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The Retin A Micro Diaries

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#21 leelowe1

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:15 AM

For a lot of people, a topical will not keep them clear. If your acne is hormonal - definitely give SPIRO at least 6 months to work. A few people have had success with it. Maybe in conjunction with a topical you'll have more consistent clearance.


Good Luck!!!

#22 SendMeAngels

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

Week 15:

I decided to continue using the Retin A Micro. I had been using the .1% every other day, but when I went to see my dermatologist this afternoon, she gave me the 0.04% and told me that "Retin A is most effective when used every day. Even after the acne has cleared, you must continue to use the medication." So I am now on a lower concentration of Retin A Micro so that I can use it every night.

As for my acne? So far so good. I do not have any large active pimples. I do have two teeny little clogged pores near my nose, but that is it. Back acne is completely gone, and full credit for that goes to the Spironolactone. My face looks great compared to what it had been, and if it weren't for the red marks that were left behind, my face would be nearly flawless. However, I am not going to jump for joy just yet because it has only been 4 days without a new pimple. I credit much of my progress to Spironolactone which seems to be keeping my acne and oil at bay.

Sasch83, thank you for your words of encouragement! I will continue to use the Spiro, as I really do like it so far. Did you have some success with it?

#23 Rich43

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:35 PM

Update

I am going back to my dermatologist tomorrow. I have been using the Micro for three and a half months, and I am still getting at least 1-2 new pimples a day. It is safe to say that this medication is not going to work. I will not be using it tonight. I believe this medication has only made my acne worse, and hopefully the pimples will stop coming once I stop using the medication. I am very disappointed. I will however, continue taking 150mg of Spironolactone, and October 28, I removed all dairy from my diet.

Dairy is a big NO NO for me and many other people. Retin A will not work if your acne reacts badly to Dairy. Stop the dairy first perminently before giving up on Retin A.

#24 SendMeAngels

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

Week 16:

It's been 11 days since my last post, and still no inflamed pimples. This is fantastic because it means (aside from no large painful spots) that my face can finally start to heal from the former breakout. The little comedones around my nose are almost gone. There are two left, and I expect they will be gone within a day or two. The only negative thing that I have to report is one tiny comedone on my chin and two more near my mouth. All three are small and not noticeable.

The Spironolactone seems to be working well, and the only side effect I have noticed is bleeding between periods. This was expected though, and I will endure it because I am not interested in hormonal OCs. I did read the pamphlet for the medication and it did warn that higher doses could stop ovulation. Which would explain my slightly off LH:FSH ratio. My doctor doesn't know much about the medication, so I'm really hoping I'm not doing any permanent damage.

Rich 43, I'm trying my best to steer clear of the dairy. I have had some cheese (pizza) a few times, but no milk. I will keep trying though, thank you for the advice!

#25 SendMeAngels

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

Week 17

Aside from one minor pimple that is nearly healed, my face is clear and has been clear for over two weeks. The clogged pores near my nose and chin are gone, and when I touch my face I feel smooth, undamaged skin. These past few weeks have been life altering in so many ways. I am now able to spend the night with friends, wash my face, and NOT reapply makeup after. I am finally comfortable being around people without makeup. I spent the night at my friend's house this past Saturday (there were 3 people there aside from me) and I took a shower, got dressed, and walked back out to where everyone sat and my friend immediately pointed to me and said something along the lines of "she's so beautiful, and she she doesn't need to wear makeup to look that way." And the others agreed. I never in a million years thought anyone would say that.

Today I came downstairs and one of my mom's clients looked at me and out of the blue began to marvel at how beautiful my skin was. I've had three unprompted compliments on my skin within a very brief period of time and this is due to a powerful combination of Spironolactone and Retin A Micro.

The purpose of this post wasn't to gloat, but to show everyone reading this that it is possible for anyone at any age to have beautiful skin. My skin looks and feels better than it did when I was 12. Who would have thought?

For the past few months I have endured a breakout that mangled myself-esteem, was incorrectly diagnosed with a hormone disorder, and missed many days of work and school because of my acne and the sadness and self-consciousness that stemmed from it. I thought many times about discontinuing the Retin A Micro, but because I couldn't let go of the hope that this combination of medications would work, I continued using it despite the adverse effects. It took well over three months for my skin to finally turn a corner and start to improve, but eventually it did get better, and my skin has never looked better.

There are lessons to be learned from all of this (difficult ones, at that).
It will probably take many months to see improvement on most treatments, and it will take most people more than one try to find the right medication or combination of medications that work for them. When your doctors say it might take 4 weeks to see improvement, realize that it will probably take three months.

You know your body better than anyone else does. If you think that there is something amiss with your hormones, allergies, immune system, or anything else, investigate and sort out the root of the problem. You may find that something as simple as a dairy allergy is exacerbating your acne, and that is a relatively easy fix.

Research. Look through medical journals, textbooks, and whatever else you can get your hands on to find the most effective acne treatments. I would never have known about Spironolactone had I not visited my university's library and researched medical journals on adult acne treatments. Be armed with knowledge when you see your doctor, and you will be better equipped to ask the right questions and suggest treatments of interest.

Fight for what you want. I had to fight tooth and nail to get Spironolactone, and after my dermatologist denied the medication on multiple visits, I went to my gynecologist who preferred an internal approach to my acne. This goes hand in hand with research. I presented my rationale behind my desire for the medication, my gynecologist agreed, and I got it.

Realize that nobody is perfect, other people don't notice your acne nearly as much as you do (if they do at all) and that comparatively, we acne sufferers have it much better than many other people. I lost someone I loved in April who had HIV, and a form of cancer that was first misdiagnosed, and then found to be at stage 4 when it was properly diagnosed. It occurred to me after he died, that he would have given anything to have acne and not cancer or HIV. Acne does not physically prevent me from doing anything. My body is healthy. Sometimes I feel so selfish and shallow for sobbing and getting angry and missing school because I have a few unsightly bumps on my face. Acne will not end my life prematurely and it will not prevent me from doing the things I love.

#26 SendMeAngels

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

UPDATE

Today marked a monumental occasion because for the first time in a very, very, very long time, I went out in public without a stitch of makeup on my face. Normally I wear powder to cover spots and acne marks, but today I went to the grocery store without a single thing on. And you know what? It felt wonderful. My complexion is fantastic, my acne marks have nearly faded (even car mirrors don't put me in tears anymore) and I can leave my house without being self conscious.

Furthermore, I can now spend the night at my best friend's house and not be ashamed of washing makeup off of my face. In fact, my face looks better without it. I love taking it off at night. I will continue to use it outdoors since it has a broad spectrum sunscreen in it, however.

#27 mdp703

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:11 AM

This has been a great log to read. I am very envious, but hopeful that I will have similar success. I am currently on minocycline and differin. Please post updates occasionally to let us know if the results stay.

#28 ready2Bdone

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

Your journey sounds amazing. Congrats on your clearskin. I recently gave up BP and started using Ziana which has a .025 retoind in it. I'm breaking out like crazy. Do you have any before and after pics you can post?

#29 SendMeAngels

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:08 PM

So far the positive results have continued. And though I do like the retinoid, I know that most of the credit actually goes to Spironolactone. The retinoid helped with the tiny bumps that had been on my chin and nose creases, but spironolactone did the brunt of the work with everything else. I know without a doubt that I would still have acne if it weren't for that medication. Vanoxide HC is also a great medication and if I feel a little pimple coming, I put some of that on, and it's gone in a day.

Now for the photos. The first was taken around July/August when I had first begun toying with medications. My acne has been much worse than that, but that photo was taken when it was only mild in severity. I never had cystic acne, they were primarily papules and pustules. I normally had between 10 and 15 inflamed pimples at any given time. Nearly all of them would leave marks.

http://s1025.photobu...urrent=Acne.jpg

This second photo was taken on a laptop (sorry about the quality) two weeks ago.

http://s1025.photobu...ent=Cropped.jpg


I hope both of you are starting to see positive results as well!

#30 SendMeAngels

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:43 AM

A minor but distressing setback: earlier this evening I noticed a papule forming on my cheek. I could easily tolerate a small whitehead, but these red inflamed devils ALWAYS leaved post inflammatory hyperpigmentation that takes months to go away. I decided to try icing the bump for 7 minutes and applying BP two minutes after. I also took 800mg of ibuprofen. 

 

I feel that at 26 I should have no acne. None. Is this a realistic and attainable expectation? Is it normal for a person to get a papule every now and again? Should I consider increasing my 150mg dosage of spironolactone to 200? The pimple itself I can tolerate, it's the marks that they leave behind that get to me the most. Should I continue icing this pimple, or is there another approach? Should I keep taking the ibuprofen to reduce inflammation? 

 

 

 

UPDATE:

 

The pimple never formed. Why? Because I iced it. The second I felt the little sucker forming, I washed my face, grabbed an ice cube, and set it on the bump for a good five minutes. After that, I put some benzoyl peroxide on it and went to bed. And the next morning? It had all but vanished. I used the ice and BP again and then lo and behold, the bump was gone. From now on I will ice my spots if I ever feel one forming. I'd highly suggest that everyone else does the same!


Edited by SendMeAngels, 31 January 2013 - 04:23 PM.


#31 leelowe1

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

Your progress looks good!  I am almost 30 and have moderate acne and i certainly will not consider it normal to have constant acne but if you get a bmp every now and again, dont stress it.



#32 SendMeAngels

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:29 PM

My fight with acne is on again. I have 5 tiny pink pimples on my cheeks. None are inflamed, but they just keep coming. I'm going to stop using Retin A Micro, because I had been clear before I began using this treatment again. I have never heard of this happening, has it happened to anyone else? Is it possible for Retin A Micro to just keep breaking you out?