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northerngal100

Tazorac .1% Cream Log - With Advice!

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Also! I forgot to add something about how my tazorac only experiment went.

It worked out pretty well. The next morning I didn't have a breakout and haven't had one since. It is very drying though, so I have now started applying tazorac first then putting cream on top. This seems to work just as well. I definitely couldn't have handled this a month ago even - so maybe my skin is finally starting to "get used to it" a little - or the new morning routine has helped.

:)

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Hi guys,

I just wanted to say, I still have officially one more night to go before 3 months - but I am sooooo happy with the results.

I have absolutely no whiteheads or blackheads (that I can notice). I have just some marks clearing up - so when I put on makeup my skin looks 99% perfect - even up close because it isn't ruined by unevenness and bumps.

I am definitely going to keep going as usual until the end of month 4 and then I will start to experiment with maintenance plans.

I am soooo glad I kept it up through the tough times, the frustrating waves of breakouts, the embarrassment of having more breakouts than ever, the peeling - you name it. It was definitely definitely worth it. I can't believe three months has passed!!!

My judgement today is that tazorac was an excellent choice and I hope it keeps getting better!

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So - I finished week 13 and I think really this is the results week. My skin is healed! I have been going out without makeup and not feeling self conscious at all - it takes me way less time to get ready because I am not fussing over my skin. 99% of my red marks are gone. I just couldn't imagine my skin would look like this a month ago. I haven't had a single breakout.

Anyway, stil sticking it out as usual for 3 more weeks before trying to alter my regimin.

KEEP GOING EVERYONE! IT GETS BETTER!

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Just checking in after completing week 15 - only one week to go until 4 months!

Still looking good. I haven't had a single inflammatory bump...still! I did get a few flesh coloured bumps on my chin (tiny, tiny - like pin prick!) this week - but they cleared up pretty quick. I have a doctors appointment in two weeks to reassess my regimin - so I will let you know what we come up with. I think I am going to suggest trying the .5% gel.

I'd love to hear how others are doing!

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hi northerngal! i just got tazorac.1% cream yesterday, havent applied it yet bc i'm going away with the girls this weekend and dont want to "upset" my skin..i've enjoyed reading your updates, very informative..making me less scared of starting! i hope you keep updating and hope things continue so well for you! you've actually made me excited to start, so ty!!

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Hey guys! I was on tazorac for 5 years and can offer off any advice you need about this med. I've been on all strengths and formulations. I started at .05% cream then .05% gel (at.5% for about 2 1/2 years), then .1% cream then .1%gel then back to the .1% cream because the gel is stronger and irriated my skin too much. It got on it for adult, hormonal, cystic acne. Like anything else, it takes a while to work and you will see new spots while you use it. Eventually though, I had about 95% clearance. The only bad thing was I could never get rid of the small blackheads on my forehead, nose, and jawline, but they were microscopic anyways so I didn't worry about it. The whole time you are on it, your face will be SUPER sensitive to the sun and burn and peel if you lay out or anything without high SPF sunscreen (and I'm Italian and have naturally dark and tan skin, never need any sunscreen anywhere else and never have til this).

I would get a few new cysts every 3-4 months but nothing major and they went away much quicker than before. I did well on this med for 5 years and had a beautiful complection but beware that it is NOT a cure! Your acne will return if you ever quit using it and for ladies it is a category X drug so no getting pregnant on it.

Fast forward to now. I never stopped using this or even skipped a dosage in 5 years. In terms of oiliness like someone mentioned above, its weird that you say that because starting about last spring (march/april) I started to get massively shiny. Like so shiny I couldn't get rid of it. Not with any kid of oil-control makeup, powder, or even blotting sheets. And when I didn't wear makeup, same thing, face looked wet even. Since about the same time I've slowly been developing more pimples than usual. Still manageable though until this September. Then BOOM! all of the sudden within a couple days I have the WORST acne of my life!!! In the same spots as before but much larger, redder, both pustular and cystic, painful, and so itchy its like poison ivy! It also burns like battery acid if it pops, which it does on its own sometime, especially if I'm eating. My doc diagnosed it as acne conglobata. Only had moderate acne before, now I have a severe form! Not saying the tazorac caused it but maybe it controlled my hormonal facial only acne for the last 5 years and let it build up a resistance and get strong since, like i mentioned before, this med is not a CURE only a fix. I am now on accutane after thinking it was the worst thing ever for years and trying to avoid it, but my acne is soooo bad this time around I basically have no choice and by this point I'm okay with it since it is more likely to work for good and doesn't require such long term use. Speaking from experience, if you are getting hormal cystic acne now and using the 2nd strongest med to accutane (my doc said thats what taz is) then just take the plunge and do the accutane now instead and save yourself years off being on a med that only keeps acne at bay... good luck!

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Hi guys,

Just checking in.

I had a bit of a breakout this week, just some small flesh coloured bumps popping up - I think it is because my skin is getting SUPER sensitive and irritated now that winter is here full force. I will probably be switching to the .5% next week though - so until then I have been taking it easy. As a super fair person, I am pretty used to being sensitive to the sun and winter months, but this stuff definitely makes my winter suffering much much worse. My skin still looks better than it ever did in the past, but the 4-5 little bumps kind of annoyed me. The things I complain about now. Sheesh.

Shadylee: Let me know how it's going! Hopefully you get some good results.

Thanks for the interesting story Brownilocks. I wonder if us folks with mostly non-inflamatory bumps will have the same experience. I have also read about people who have been on taz long term. Ideally, I would like to ween myself off of it - like get down to twice a week or something (to use alongside glycolic for maintenance).

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hi northern gal! so it took me some time to finally try it..but i finally did! yayyy, bc i'm actually loving it, i wish it didnt t take me so long to use it. i was just so scared of it irritating my skin, etc, and with the holidays coming up i was nervous. i finally took the plunge on tuesday, dec 18th, so only 4 nights so far, but i really like the way it makes my skin feel. i've tried retin a before and it really irritated my skin and never felt like it soaked well into my skin..well i really like the way tazorac goes on, i'm really excited. right now my skin is pretty clear except for a whopper of a healing cyst, it was brutal. i actually had it shot 2 times with cortisone and theres still a slight bump and its gonna take awhile for the redness to go away..:(..but besides that my skin is doing well..i dont suffer from all around acne, i get 1 or 2 cysts a month, but they are HUGE, so i'm really hoping the tazorac either stops it or at least slows them down, or make them not as big..keeping my fingers crossed! hope everything is still going well with you!

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Hey!

GReat to hear things are off to a good start :)

Happy to report things are all good over here. I have been using the .05% gel for a few weeks now and really like it. I only use it every other night and it seems to be doing the job - however, I still peel sometimes! So I take two or three days off every now and then. My skin has been really clear except for the last day or two when I got four to five pimples :(. I had an infection and had to go on antibiotics and it seems to have really thrown me off in many ways! Oh well, it will heal up I am sure.

Let me know how its going for you.

PS> This is more than 6 months now - which is crazy! I never thought I would make it...

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Hi ya Northern...well its been a little over 4 weeks for me..i thought i had the .1% but i actually have the ..05%...about 2 and half weeks in i had the the worst breakout i've had in a long time..it was brutal!! i usually will just get one or two cysts at a time, i'll get cortisone shots and they will go away, and i'll be fine for a couple of weeks..unfortunately not this time, i'd get a cyst shot, a new one wld come up..i went to the derm 5 times in like a 2 weeks span..it was devastating...I am very happy to report tho..my skin is doing great now..thank god! since then i havent had a new cyst..last weekend got a couple of just normal pimples and they are gone now. My skin right now is clear knock on wood!..i feel a little bump forming on my left cheek, i'm praying it will just be a normal little pimple, as long as it isnt a cyst im happpy!..i wanted to quit tazorac when i had that horrendous onset of cysts, i am so glad i pushed through it..i'm hoping that was the worst of it..keeping my fingers crossed! I'm so happy you're still doing good, gives me hope!! pls keep up with the updates!!

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Awww. Keep with it. I found mt skin would get way better, then get worse, then better for a month before I really cleared up. Glad to hear things are looking up - those cortisone shots must be terrible though :(...

The .05% gel has been going ok - but honestly, I can only use it 2-3 times per week because of the dryness. BUT I think it does work better than the cream. I found out the cream has mineral oil in it - which is an irritant and can cause blackheads for some people. Now I have ZERO breakouts. My skin looks really good except when it dries out....I really need to be strict with taking every other night off, only using a tiny amount (it seems to go further than the cream), and not over-washing. So yah, I like it better - but wish my skin was a bit tougher. haha.

Since my first post more than six months ago, my whole regimin has changed - especially since its mid-winter and I need to spend extra time (and products) to make sure my skin doesn't turn snake-like!I have been continuing with the micellar solution in the morning (I switched to vichy and it works way better than avene...aka. doesn't leave any filmy feeling). I switched to a gentler milk cleanser for sensitive skin which I only use at night (though, I totally still recommend the clean-ac cleanser by avene, it is the most gentle thing I have found that is specifically targeted at acne-prone folks which leaves your face without the filmy feeling you sometimes get with cetaphil gentle/sensitive!). I also added a moisture serum into the mix, which has really helped combat the dryness.

So here is a summary of what the regime is looking like now:

Morning:

Vichy micellar with cotton ball

Spray thermal water (light dab off with towel)

La Roche Posay Intense Moisture Serum

Olay sensitive spf 30 (with cetaphil dabbed over top if I am really dry...)

Night:

Micellar solution to remove makeup

Vichy cleansing milk sensitive - normal to combination (the dry skin one is a no-rinse formula...I don't like it!)

La Roche Posay Intense Moisture Serum

Cetaphil moisture cream with .05% tazorac every other night (with two night breaks as needed)

**On nights I am not using taz, I sometimes will also use a face oil for extra moisture in place of the serum and cream. I am liking rose hip oil, vitamin e and evening primrose. I just have a few small jars of caplets from the drugstore I pop open as needed.

***I exfoliate once or twice a week with la roche posay gentle buffing cleanser - it walks a fine line between rough and gentle, so as with any exfoliant, be careful - you don't want any microscopic cuts that will just attract bateria.

I hope everyone is keeping their chin up! Let me know if you have any questions and be sure to share your story :)

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Hi guys,

It's been a while!

I wanted to let everyone how it's been going - I know that people don't tend to come here to report back after they have had some success...

Anyway, I have been using .5% gel, but I am switching back to the 1% cream. Although the .1% is a higher level of active ingredient, I think the carrier (i.e., the gel or cream) really makes the difference in terms of how your skin reacts to it. the gel is WAY too drying for me. I basically ended up using it only once and maybe twice a week - anything more made my skin extremely dry, irritated, and occasionally I would get this little rash of tiny pimple like bumps. They weren't pimples though, they looked like goosebumps and would go away after I stopped using the gel for a day or two. I even tried only putting it on for an hour and washing it off. This was better, but I could still do this only 2-3 days in a row before I was irritated and peely. Arg. Honestly, after trying both - I think the cream is just a smarter choice. It is a bit greasier (but who cares you are sleeping) and works differently. I find my skin doesn't PEEL like it does with the gel. It just flakes. It is never raw.

Now - because I was CONVINCED the gel would be better (the cream tends to be recommended for wrinkles and the gel for acne), I changed my routine a bunch of times to try and get more moisture. I then tried the oil cleansing method or OCM as users like to call it. IT basically consists of washing your face with a carrier oil like Jojoba or Almond and then steaming and wiping the warm oil off your face. In theory, it makes sense that oil dissolves oil. I paint with oils, and you can only clean your brushes with another oil. Water basically just mashes the paint around and makes a mess. So I washed my face with Almond oil for 3 weeks.

I can now tell you for a fact that THIS WAS THE WORST SKIN CHOICE I HAD EVER MADE! DO NOT TRY THIS NO MATTER WHAT!!! After three weeks I started getting maybe 20-30 bumps all over my cheeks. The next day, I literally had 100 blocked pores all over my face. the OCM people were like "oh, its an initial breakout". This is absolute crap. I had pretty much perfect skin with tazorac. I NEVER breakout on my forehead. Ever. This stuff just completely blocked every single pore on my face.

Fast forward to now, my doctor gave me clamindacyn (?) topical for the disgusting infected mess I created (As a side note, this stuff is a miracle - it stopped my breakouts the very next day, four days later, I my skin is better and healing). I am using the taz cream again. My skin is getting back to normal after a month of ABSOLUTE HELL.

Fewf. I think the point of this story is don't believe all that holistic crap on some of these threads. I am all for a healthy diet, exercising, drinking enough water, etc. but some of these things have absolutely no science backing. Even countries which have traditional healing as part of their medical care (Ex. Thailand) have SCIENTIFIC TESTING to back up any natural remedies.

The other point is: I need to be happy with 99%. Once you find something that works - stick with it and enjoy life :D

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I have been using this for about 2 weeks now every night and it gave my skin a burnt look. Hyper-pigmentation to be exact. It sucks. I think i should cut back the use of this to 2 days a week. Also in the meantime what should i do about this hyper-pigmentation?

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Honestly, I got that a few times in the beginning - I think see week 6 or so when I went a bit overboard and got some chemical burns.

The only thing that made that hyerpigmentation from the chemical burn go away was cutting the taz for a few days and using it more sparingly from then on. I moisturized the chapped skin several times per day. It went away in about two weeks completely. Just don't pick at it. This is the most important thing.

Taz does help with hyperpigmentation quicker than it healing on its own, so after the burn is healed up, I would start to gently apply taz on it. Over moisturizer of course - and skipping days.

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Hi NorthernGal100,

Thanks for sharing with us your experience, very helpful!

I just started on Tazorac (we call it Zorac in Australia) last week together with Minocycline. I only use it every other day (as per derm's advice), so I have only been using it 3 times. On nights when I don't use the Taz, my derm told me to use my glycolic acid by peter thomas roth which I showed to her during my derm visit. I feel like my skin is getting worse with more clogged pores in all areas on my face, particularly my forehead, temples, lower cheeks and jaw. Note I don't really have cystic acnes, just those small flesh coloured bumps that later turn in red pustules.

You said your skin became dry, flaky, but I am experiencing the opposite. When i put on taz, in the morning when I wake up, my face gets really oily (note I already have really oily skin). Do you experience this at all, or do you just experience dry skin?

Also I don't feel like my skin is peeling at all. When did you first experience the peeling?

Would appreciate your response!

Thanks :)

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Hi aug817,

My skin got worse after I started taz. All the little blackheads, skin coloured bumps (I think these are whiteheads), and perhaps some milia raised their angry heads. It seemed way worse because instead of them coming out slowly when they were ready, there just seemed to be colonies of them being exposed. This calmed down significantly after 5 weeks or so. I think week three-five was the worst - but didn't really stop completely until 4 months (sad truth). HOWEVER - there was substantial improvement by three months. Hang in there.

As for the dryness, my skin probably got the most noticeably dry after two or three weeks. The first week for me wasn't bad. I did find it made me shiny in the morning sometimes with the cream formula, but after I washed my face it was tight and peely. Just because you haven't started peeling yet, I wouldn't apply more - you can really damage your skin. For me, I find I peel the worst after 3 days of application. So I do three days on, *peel*, two days off. I try to do every other day, but if my skin isn't reacting, it's hard to resist using it.

Just because your skin isn't visibly peeling like mine did doesn't mean it isn't working - the fact that all your non-inflammatory stuff is coming up probably means some exfoliation is happening. I tend toward dry skin anyway, so it could have just been that that made it worse! Don't wish for the peel - it caused me some heartbreak for sure. If you think acne is embarrassing, try acne with a good portion of your cheeks flaking off :P

I guess only time will tell. Three months feels like forever...I know.

What type of taz are you using? cream or gel and what percentage? Sometimes people with oilier skin do better with the gel, though it is much stronger I find.

Hang in there :)

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Hi aug817,

My skin got worse after I started taz. All the little blackheads, skin coloured bumps (I think these are whiteheads), and perhaps some milia raised their angry heads. It seemed way worse because instead of them coming out slowly when they were ready, there just seemed to be colonies of them being exposed. This calmed down significantly after 5 weeks or so. I think week three-five was the worst - but didn't really stop completely until 4 months (sad truth). HOWEVER - there was substantial improvement by three months. Hang in there.

As for the dryness, my skin probably got the most noticeably dry after two or three weeks. The first week for me wasn't bad. I did find it made me shiny in the morning sometimes with the cream formula, but after I washed my face it was tight and peely. Just because you haven't started peeling yet, I wouldn't apply more - you can really damage your skin. For me, I find I peel the worst after 3 days of application. So I do three days on, *peel*, two days off. I try to do every other day, but if my skin isn't reacting, it's hard to resist using it.

Just because your skin isn't visibly peeling like mine did doesn't mean it isn't working - the fact that all your non-inflammatory stuff is coming up probably means some exfoliation is happening. I tend toward dry skin anyway, so it could have just been that that made it worse! Don't wish for the peel - it caused me some heartbreak for sure. If you think acne is embarrassing, try acne with a good portion of your cheeks flaking off :P

I guess only time will tell. Three months feels like forever...I know.

What type of taz are you using? cream or gel and what percentage? Sometimes people with oilier skin do better with the gel, though it is much stronger I find.

Hang in there :)

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Thanks northerngal! I didn't know you would response :)

I'm on my week 5 now but let me tell you it seems to be getting worse :( I still have new breakouts coming through and those flesh coloured bumps.. It's embarrassing... These new breakouts also take a while to go away, unlike in your experience.

And my face still doesn't get dry or flaky, it would get more oily and disgusting.

I'm using the 0.5% cream. After doing my research I think my derm should have given me the gel version for my oily skin. I stopped taking minocycline cause I'm afraid of taking too much antibiotics. Which tazorac version did you use? We're you on minocycline as well?

I'm heartbroken that tazorac doesn't seem to work for me. My face is a mess.

Do you use makeup while on tazorac? I don't normally use it, but may have too now.

Also did you exfoliate or use clarisonic at all?

Thanks northerngal for your help! Really appreciate your help!

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Hi Northern Gal -

Did you ever recover from the OCM outbreak it gave you? I had the exact same experience as you. The only difference is that I wasn't being treated for acne previously to trying OCM. I've always had pretty clear skin and wanted to try a natural cleanser. I used it for cleanser and moisturizer for almost 2 months and all the while my face was getting more and more clogged pores. I thought it was because we had just moved to CO and I needed more moisture (even though I have really oily skin) so kept using more until like every pore on my face was clogged - like hundreds of them and some really deep. I ended up having to get on antibiotics cause I was getting cysts (which I never had previously) and on Spiro (my doc said in case hormones were also a culprit) along with Retin a micro. I too went through like 2 months of hell as all the stupid oil that clogged my skin got brought up creating swollen pimples and nasty bumpy texture all over my cheeks and jaw. I had to get tons of extractions to get most of it out over months time. Finally last month it started getting significantly better. Several rounds of extractions finally got the last of the major clogs out. I am going on week 11 with Retin a now and most of the red marks (there were soooo many before it was scary) are faded. However, I still feel like I have a handful of small clogged pores on both cheeks and chin that just won't go away. I know probably only I can see them, but they make my skin there look bumpy in weird lighting and I can feel them. I still get a few new ones every week too. No active pimples in a while, but I wish these would totally clear. I was thinking of stepping up to Taz to get the rest cleared and wondered if Ide have an adjustment period after being on retin a micro for 11 weeks. It never really made me red or irritated, just my skin would come off in the shower every other morning and Ide get occasional flakies.

I just can't believe it's been 4.5 months since I stopped OCM and I am still trying to fully fix this.

Aug817 - how has Taz been going for you in the past month?

Hi Northern Gal -

Did you ever recover from the OCM outbreak it gave you? I had the exact same experience as you. The only difference is that I wasn't being treated for acne previously to trying OCM. I've always had pretty clear skin and wanted to try a natural cleanser. I used it for cleanser and moisturizer for almost 2 months and all the while my face was getting more and more clogged pores. I thought it was because we had just moved to CO and I needed more moisture (even though I have really oily skin) so kept using more until like every pore on my face was clogged - like hundreds of them and some really deep. I ended up having to get on antibiotics cause I was getting cysts (which I never had previously) and on Spiro (my doc said in case hormones were also a culprit) along with Retin a micro. I too went through like 2 months of hell as all the stupid oil that clogged my skin got brought up creating swollen pimples and nasty bumpy texture all over my cheeks and jaw. I had to get tons of extractions to get most of it out over months time. Finally last month it started getting significantly better. Several rounds of extractions finally got the last of the major clogs out. I am going on week 11 with Retin a now and most of the red marks (there were soooo many before it was scary) are faded. However, I still feel like I have a handful of small clogged pores on both cheeks and chin that just won't go away. I know probably only I can see them, but they make my skin there look bumpy in weird lighting and I can feel them. I still get a few new ones every week too. No active pimples in a while, but I wish these would totally clear. I was thinking of stepping up to Taz to get the rest cleared and wondered if Ide have an adjustment period after being on retin a micro for 11 weeks. It never really made me red or irritated, just my skin would come off in the shower every other morning and Ide get occasional flakies.

I just can't believe it's been 4.5 months since I stopped OCM and I am still trying to fully fix this.

Aug817 - how has Taz been going for you in the past month?

Hi aug817,

My skin got worse after I started taz. All the little blackheads, skin coloured bumps (I think these are whiteheads), and perhaps some milia raised their angry heads. It seemed way worse because instead of them coming out slowly when they were ready, there just seemed to be colonies of them being exposed. This calmed down significantly after 5 weeks or so. I think week three-five was the worst - but didn't really stop completely until 4 months (sad truth). HOWEVER - there was substantial improvement by three months. Hang in there.

As for the dryness, my skin probably got the most noticeably dry after two or three weeks. The first week for me wasn't bad. I did find it made me shiny in the morning sometimes with the cream formula, but after I washed my face it was tight and peely. Just because you haven't started peeling yet, I wouldn't apply more - you can really damage your skin. For me, I find I peel the worst after 3 days of application. So I do three days on, *peel*, two days off. I try to do every other day, but if my skin isn't reacting, it's hard to resist using it.

Just because your skin isn't visibly peeling like mine did doesn't mean it isn't working - the fact that all your non-inflammatory stuff is coming up probably means some exfoliation is happening. I tend toward dry skin anyway, so it could have just been that that made it worse! Don't wish for the peel - it caused me some heartbreak for sure. If you think acne is embarrassing, try acne with a good portion of your cheeks flaking off :P

I guess only time will tell. Three months feels like forever...I know.

What type of taz are you using? cream or gel and what percentage? Sometimes people with oilier skin do better with the gel, though it is much stronger I find.

Hang in there :)


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Hi lifeinfaith,

Tazorac did not help me at all.. I have recently stopped using it after over 11 weeks of usage.

I think one reason why it didn't work for me is because I used the cream rather than the gel version, and since my skin is very oily it made my face even more oily.

I asked my derm to prescribe me the gel version but here in Australia, Tazorac (or zorac in Australia) only comes in cream apparently.

She did increase the dosage to 0.1% but it did nothing to my face, no peeling whatsoever.

I also believe Retin-A is not available here in Australia but I'm glad Retin-A worked wonders for you! :)

I just ordered the Acne.org products, so am waiting for that to arrive and fingers crossed this will work for me as I have heard many good reviews about this regimen.

Have you the Acne.org regimen? How bad was your breakout? What skincare are you using, if I may ask?

Re makeups, I don't wear makeup on a daily basis despite my broken out face... :( But I do wear make-up on weekends.

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I have not tried the acne.org regimen. I haven't reacted very well to continuous benzyl peroxide in the past, it alwsys burns and makes my face red. Also my breakout was mostly closed comedones not inflamed. I did get some inflamed ones and a few cysts when the retin a was purging the worst of it, but that only lasted a month. Most of what I had were tons of waxy plugs clogged in my pores from trying the oil cleansing method. They took forever to come out. The retin a and microdermabrasion helped get them closer to the surface to finally have them extracted. I still have some small ones but I am mostly clear now. I do get occasional new ones surfacing which I am trying to stop. My face isn't quite back to normal yet. It mostly happened all over my checks, jaw and chin,especially cheekbones, which was weird for me. My skin is super oily too. I think you can buy generic tazoratene or tretinoin gel online if you have a prescip. Ever try that? Do you have Adapalene (differin) over there? That's a good retinoid too.

I use Paulas choice skin balancing toner to cleanse my face at night then use the retin a. I spot treat with Paulas Choice sal acid 9 and use her 2% Sal acid liquid when i take a break from the retin a. In the morning I cleanse with a gentle Calming Aveeno wash, use aqua glycolic acid toner and Sanitas oil free moisturizer if I feel dry.

Hi lifeinfaith,

Tazorac did not help me at all.. I have recently stopped using it after over 11 weeks of usage.

I think one reason why it didn't work for me is because I used the cream rather than the gel version, and since my skin is very oily it made my face even more oily.

I asked my derm to prescribe me the gel version but here in Australia, Tazorac (or zorac in Australia) only comes in cream apparently.

She did increase the dosage to 0.1% but it did nothing to my face, no peeling whatsoever.

I also believe Retin-A is not available here in Australia but I'm glad Retin-A worked wonders for you! :)

I just ordered the Acne.org products, so am waiting for that to arrive and fingers crossed this will work for me as I have heard many good reviews about this regimen.

Have you the Acne.org regimen? How bad was your breakout? What skincare are you using, if I may ask?

Re makeups, I don't wear makeup on a daily basis despite my broken out face... :( But I do wear make-up on weekends.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Hi guys,

I have been off the radar for a looooong time. I suppose I will give you a quick update and maybe respond to your questions, though I am not sure the responses will be of use now...

Update: I continue to use tazorac gel 0.5 once per week (maybe twice) over a light cream at night (olay sensitive). I am a bit lazy about it these days because my skin is COMPLETELY CLEAR (ok ok, maybe one pimple around my period). I'm not sure I can really put it on one thing - but here's what happened:

1) The OCM completely f*cked up my skin. Honestly the worst choice I have ever made with my skin. I suppose I wanted to believe all the good reviews and ignored the warnings. Even after I started to notice my skin get congested I kept going because that's what happens on taz - it really does get worse before it gets better. It took about 6-8 months for my skin to get back to normal after stopping the OCM. I was scarred, red, pimply - blackheads in every single pore (or that's how it felt anyway). My skin was soooo rough and uneven. It was the most crushing time of my life. I know that sounds shallow, but everyone was commenting on my skin and asking what was happening. I went to the doctor for a pap and she honestly just spent 45 minutes talking about my skin. She referred me to a derm although that clearly wasn't the point of my appointment. I left the office crying. I spent tons of money on cleansers/potions...then I made another terrible mistake. I went on Yaz. After a blood clot and my skin getting even worse (If that's even possible) - I went off BC/everything for a while.

2) After I calmed down I went to the doctor to reassess my BC options. Surprisingly suggested Alesse. I have read bad things in the past, but the doctor convinced me I should try it for 5-6 months - even though it contains I highly androgenic hormone it contains it at such a low dose that it is less androgenic then some other pills. Either way, I took it diligently. Initially my face got a tad worse (or maybe this was a normal cycling of terrible skin) but my chest which broke out on yaz cleared right up. I noticed some improvement in my face after 3 months - but this basically just got me back to "normal" (pre-taz). I continued to use taz 3 times/week. He said I needed to be cautious about moisture. My skin is dry/oily. Gentle cleansers and moisture are key.

3) I switched my cleansers back to the gentle cleansers - Avene Clean-Ac is my HG - no BP, no SA, nothing harsh ---- no scrubs! A gentle (clean/new) wash cloth every few days in the shower. Oil of Olay sensitive SPF 15.

4) After being on Alesse for 5 months, my skin was looking much better. What really pushed my skin across the "ok" to the "I am sooooo happy" is maracuja oil. Now this is completely random. You think I would have been scarred by my OCM horror story, but I got a delux sample of this at Sephora and used with caution after speaking to a sephora rep about my predictament (dry/oily sensitive skin - but clearly acne prone). I tried it just in one area for a few weeks - no bad reactions. I started applying nightly and in two weeks my skin looked amazing. No blotchiness, my pigmentation is gone, and remarkably my blackheads are really really reduced. My pores look smaller (cleaner, I suppose). I can honestly wake up at my bfs place and go without makeup and not have to be self-conscious. It has had this looping effect. Because my skin is better, I am less stressed, because I am less stressed, my skin is better. I have been using it for six weeks now with no issues. I have to put moisturizers over it, but way less than I would normally use. This clearly isn't going to be everyone's solution, but it helped.

5) MOST IMPORTANTLY (and most difficult) -- I STOPPED PICKING. I know, I have OCD/anxious tendencies. I have pulled hair in the past (not fully recovered) and am a terrible skin picker. During the OCM time, my picking was out of control. I feel my face for unevenness and I KNOW it makes my skin worse. I have kept a stressball at my desk (unoccupied hand holding it), started wearing masks around the house (you can't touch your face with all that crap on it), and even wearing gloves. I threw out my magnifying mirror and blemish extractor. Breaking the pattern is hard - but it is getting a lot better. Also, as your skin clears there is less to pick so it helps to break the cycle anyway. I tried really hard when I was first starting taz because I peeled so bad and it worked for a while, but old habits die hard. If I HAVE to get rid of a pimple (you know, its poking right out) I press my skin with a warm washcloth, dab the spot with alcohol and use two tissues on my index fingers and press lightly. If it doesn't come out easily, stop immediately!! If you have a really bad picking problem, sometimes it can help to talk to your doctor about it or a therapist if you have access to one. They can help you come up with solutions and some behaviour alterations/awareness practices you can try - and in extreme cases maybe some anti-anxiety meds might be needed. It's really making your issues worse. This was the hardest part for me (even just admitting this was a huge problem in my life), but made the biggest difference. It's still a constant battle of course, but is way better.

In conclusion, I have learned to be happy with my occasional pimple. I am not trying to improve my routine. It is working. I promised to stop searching the internet endlessly for my own sanity (which is why I haven't been on this site in 8 months) and really trying to focus my attention to other things. This has been partially a strategy to help manage the anxiety and also a strategy to treat myself well and respect myself a little. Searching constantly and failing only made myself feel worse - especially at the pit of despair in my post-OCM time. Hang in there everyone and remember to give yourself a break sometimes.

ON TO THE QUESTIONS!

1) Did your skin improve after OCM?

Yes. Eventually. But it took a long time and patience. The scarring took a while to go away but almost a year later is completely gone.

2) Re: white bumps after OCM

The only thing that really dealt with these for me was a combination of taz and proper moisture. The facial oil helped a lot in this regard. But many of them took a loooong time to surface. I'll still notice one sometimes but just leave it.

3) Have you used Acne.org products?

No. I don't react well to BP. My skin is super sensitive. I know people say you can build a tolerance, but for me the root cause was hormones and over-treating/dryness aggravated by picking.

4) Which type of taz did I use?

Both taz cream 1% and taz gel .05%. I think the gel ended up being my preferred option. It feels better on your face if that makes any sense. I find it way more drying though - so pea-sized amount is key. I have heard that the gel is a bit better for acne because it doesn't have mineral oil. This can be irritating for some.

5) Did I use antibiotics?

No. Not specifically while on taz. I considered doing a round of them after my OCM breakout. My acne tends to be mostly blackheads/whitebumps so antibiotics wouldn't have helped much initially. I know some doctors prescribe them to help calm the week 3-7ish flare-up, but I just suffered through....

6) Make up?

While on my first while with taz I used make up. I used makeup forever face and body after a while because it was the only makeup which I found gave some coverage without making my dry skin look brutal (very water-based) and then patted on a tiny bit of loose powder to set it. make up forever makes great super-fine powder, but pricey. I tried to wear as little as possible in general though (none on weekends, tried to avoid it on "good" days). I currently use nars tinted moisturizer (oil free).

6) Exfoliation/Clarisonic

I got on the clarisonic bandwagon when it was first released. It dried me out big time. Initially made my skin amazing and then red, irritated and grouchy. Using it once a week didn't seem like a good use of nearly $200 (mia didn't exist) so I returned it. Gritty/sandy exfoliators are a bad choice for me and I found made those little white bumps worse. Since taz is a chemical exfoliant, I found just using a gentle, clean washcloth the best solution (only twice a week maybe) to get rid of the flakes. Treat your skin like silk!

I think that's it. Anyway. I will check in now and then :) Hope everyone on this thread is well.

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