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Retin-A Micro 0.04% For Cystic Acne & Acne Scars

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#1 Kendel

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:06 PM

I'm in my 20s and am giving RAM another try. When I first started in 2010 with 0.1%, I wanted to see results ASAP without much inconvenience. I was impatient and would put on more than the suggested pea size amount. This eventually led my skin to scar a little.

I was never consistent with the treatment for more than 3 months - always had breaks of 6-7 months in between. However, this time around with 0.04%, I am going to be patient, have faith, and do things right. I decided to start this log to have as a resource for others and myself.


Week 2:
I believe I'm going through the purging process, as a lot of whiteheads are popping up. It's all over my cheeks, a little bit on my forehead, and some near my chin. This is usually where people pull the plug, but I'm going to stick it out and hope for the best. And pray.

I'm staying away from facial scrubs, using mild cleansers, and using Paula's Choice BHA liquid 2% (sometimes) during the day, underneath my makeup. I shower at night for RAM to be optimally effective (since pores are opened up more after shower), and I wait 10-15 minutes for my face to dry before putting it on. I don't use a moisturizer post-application.

Edited by Kendel, 26 September 2012 - 10:14 PM.


#2 gingergirl22

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:50 PM

I wish you the best and look forward to hearing about your progress!

#3 Kendel

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:38 PM

Week 3:
I'm still experiencing purging via whiteheads and comodones, but I do see a slight difference/improvement in the appearance of my old scars.

The purging appearance is discouraging... I can't tell you how many times I've looked in the mirror in broad daylight. I continue to preach to myself that this is all part of the healing process, and to press on in faith and hope. Posted Image

Edited by Kendel, 30 September 2012 - 08:38 PM.


#4 Kendel

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:34 AM

Week 4:
I'm experiencing less comodones and whiteheads (although they're still there) and dealing more with bigger ones on my cheek. I always knew that the purging process would be a couple of weeks, but I'm realizing that it's one thing to know it and another to actually go through it.

As I said before, I'm not going to give up this time when the going gets tough. My skin looks significantly worse than before, but I'm keeping the bigger picture in mind (clear skin) and pressing on.

#5 gingergirl22

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:31 PM

Are you using this once a day? What was the condition of your skin when you started?
I'm considering this for my son and wonder if applying it 2-3 times a week would still be beneficial. Also wondering if there would be less purging. I realize the clearing may take longer...

#6 Kendel

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:38 PM

my skin before: scars caused by Retin-A (enlarged pores-like), blackheads/whiteheads all over my face, occasional pimples here and there. i use it once a day, alternating between 0.1% and 0.04%. i've also been prescribed Adoxa (brand doxycycline) to ease the purging process.

i realized that with purging, it's going to happen sooner or later... if Retin-A's supposed to pull all the bad stuff from underneath, then there isn't really any changing as to what's underneath. speaking on your realization that the clearing may take longer - increasing the dosage (1x/day vs. 2-3x/wk) would probably only accelerate that "pulling from underneath" process...

also, there are a lot of factors to be considered when deciding on a skin regime (skin type, age, lifestyle habits, stress level, etc.)... my best advice would be to do it prayerfully Posted Image

Edited by Kendel, 11 October 2012 - 05:39 PM.


#7 gingergirl22

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:21 AM

Is the purging tapering off yet? What do you use as a cleanser and what other products are you using on your skin? Good for you for keeping the big picture in mind. It can't be easy seeing your sking worsen, but at least you know from those that have gone before you that is is only temporary.

I started my son on .025 cream, but only the lower parts of his face. I'll have him add in his forehead in a few weeks, but I don't think he would appreciate his entire face exploding in pimples all at once.

#8 Kendel

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:04 PM

thanks for the encouragement :) the purging's still happening in the form of closed comodones. i use clarins gentle cleanser at night, nu skin soap bar in the morning, and a clay face mask weekly. think your son will be very grateful for your planning. it'll be a good way for you to test his skin's reaction to the cream, as well. how old is your son?

week 5:
closed comodones still, but my skin's texture is improving significantly. i heard the purging could go on for 7-9 weeks, so i'm hanging tight!

#9 gingergirl22

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:24 PM

I hope you didn't miss this post today: http://www.acne.org/...etin-a-regimen/
My son is 15 and his skin hasn't looked this good in years. He's only on week 2, but I'm so scared he'll back out when it gets worse.
Hang in there!

#10 Kendel

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 11:36 AM

thanks for this, ginger :). served as a huge encouragement. please keep me posted with your son's progress as well!

coming to an end to week 6, and i am still experiencing purging in the form of little white bumps. a lot of the "scars" i thought i had, were actually blackhead/whiteheads waiting to surface. i've been using makeup artist's choice 15% salicylic acid peel 1/wk for the past two weeks. (what that does is unclog all the bad stuff, which i'm hoping will help to accelerate the purging process a little faster.) i'm no longer taking adoxa (doxycycline), because it made me vomit for 3 nights.

again, this is the first time i've actually been consistent with retin-a. i'm taking pictures along the way and will post them after the 12 week mark :)

#11 gingergirl22

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:21 PM

My son isn't experiencing any purging that is out of control yet. Maybe it's because he is using a 3% salicylic @3.0 pH on the nights he doesn't apply the Retin-A, which is every other night.
I'm using the Retin-A too, but for scarring. So far so good.

#12 Kendel

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:18 PM

hang in there! it'll be worth it.

for anyone else that's reading this thread, i thought i had cystic acne, but after looking it up, i realized that cystic acne is something totally different... http://www.mayoclini...medical/IM01007

i have many whiteheads and closed comodones. sorry for the confusion.

#13 Havefaith22

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:54 PM

Hey, I was wondering how you are doing now? I am using ziana gel, and also have been experiencing a very long and painful purging period! My skin is way worse than when I started but I'm hanging in there too and hoping for the best! I'm 22 years old and am new to having acne, it started out of nowhere just last year and has gotten progressively worse then better then worse again, so ziana was my derms suggestion! I am on week six now and still purging, I'm hoping for it to get A LITTLE better by week 7, so I can have some hope gained! Good luck to you though, hopefully you are seeing a turn around :)

#14 fragilesong

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

Good luck! Just keep in mind that using BHA will lower the effectiveness of the Retin-A. If it were Retin-A cream, it would be fine to use it in the morning, but since RAM releases tretinoin throughout the entire day, the BHA will affect it.

#15 Kendel

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

Thanks for that tip. I've been adding so many treatments into my regime that I'm not sure which is most effective for me. See the list below:

- Paula's Choice BHA 2% liquid (AM)
- Makeup Artist's Choice salicylic acid peel (saw the most improvement with this)
- Makeup Artist's Choice lactic acid peel
- Tea tree oil
- Retin-a Micro 0.04% (twice a week)

It's been a while since I've updated but my skin has seen significant improvement. I'm still trying to figure out what works best for me. Once I do, I'll be sure to update