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Ahh This Is So Hard! :( When Will It End?!

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I have battled with acne since I was a teenager. All throughout high school I had terrible skin, but miraculously as I got older it started to get a bit better. I started to get happy that maybe I am finally growing out of it. I am now 23. That all changed until about five months ago. I noticed that I started to develop acne on my cheeks ( a major problem area all throughout my teens, but not an area where I developed acne at all anymore). Initially I did not think anything of it, and tried some OTC products to use, containing benzoyl peroxide, because they had worked for me before. When these products didnt work and only made my skin worse, I decided to try out ProActiv. This was a terrible mistake because as soon as I started to use it my acne started getting muchhh worse and I would wake up in the morning to at least ten new pimples on each cheek every morning, inflamed,itchy and painful.I stopped usingthe proactiv,but my skin just kept getting worse. My pimples became so inflamed and painful and surely enough it got to the point where my entire cheeks were bright red and inflamed with pimples. I felt like a monster. I went to several different derms but was not satisfied with many of them because they did not really look at my skin, mostly just wrote out prescriptions for things such as oral antibiotics which I do not feel comfortable using. I became so depressed and did not want to go anywhere or do anything. I couldnt even look at myself in the mirror. People in my life started making comments about my skin and how bad it had gotten and every comment felt like a slap in the face. I just wanted to hide under a rock. I do not think that people who dont suffer from this problem really understand how badly it can affect the person with the acne. Your whole life gets put on hold because of this horrid skin problem.

Finally I went to a doc a month ago who gave me clindamycin wipes. which slowly started to help with the inflammation a bit. I am left with a ton of scars on my cheeks though. Recently my derm also suggested that I start using tretinoin cream 0.025%. she said in the long run this would make my skin better. Finally after so long my skin was clearing and initally after starting the tretinoin my skin started getting smoother too. I got happy and hopeful. However, now about two weeks in I have noticed that I am starting to break out again. I am developing many pimples all over my cheeks again. I know this is supposed to be part of an inital breakout but I am sooooo traumatized by my previous horrific breakout that I do not think that I can go through this all over again. I do not want to be afraid to look at myself in the mirror again. I am only starting to break out now, so can anyone tell me how long this will last?

And was hoping for some words of encouragement from others that have been through this too....

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Usually you see improvement around 12 weeks, and it only gets better from there, Retin-a is a battle of endurance, and you're not alone! I'm on week 10 day 5 and I'm still in the initial breakout phase, and my chin and areas look like crap, but I haven't had acne on my forehead in like 3 weeks, which is nice. I know its tough now, but we gotta stick to it if we want results, nothing good comes easy!

If you have any questions at all feel free to message me whenever! Having support is the best thing for getting through the breakout phase. (:

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Proactiv was horrible for me

You sound like you have the same thing as me

I went on to accutane in august after trying all the topicals and the antibiotics to no effect

I had no side effects except dry lips, I went on 80 mg a day

Anyway its changed my life

I couldn't recommend this option more

I wish you all the luck with the cream tho!!

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Usually you see improvement around 12 weeks, and it only gets better from there, Retin-a is a battle of endurance, and you're not alone! I'm on week 10 day 5 and I'm still in the initial breakout phase, and my chin and areas look like crap, but I haven't had acne on my forehead in like 3 weeks, which is nice. I know its tough now, but we gotta stick to it if we want results, nothing good comes easy!

If you have any questions at all feel free to message me whenever! Having support is the best thing for getting through the breakout phase. (:

Hey thank you for the words of encouragement. You are right it really is a real test of endurance but I guess it will benefit me in the long run so I will try my best to stick with it and not throw in the towel! 12 weeks seems like an eternity though but I guess I just need to learn to be more patient. Was your forehead area really bad before? And also, you said your chin is still really bad but would you say it is getting a little better than before? I am just afraid of getting more scarring than I already have from the new pimples that are developing. And I will keep you updated with my progress.

Proactiv was horrible for me

You sound like you have the same thing as me

I went on to accutane in august after trying all the topicals and the antibiotics to no effect

I had no side effects except dry lips, I went on 80 mg a day

Anyway its changed my life

I couldn't recommend this option more

I wish you all the luck with the cream tho!!

Thank you I am really hoping I do not need to resort to the accutane tho it seems like a reallyy scary medication, but I am glad to hear that you did not suffer from any negative side effects from it. Did you go through an inital breakout with the accutane also? And how long did it take for you to get clear skin? Also, do you have any issues with scarring from the pimples?

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My forehead wasn't terrible, but nonetheless, to go from having consistent acne on it, to having none at all.. that really leads me to believe its working. My chin is in really rough shape now, before I started Retin-a it was fairly clear, but it had a TON of bumps underneath it, so I knew it would be a problem area. A lot of the bumps have cleared up, and I'm just dealing with the whiteheads and inflammatory acne of the bumps purging to the surface. Retin-a is also good at treating scaring, which is another benefit to stick with it, cause afterwords it will heal your redmarks and shallow scaring. Also I'm not saying you will be broken out till week 12, some people are, some people aren't..the improvement times range from 8-12 weeks, depending on how well it works for you. Retin-a usually always yields benefits to people who stick with it long enough, keep me updated! (:

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Thank you I am really hoping I do not need to resort to the accutane tho it seems like a reallyy scary medication, but I am glad to hear that you did not suffer from any negative side effects from it. Did you go through an inital breakout with the accutane also? And how long did it take for you to get clear skin? Also, do you have any issues with scarring from the pimples?

I went through an initial breakout that made me think that it wasn't working however at the start of the 4th month all of my acne just vanished. Those months were worth it though because I had battled with acne for about 5 years and all I had to endure was 3 months of worse acne. My friend who went on it too described it as the drug really working from the inside and clearing all the pores, which will make it worse to begin with. At the start of the drug I felt as though this was never going to work because I had been so disappointed before. But I am so happy I went on it now. The other day I actually leapt for joy in front of the mirror.

With the side effects you have to bear in mind how many people have taken accutane. It is very very unlikely that you will suffer any sort of serious side effect. If it was such a common occurence the drug would have been outright banned. It is a miracle drug. I am a keen sportsman and I never got the so called 'joint pains' either. Depression wise, I don't see how the prospect of getting clearer skin can make you more depressed than you were before, although when I didn't think it was working I got quite depressed.

After I finised I had a few red marks and a few tiny marks in my skin from scarring. But with aloe vera and time that all went away. I think you would only ever have to worry about bad scarring with cystic acne.

Hope this helped

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Proactiv is terrible from what i've heard, I can totally relate with the story, every comment you sink into a deeper and deeper hole. I felt like crying as well at one point, until I did, but even that doesn't help. Danné worked for me, best thing i've ever used.

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Hey guys, just thought to post an update since I last posted. I am now on week 3. I am experiencing massive amounts of peeling and flaking at this point all over my face which is quite odd since I did not experience that when I first started using it, although I think the reason for this could be that initially I would apply the clindamycin every night as well as tretinoin but now I just use the tretinoin cream alone. I am also still breaking out and my face hurts pretty bad and is very tender to the touch. I know this is the purging stage so I am trying to be patient with the fact that I wake up to new breakouts every day. Thank you all so much for your words of encouragment this site really gives me the support I need and makes me realize I am not in this alone. No major changes besides new breakouts but will keep you all posted.

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Usually you see improvement around 12 weeks, and it only gets better from there, Retin-a is a battle of endurance, and you're not alone! I'm on week 10 day 5 and I'm still in the initial breakout phase, and my chin and areas look like crap, but I haven't had acne on my forehead in like 3 weeks, which is nice. I know its tough now, but we gotta stick to it if we want results, nothing good comes easy!

If you have any questions at all feel free to message me whenever! Having support is the best thing for getting through the breakout phase. (:

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