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Does Anyone Care To Read Updates About My Tazorac Journey?

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#1 ann*marie

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

Today marks the fourth week since I've started Tazorac (due to closed comedones). To be quite honest, I can't really tell if it's working yet or not. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that it seemed to be smoothing the comedones over. Although, it also seemed like the smooth effect came once every few days, then it would flare up again. I don't know if this is a normal thing or not, but it is annoying. I was on Differen before Tazorac, and it did the same thing.
In some weird way, I can tell the Tazorac is doing SOMETHING. Even though there are clusters of comedones, there are smooth patches that I never noticed before, too. Also, before I started the Tazorac, I had 2 huge, firm bumps on my cheeks, and one of them has come to a head (though not completely) and the other is just going away on its own. I hope it's because of the Tazorac.
Another weird thing is that, the moment I wake up in the morning, my face seems like it's doing great, then as the day progresses it gets bumpier. I wonder if that is normal... Sadly, I'm freaking out about it all. I've read some comments saying that Tazorac is a miracle-worker, and then I have read others that they have been on it for a billion years without any results. The latter scares the life out of me, and I hope I don't end up having the same comments.
Oh, and don't even get me started on the dryness. I would elaborate on that, but I'm sure anyone who reads this can imagine how intense it can get.

Anyway, cheers if you have read this entire thing. I am going to update it every so often in hopes that it will be informative to anyone that happens to be in my situation or something similar.

- Ann

P.S. I forgot to ask my derm: is it okay to wear noncomedogenic makeup while on Tazorac? Does anyone know the answer? I sincerely hope the answer is yes.

#2 Michelle Reece

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

Today marks the fourth week since I've started Tazorac (due to closed comedones). To be quite honest, I can't really tell if it's working yet or not. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that it seemed to be smoothing the comedones over. Although, it also seemed like the smooth effect came once every few days, then it would flare up again. I don't know if this is a normal thing or not, but it is annoying. I was on Differen before Tazorac, and it did the same thing.
In some weird way, I can tell the Tazorac is doing SOMETHING. Even though there are clusters of comedones, there are smooth patches that I never noticed before, too. Also, before I started the Tazorac, I had 2 huge, firm bumps on my cheeks, and one of them has come to a head (though not completely) and the other is just going away on its own. I hope it's because of the Tazorac.
Another weird thing is that, the moment I wake up in the morning, my face seems like it's doing great, then as the day progresses it gets bumpier. I wonder if that is normal... Sadly, I'm freaking out about it all. I've read some comments saying that Tazorac is a miracle-worker, and then I have read others that they have been on it for a billion years without any results. The latter scares the life out of me, and I hope I don't end up having the same comments.
Oh, and don't even get me started on the dryness. I would elaborate on that, but I'm sure anyone who reads this can imagine how intense it can get.

Anyway, cheers if you have read this entire thing. I am going to update it every so often in hopes that it will be informative to anyone that happens to be in my situation or something similar.

- Ann

P.S. I forgot to ask my derm: is it okay to wear noncomedogenic makeup while on Tazorac? Does anyone know the answer? I sincerely hope the answer is yes.


Just hang in there. The side effects will subside soon and you'll really see the benefits of Tazorac around the 2nd to 3rd month.

Maybe your face gets progressively bumpier throughout the day because your skin is getting drier/peeling, especially if you're wearing makeup? Or maybe it's just the makeup that's balling.

Technically it's okay to wear makeup with retinoids, but derms prefer you don't because of dermatitis/dryness issues (and other problems) with the makeup and layering it with SPF. At least that's what mine told me.

What else were you prescribed, by the way?

#3 ann*marie

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:18 AM


Today marks the fourth week since I've started Tazorac (due to closed comedones). To be quite honest, I can't really tell if it's working yet or not. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that it seemed to be smoothing the comedones over. Although, it also seemed like the smooth effect came once every few days, then it would flare up again. I don't know if this is a normal thing or not, but it is annoying. I was on Differen before Tazorac, and it did the same thing.
In some weird way, I can tell the Tazorac is doing SOMETHING. Even though there are clusters of comedones, there are smooth patches that I never noticed before, too. Also, before I started the Tazorac, I had 2 huge, firm bumps on my cheeks, and one of them has come to a head (though not completely) and the other is just going away on its own. I hope it's because of the Tazorac.
Another weird thing is that, the moment I wake up in the morning, my face seems like it's doing great, then as the day progresses it gets bumpier. I wonder if that is normal... Sadly, I'm freaking out about it all. I've read some comments saying that Tazorac is a miracle-worker, and then I have read others that they have been on it for a billion years without any results. The latter scares the life out of me, and I hope I don't end up having the same comments.
Oh, and don't even get me started on the dryness. I would elaborate on that, but I'm sure anyone who reads this can imagine how intense it can get.

Anyway, cheers if you have read this entire thing. I am going to update it every so often in hopes that it will be informative to anyone that happens to be in my situation or something similar.

- Ann

P.S. I forgot to ask my derm: is it okay to wear noncomedogenic makeup while on Tazorac? Does anyone know the answer? I sincerely hope the answer is yes.


Just hang in there. The side effects will subside soon and you'll really see the benefits of Tazorac around the 2nd to 3rd month.

Maybe your face gets progressively bumpier throughout the day because your skin is getting drier/peeling, especially if you're wearing makeup? Or maybe it's just the makeup that's balling.

Technically it's okay to wear makeup with retinoids, but derms prefer you don't because of dermatitis/dryness issues (and other problems) with the makeup and layering it with SPF. At least that's what mine told me.

What else were you prescribed, by the way?


You've no idea how much your words help, and how much of a positivity boost they gave me. I read somewhere that by four weeks, it's better - but it's been four weeks and it's mostly the same! It's nice to know that I still have some time. Definitely going to stick it out until I see results!

I was prescribed a sulfur-based exfoliating facial wash (can't remember the name)...BUT it was terribly expensive and I, as a starving artist, couldn't afford it.
I am, right now, looking for something that would be similar to it that I could buy over the counter. The tricky thing, though, is that I have no idea if something like that exists without a prescription.

Also, while I'm here: back in the Summer-time I was prescribed Differin (which did nothing for me) along with Clindamycin lotion. My derm said nothing about Clindamycin when he prescribed the Tazorac. Seeing as I have some of the Clindamycin left, would it be a horrible idea to combine the two? Or should I just stick with the Tazorac?

Thanks! :)

#4 Michelle Reece

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:07 AM



Today marks the fourth week since I've started Tazorac (due to closed comedones). To be quite honest, I can't really tell if it's working yet or not. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that it seemed to be smoothing the comedones over. Although, it also seemed like the smooth effect came once every few days, then it would flare up again. I don't know if this is a normal thing or not, but it is annoying. I was on Differen before Tazorac, and it did the same thing.
In some weird way, I can tell the Tazorac is doing SOMETHING. Even though there are clusters of comedones, there are smooth patches that I never noticed before, too. Also, before I started the Tazorac, I had 2 huge, firm bumps on my cheeks, and one of them has come to a head (though not completely) and the other is just going away on its own. I hope it's because of the Tazorac.
Another weird thing is that, the moment I wake up in the morning, my face seems like it's doing great, then as the day progresses it gets bumpier. I wonder if that is normal... Sadly, I'm freaking out about it all. I've read some comments saying that Tazorac is a miracle-worker, and then I have read others that they have been on it for a billion years without any results. The latter scares the life out of me, and I hope I don't end up having the same comments.
Oh, and don't even get me started on the dryness. I would elaborate on that, but I'm sure anyone who reads this can imagine how intense it can get.

Anyway, cheers if you have read this entire thing. I am going to update it every so often in hopes that it will be informative to anyone that happens to be in my situation or something similar.

- Ann

P.S. I forgot to ask my derm: is it okay to wear noncomedogenic makeup while on Tazorac? Does anyone know the answer? I sincerely hope the answer is yes.


Just hang in there. The side effects will subside soon and you'll really see the benefits of Tazorac around the 2nd to 3rd month.

Maybe your face gets progressively bumpier throughout the day because your skin is getting drier/peeling, especially if you're wearing makeup? Or maybe it's just the makeup that's balling.

Technically it's okay to wear makeup with retinoids, but derms prefer you don't because of dermatitis/dryness issues (and other problems) with the makeup and layering it with SPF. At least that's what mine told me.

What else were you prescribed, by the way?


You've no idea how much your words help, and how much of a positivity boost they gave me. I read somewhere that by four weeks, it's better - but it's been four weeks and it's mostly the same! It's nice to know that I still have some time. Definitely going to stick it out until I see results!

I was prescribed a sulfur-based exfoliating facial wash (can't remember the name)...BUT it was terribly expensive and I, as a starving artist, couldn't afford it.
I am, right now, looking for something that would be similar to it that I could buy over the counter. The tricky thing, though, is that I have no idea if something like that exists without a prescription.

Also, while I'm here: back in the Summer-time I was prescribed Differin (which did nothing for me) along with Clindamycin lotion. My derm said nothing about Clindamycin when he prescribed the Tazorac. Seeing as I have some of the Clindamycin left, would it be a horrible idea to combine the two? Or should I just stick with the Tazorac?

Thanks! Posted Image


No problem! :)

4 weeks is kind of a ballpark estimate to start seeing results. It depends how severe the acne is, how much you're using, and other treatments you're using. But yes, stick with it for 2-3 months. Generally with retinoids obvious results are at the 6 month mark.

Sodium sulfacetamide is prescription only; sulfur (up to 10%) isn't. There are a few sulfur face washes out there, like Grandpa Thylox's Sulfur Wash and Coral Kavi, but that's 2-3% sulfur, not 5%. But there are sulfur lotions and masks, with the masks up to 10%.

Don't use up the Clindamycin just yet if you still have dry skin. The last thing you need is worse dry/irritated skin. You might be able to use it up later, but that depends on how old the antibiotic is and if you've stored it well.

You're welcome! :)

#5 ann*marie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:21 PM

Five days ago, I began my fifth week of Tazorac, and I also added Clindamycin to my routine. (I wasn't going to at first, but then I remembered that it didn't dry my skin at all!)

My face is still bumpy with whiteheads - but I can tell that they are SLOWLY smoothing out...or at least I hope they are. I never noticed this with the Differin. A lot of them seem to be drying out and scabbing over. I wonder if this is the way that it is supposed to work. Hmm. The biggest burden right now are the red spots from where some comedones used to be. It makes me so self-conscious, because my skin is so fair, and for the better part of my life, I've had crystal clear skin. These red spots are making me quite upset.

 

I have a light in my room that stands below my face, and sometimes I'll turn it on and look at my face in the mirror, and I can tell whether or not any of the bumps are going away. Over a week ago, I looked at it, and my face looked really lumpy, but today I looked at it, and it seemed a bit smoother, and some of my pores looked flat. I hope this continues. Yet, I know I've still got a long road ahead of me.

 

I still have one of those huge hard bumps on my right cheek. It is driving me insane. Thankfully, it isn't very visible, but it's still annoying to know it's there. When I last went to the derm, I tried to tell him about it, but he seemed too rushed to care. Gah.

 

I wish I would wake up tomorrow with perfect skin again. Does anyone know how long until the red spots fade? Also, does anyone know if Zinc helps to stop alleviate clogged, inflamed pores?

 

Thanks! (Especially to Michelle, for her thoughtful comments!)

 

I'll try to update again soon.


Edited by ann*marie, 22 January 2013 - 09:22 PM.


#6 ann*marie

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:14 PM

Week 7 already.

 

I am definitely noticing a difference - although my skin is not perfect (yet)!

 

Most of the tiny bumps on my cheeks have vanished. The clusters of stubborn bumps on the apples of my cheeks and t-zone still remain - but I can tell that the Tazorac is working on them. They seem to be drying up, which is great.

Once in awhile (more specifically two or three times a week) I may notice one or two new comedones, but if my mind doesn't deceive me, they don't last as long as they used to prior to using Tazorac.

 

If anything is keeping me optimistic, it is the overall appearance of my face. There are many more "smooth spots" on my cheeks and forehead, which is making me quite happy. I just wish that the deeper bumps weren't so stubborn.

 

I still have that huge hard bump on my right cheek. After a bit of research, I think it might be a cyst of sorts. I'm hoping that this goes away on its own.

 

In a nutshell, I am staying optimistic. I'm not losing hope on seeing full results in the near future.

 

I'll try to update once week 8 has begun! :)



#7 ann*marie

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

Tonight will be the beginning of my 8th week. Or in other words, my second month on Tazorac.

 

What a roller coaster ride this has been. Some days, it seems like it's working perfectly, and other days, it seems like it isn't doing anything at all.

A few days ago, I broke out on the top of the bridge of my nose and underneath my eyes in super tiny little bumps. My left cheek seems a bit smoother, but I still have very deep underground bumps that are starting to look whiter than my skin-tone and (what I believe to be) an inflamed, painful closed comedone that is just starting to dry up and get smooth. My right cheek is an absolute mess, though. Ah, where to begin...a few months ago, I got a cyst under my eye. That cyst has kind of resurfaced, but now, there's a hot, painful to the touch, pus-filled 'thing' (can't think of a better word for it!) right next to the resurfaced cyst. I'm thinking that they are definitely related. The other cyst on my right cheek still remains as well. Sigh.

The overall appearance of my skin is still rather bumpy. I'm still convinced it's those deep clogged pores making it seem that way. They are so stubborn, so I'm not surprised that 8 weeks of Tazorac hasn't cleared them up yet. I just can't wait until I'm past this yucky phase.

I'm also going to do everything in my power not to pick/pop the closed comedones if I see them. I've been doing that a lot recently, and I think it might be contributing to the delay of seeing some good results.

 

That's it for now.

Until next time......



#8 ann*marie

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

Last Thursday, I started week 9.

 

Towards the end of last week, my skin was doing great. It was lovely. The bumps were going down, the redness was going away. With some foundation and powder, it looked almost back to normal (minus my darn forehead). THEN, Sunday evening, I noticed it was getting bumpier again, and today, my left AND right cheek are inflamed with more closed comedones. The areas that were clear for weeks are clogging up again. With all of these ups and downs, I'm going to end up going insane before my skin gets clear! (just joking - or am I?)

 

I am extremely nervous to see how it is on week 12 (the projected time that it's supposed to be clear). Truthfully, I can't imagine all of this getting clear in less than three weeks, but stranger things have happened right?

 

That's about all I feel like writing for now. Perhaps I'll write more later on in the week.



#9 skinnie

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:02 AM

I know it's difficult, but stick with it. Progress with tazorac isn't linear, and it can take up to 4 or 5 months to work.  It's also got to be used correctly for that time. Are you moisturizing? 

 

I've been using tazorac for a year, and it's so very worth it. I wrote up a post about my experience/tips for using tazorac: http://www.acne.org/.../#entry3253334\

I hope it's encouraging/informative. 

 

 


Edited by skinnie, 03 March 2013 - 12:03 AM.


 Current Regimen: 
AM: 

Olay Foaming Cleanser for Sensitive Skin 

DHC Water Base Moisture  (A LIFE SAVER for Chicago winters!!!) 

1 pumps CeraVe PM

Aczone or Tazorac (alternate days) 
Olay Age Defying Daily Lotion for Sensitive Skin, SPF15

MAC Studio Sculpt in NC42

 Night 
Swipe with Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pad or Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid

Wait 30 minutes to a couple hours 

Olay foaming cleanser for sensitive skin 

DHC Water Base Moisture

1 pumps CeraVe PM

Dan's BP (every other day) - pea size

 

 

 
 

#10 ann*marie

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:57 PM

I started week 11 last Thursday.

 

My face is very irritated and inflamed. The red marks aren't fading, and I keep noticing small, pin sized whiteheads around my nose and mouth. I really thought it would be better by now, and I'm kind of upset at how this is turning out. The cysts on my right cheek are remaining in their normal areas, getting inflamed from time to time. My cheeks in general are absolute messes. Blackheads in almost every pore, raised bumps everywhere, and red marks. Ugh, and don't even get me started on my forehead! It's a wreck too. I am just so sick of this, and it is wearing on my nerves.

 

Some areas are smoother, but it really doesn't make any difference when so many bumps and blackheads and redness remain.

 

I really can't believe this. I don't know where to go from here...I just want a shred of confidence back.

 

Anyway. Thank you, skinnie for your response. I am moisturizing religiously with Cetaphil. I am going to read and study your post when I have some more time. :)

 

That's all for now, I'll try to update soon. Maybe by then, things will be better...



#11 ann*marie

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

Another quick update.

 

Skinnie, I read your post, and it was fascinating. I especially liked the part about taking it easy on tazorac, because it could cause irritation which leads to more acne. This has inspired me to hold off on using it for a few days, even though this means having to break up my 11th/12th week considerably.

Also, after I read your post, it got me to thinking: Almost every weekend I try not to apply tazorac, and my skin does very well. But sure enough, once I start back up on Monday, my skin turns into a nightmare again. Very interesting. Maybe this crop of small pin-sized whiteheads I've gotten recently are from overusing tazorac (and trying to 'pop' the affected areas - terrible I know)? We shall see.

 

In the meantime, I'm going to take Zinc and vitamin D supplements every other night, just as a precaution.

 

Thanks again, Skinnie! I'll be sure to update this weekend if I see any good results.


Edited by ann*marie, 05 March 2013 - 11:05 PM.


#12 ann*marie

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:40 PM

I would have started my 13th week yesterday however, I've been off of it for almost two weeks.

 

Since being off of Tazorac, I've noticed a few improvements: my face is no longer dry/peeling, the redness is going away, my skin feels a tiny bit smoother. That's about it.

 

I still struggle with many closed comedones on my cheeks, forehead, and (most recently) chin area. I honestly don't know what to do about this. Does anyone know if putting Tazorac on my face once a week would do anything to get rid of the closed comedones?

 

That's about it for now!



#13 rlsid21

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:38 PM

I've been using Tazorac for 3 months this month now with the hopes that it would clear my entirely congested comedones on my face especially my cheeks and jawline. It is working beautifully for me as I have super oily skin being able to handle the dryness. I apply it once at night mixing it with my moisturizer. I did purge for the first month and a half or so still have some stubbern ones that are taking time to go away. My jawline completely cleared and my cheeks are getting almost completely clear as well. My forehead (congested since middle school) is clearing with Tazorac. I just seen my ethetician and she was amazed at my skin's texture (very smooth) and the lack of comedones I had left over. She didn't even do a full facial like we use to and minimal extractions. We reached a milestone in my skin care with Tazorac added to my regimen. It does dry and peel a bit but it's doing what I've been looking for a product to do, clear my skin. It's also fading my red spots and scars from old breakouts. I'm wearing minimal make up but even without make up my skin looks better and better with continued use of Tazorac. You do have to be patient with the retinoids. I was on them before but not Tazorac in the past and gave up after a month or so. Optimal results are usually produced at 3 months or more I've read.


Skin Regimen


AM

 

Clean and Clear Advantage Control Facial Wash 

Obagi-C Clarifying Serum

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

Acanya (Benzoyl Peroxide/Clindamycin)

Skin Medica Daily Defense Sunscreen SPF 30+

 

PM

Clean and Clear Advantage Control Facial Wash 

Clean and Clear Toner 

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

Tazorac 0.1% Topical Gel 

 



Spironolactone 150mg. once daily for hormonal breakouts

Doxycycline 100mg. every other day  

Facials every 3-4 months or as needed for maintenance 

 


Make-Up of choice:

Sheer Cover Loose Powder or Sephora Tarte Loose Powder

Sephora Tarte Tinted Moisturizer BB Cream with Amazonian Clay 

 

(Updated 2014) 


#14 KatNewby

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:07 PM

I'm not trying to discourage anybody from taking Tazorac, because it may very well be the answer for some people. But I did want to make a cautionary post about how this topical is not right for everybody.

 

I took Tazorac for about 3-4 weeks along with Doxycyline and all the skin peeled off my face. I looked absolutely terrible, like I had a very potent chemical peel. I used it just as the derm recommended and I did, in fact, have some sort of unexpected reaction to it.

 

If anybody is taking it and experiecing this, please know that this is not a sign of purging, but it is in fact an adverse reaction that should warrant discontinuation of the topical.