind covering up with some makeup for the time being. I don't want to risk damaging my skin further or wasting money on something that I may not be pleased with. Plus, I'm gonna be on vacation too much, so it'll be hard to fit even two appointments. Maybe further down the road, if I don't see good results, I'll consider it.

If anyone knows ANYTHING about chemical peels, I would really appreciate any input/suggestions. I'm definitely considering it, but I'm not really interested at the time being.

#19 ariesgirl55

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:43 PM

Okay. Late night revelation. God is speaking to me

I am SO THANKFUL that I don't have cystic acne. My skin condition is not excellent, but I'm sure there are people who would KILL to have what I have. I just literally thought of this. Plus, I'm closer to having the skin I actually want. I am so blessed. And even though I don't like what my skin looks like without makeup, at least I don't have painful acne or scarred and pitted skin!!

I'm not trying to make anyone who does have to deal with that sound like a freak or that I'm better than them. I'm only saying that sometimes I get too caught up and take what I have for granted. Things honestly aren't that bad. I think I have control of my situation and at least I have methods of clearing my skin. So I have red marks on my face? So I have comedones on my forehead? I HAVE MILD ACNE THAT IS HEALING AND REALLY NOT THAT BAD

New perspective. I feel great about my skin!!!!

Lol that's not gonna stop me from wearing makeup though. Not THAT confident :)

#20 RoseLilium

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:38 AM

Hi ariesgirl,

Are you a Christian? I am going through the exact same thing as you. I have also been praying to God about the horrible skin that I had for the last few weeks. Last week, God spoke to me and revealed that my main focus should be on things of eternity - things that will last - instead of youth and good skin, which is fleeting. When I was going through IB, my skin got so terrible and I felt very down - that was when I cried out to Him desperately in prayer. I think that God is teaching us very precious lessons, even through these trials. I hope that this will not sound cliche, but man tends only to see the outward appearance. However, God sees the heart. This keeps me going on with my life, despite minor problems like pimples and aging.

Rose

Edited by RoseLilium, 14 June 2012 - 02:39 AM.