(Sorry this is really long lol)
HI!! I am a 17 year old girl, junior in high school. I've had acne to a certain degree since middle school, although it was not bad at all. I actually got rid of it completely for a full year because I started drinking so much water, but eventually I stopped that and it came back. For the past 3 years it has fluctuated, but has never been really mad. Right now my acne is moderate. I don't get anything large or cyst-like. It is mostly small pimples in groups, not really on any specific part of my face. A lot of the problem actually seems to be with scars.
The first time I went to a derm. was last April. I was put on clindamycin lotion and tretinoin cream, along with an otc benzoyl peroxide wash. I really lucked out because I never got an initial breakout that most people on tretinoin get. My face started improving almost immeadiately, I remember at my 6 week checkup he said that it looked significally better, which was unusual because most would experience worse acne before it got better. After that it kind of plateaued, it wasn't bad but I still had some small pimples. Then I, for some reason, stopped being consistent with the products. Eventually I just stopped using the tretinoin, only used the clindamycin every once in awhile. I'm SO mad at myself for doing this, because I can't even remember why I stopped (I've never been good at keeping up with things )
So over the later part of last year, my acne slowly got worse until I decided to got to the derm. again at the end of January (this time with a different one). They put me on the same regimen as I did the previous year, since that seemed to work for me.
First month (Week 1-4)
Immeadiately (and I mean literally the next day) I broke out and the products made my skin dry out like crazy, and was generally irritated-looking. I tried to stick with it, but my face felt terrible and it stayed that way for about 2 weeks. I called the derm, she said to only use the tretinoin every other night. I stopped everything altogether for about 2 days, then started back again. My face improved as soon as I did that, thank god, and since then I've only been using the tretinoin every other night and being really careful not to use the BP if I think it will irritate my face. I haven't experienced any dryness/irritation since then.
My acne is mostly under-control at the moment. The condition of my acne changes all the time, it will be bad one day and fine the next. I don't see an overall improvement, but I know I have to be patient.
I went back to the dermatologist and she decided to put me on an oral antibiotic as well- Doxycycline delayed release 150mg once a day. I took my first dose last night, on an empty stomach. I'm not sure if I had nausea from it because I went to bed right afterwards. I hope this will give me some improvement- even if it takes a few weeks.
So this is my regimen:
Benzoyl Peroxide wash
Cetaphil face lotion (if I need it, have not needed it recently)
Cetaphil face wash (dry/sensitive skin)
Tretinoin cream (0.05%)
Doxycycline pill 150mg
I also drink at least 8 cups of water every day and take a multivitamin.
I'm really hoping to at least have my acne under control by summer, and mostly cleared by early in the next school year