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Spironolactone & Retin-A Micro Journey

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#1 lifeinfaith

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 04:53 PM

I decided to start a log to help others and myself through the next several months. If anyone wants to join in on the journey, please do!

 

About five and a half months ago, my full blown acne started for the first time in my life. I am 27 and have never had acne issues. I moved from Texas to Colorado a little while before that and perhaps due to stress/change in hormones that often happens to women in their late 20s and who knows what else, my normally nearly completely clear complexion started getting a bunch of clogged pores and tiny pimples on my lower face. I tried OTC products for a month or so, eliminating any products with possible oil or comodogenic ingredients, did a few mild peels, scrubbed the crap out of my face, but things continued to get worse and the clogged pores (little skin colored bumps and blackheads) continued to spread all over my cheeks, jaw and around my mouth and nose. I have pretty much had relatively clear skin most of my life, I had some pimples as a teenager and went to the dermatologist once ever to get something for the occasional swollen pimple I would get on my chin in my college years and a few whiteheads, but as an adult I have had pretty clear skin and only ever wore makeup to cover a spot or two on occasion.

 

I went to a dermatologist about a month after I started noticing the issue and was originally recommended to go on Spironolactone and Differin gel. I refused the Spiro being the medicine avoider than I am and thinking this would clear up quickly with a topical since I had never had acne before. Possibly one of the biggest mistakes ever, because here I am now 4 months later…with a million clogged pores, hyperpigmentation from pimples past, white heads, pustules, papules and even a cyst or two. Oh how I have fallen…previously I would have never ever considered taking oral medications for acne, and always thought people who took Accutane and BC for it were crazy….well I didn’t know. I didn’t know how much of a living hell it was to wake up every morning worrying if I had anymore breakout on my face, spending 20 minutes or more in front of the mirror trying to cover everything with concealer and feeling constantly self-conscience and depressive about the hopelessness of my face. I think back to just a short 11 months ago when I was on a tropical vacation and how I had smooth and tan skin, and spent maybe a few minutes putting on some eye makeup before jotting out the door feeling confident and lovely. Well acne sufferers, now I know. At this point I will take anything and everything if it means clearing my skin, I have even gotten to the point of considering Accutane.

 

I used the Differin (which is the weakest topical retinoid) for about 3 months with little to no improvement. It would finally clear out a clogged pore after 2 months but then 3 more would sprout in its place. After I started getting swollen pustules with increasing frequency about a month ago I hit a new low and started frantically trying to get second opinions…I got prescribed Tazorac (the strongest retinoid) which made my face feel like it had a cheese grater taken to it and itch like crazy and oral antibiotics for the swollen pimples. Then I remembered the Spiro and did a bunch of research on it. I made an appointment with the dermatologist from months past and begged for the Spiro they had originally offered me. She took one look at my face and said that my acne is stereotypical female adult hormonal acne. She even told me she had the exact same thing happen to her in her late 20s and took Spiro to clear it up, so that gave me hope! In addition, she recommended Retin-a micro .04% which is better than Differin but less harsh than Tazorac.

 

So…after 3ish months of retinoid use, I am starting with Spiro 50 mg per day, Retin-a micro .04% every night and staying on the oral antibiotic (Doxycycline 100mg 2X day) for the first month to help with any initial breakout/adjusting. Since I have been on a weaker retinoid for 3 months and dabbled with Tazorac, I am hoping the IB won’t be as terrible…but we shall see how it goes. The derm also mentioned the Retin-a would help clear the now abundant red marks on my face from old pimples.

 

I will start out by tracking the days in the first week, then go to weekly as improvements really can’t be seen day to day. Here goes! Any advice/questions appreciated. 


_____________________________________

 

So I went home with instructions yesterday that this will require PATIENCE. Little improvement should be expected in the first month when I have my follow up appointment. Real improvement will start to be seen at 2 months and then major clearing at 3-5 months. I am terrible at patience. Took my first pill last night and used retin-a. Continuing on Doxy with breakfast and dinner (and adding in a probiotic pill at lunch to stave off it tearing up my stomach).

 

Day 1 Week 0

 

This morning I gently scrubbed my face with a buff puff because I could feel a lot of dead skin coming off from the retin-a…however I think that’s something that needs to be kept to only once a week because my face feels a bit irritated today. Today is not a good face day…I feel like I have a million clogged pores pushing their way out the surface of the skin (probably from the retinoids, which should mean it’s working but it’s such a terrible process to get out all that gunk. Running my hands over my face feels sooo icky and bumpy and oily. I am hoping some of the clogs just get smaller and drier as the Spiro takes action and they don’t all have to come up as white head bumps.

 

RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores, two pink healing pimples that I caused from picking, zero active pimples

LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, one pink healing, one new active pimple starting

CHIN: 4-5 tiny clogged pores, 3 tiny pink healing, one hard cyst in left corner that isn’t doing anything

FOREHEAD: 3 clogged pores

PIH MARKS: 14 or so on cheeks

 

Don’t feel any difference at all from Spiro, but I’m sure it’s too early at this point. The clogs on my chin and forehead have not been typical for me…they all just appeared in the past week, not exactly sure why. 


Edited by lifeinfaith, 18 April 2013 - 04:54 PM.


#2 cwctmo1

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:45 AM

Hi lifeinfaith,

It sounds like we are in pretty similar situations! My skin did not get very bad until I was 26/ 27. Prior to that, I had almost perfectly clear skin. In college I had a mild clogged pore problem, so I went to the dermatologist, but a little topical Duac for a couple months and I was completely clear again. After moving to NYC and starting a new job, things got progressively worse. I will save you the entire story, which is in my log. Suffices to say, I am now on Solodyn, Spiro, Finacea at night and Klaron in the morning. I also use Ziana samples occasionally, trying it out. I am interested in Retina A, but my derm never suggested it. Maybe I will ask.

I have some pigmentation on my cheeks and chin from former spots, but not too bad. I can cover easily with makeup, but would like to go makeup free. I, like you, think back to a year or 2 ago when I would even go to work with just mascara and lip gloss. Now I constantly worry about my skin. I definitely didn't realize how lucky I was back then.

I was getting impatient and emotional. I was on solodyn and the topicals for 3 months. I only have about 3 active blemishes at a time on my chin, and a couple of tiny clogged pores elsewhere, but I am still frustrated. 10 days ago I went back to the derm, and he gave me Spiro 50 mg. I can already notice my skin getting drier. Maybe it is the other meds finally working or a coincidence, but the 3 blemishes on my chin are now healing, and I haven't noticed any new ones coming in their place. Hopefully the trend continues. I will keep you updated!

As for side effects, I am very thirsty. I already drink tons of water, so not a huge deal.

Best of luck to you. I know how much this can impact the rest of your life. Stay happy and optimistic!

#3 lifeinfaith

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:39 PM

Hi lifeinfaith,

It sounds like we are in pretty similar situations! My skin did not get very bad until I was 26/ 27. Prior to that, I had almost perfectly clear skin. In college I had a mild clogged pore problem, so I went to the dermatologist, but a little topical Duac for a couple months and I was completely clear again. After moving to NYC and starting a new job, things got progressively worse. I will save you the entire story, which is in my log. Suffices to say, I am now on Solodyn, Spiro, Finacea at night and Klaron in the morning. I also use Ziana samples occasionally, trying it out. I am interested in Retina A, but my derm never suggested it. Maybe I will ask.

I have some pigmentation on my cheeks and chin from former spots, but not too bad. I can cover easily with makeup, but would like to go makeup free. I, like you, think back to a year or 2 ago when I would even go to work with just mascara and lip gloss. Now I constantly worry about my skin. I definitely didn't realize how lucky I was back then.

I was getting impatient and emotional. I was on solodyn and the topicals for 3 months. I only have about 3 active blemishes at a time on my chin, and a couple of tiny clogged pores elsewhere, but I am still frustrated. 10 days ago I went back to the derm, and he gave me Spiro 50 mg. I can already notice my skin getting drier. Maybe it is the other meds finally working or a coincidence, but the 3 blemishes on my chin are now healing, and I haven't noticed any new ones coming in their place. Hopefully the trend continues. I will keep you updated!

As for side effects, I am very thirsty. I already drink tons of water, so not a huge deal.

Best of luck to you. I know how much this can impact the rest of your life. Stay happy and optimistic!

 

Howdy!

 

Thanks so much for letting me know your experience. I had wondered how long it would take me to start feeling any difference from Spiro, I can’t wait for my skin to not be drenched in oil by midday every day! If you feel like you have some drying at 2 weeks, that gives me hope. I was wondering about the 50mg since a lot of people are on 100mg, but I am small like you, 5’1 around 100 lbs so maybe the 50mg will be enough. Keep me updated as I am right behind you! By the way – your Ziana has retin-a in it (tretinoin) just at a smaller percentage. Mine is .04% and I think Ziana has .025%. How do you like the Finacea? I have never tried azelaic acid. 



Day 2 Week 0

 

Well this morning my face felt a bit drier than usual and some of the clogs looked drier and closer to surface, but this evening I feel as oily as ever again. Two clogged pores kind of popped out of my cheek this morning without me really doing much, so that’s sort of an improvement. Now if they would just all do that….Nothing new to report except my chin keeps feeling achy and I am always terrified that means a swollen pimple is coming on…sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t…I can’t find anything anywhere at the moment. No side effects from Spiro yet. I might have my husband (he has to monitor me so I don’t go crazy on my face) help me with an extraction tool tonight to get some of these little plugs that are like basically sticking out of the surface of my cheeks yeck! The derm always tells me not to touch anything, but these drive me bonkers and usually need a little help. I have gone to get professional extractions twice and while it’s great, it is pricy. My mom is flying in tomorrow to spend a week with me so I am hoping that will help me relax and have some enjoyment.

 

RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores minus 2, two pink healing pimples that I caused from picking, zero active pimples

LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, one new active pimple starting

CHIN: 2-3 tiny clogged pores, 3-4 tiny pink healing, what I thought was a cyst seems to be turning into a large clogged pore of some sort

FOREHEAD: 3 clogged pores

PIH MARKS: a bunch on cheeks



#4 lifeinfaith

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:31 AM

Day 3 Week 0

Well I kind of nose dived this morning. I tried extracting some of the clogged pores last night with an extraction tool and ended up creating 2 scabs and a red swollen mark. My husband did one and it didn't leave a mark at all... So apparently I just suck at it even with a tool and putting a hot rag on my face. So I'm not allowed to use the tool and only he can determine if one needs to be extracted to save me from marking my face up. To anyone else dealing with clogged pores/closed commedones, how did yours resolve? Did you have to get them out or did they just dry up/go away on their own with a retinoid? I feel like even if I am super gentle it leaved hyperpigmintation, and sometimes the clogs turn into inflamed pimples that pop and still leave a huge red mark. My skin never used to leave red marks for more than a day or two after minor pimples. As more and more of the plugs get closer to the surface I feel like they are more obvious and when I touch them I can feel them poking up. I'm kind of scared about what happens after this point if I don't do anything. Help!


RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores minus 1, two red dry marks that I caused from picking, zero active pimples
LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores minus 3, 2 scabs and 1 red bump from extractions, 1 kind of swollen clog
CHIN: 2-3 tiny clogged pores, 3 tiny pink healing, 2 big clogs in left corner
FOREHEAD: 3 clogged pores, maybe a few more tiny ones, red mark in between eyes from picking
RED MARKS: a bunch on cheeks/jaw

Edited by lifeinfaith, 20 April 2013 - 11:38 AM.


#5 kelseylee

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:45 PM

My skin is doing the exact same thing as yours. I am 25, but the way you described the clogged pores coming up, and the type and number of them, is exactly like mine. it started out for me with minor, small blackheads and clogged pores/bumps but now it's progressed into lots more of those, especially the bumpy clogged pores and then some whiteheads and stuff. ugh. anyway, you're not alone in the skin changes--i never had acne either, clear skin to extremely mild acne as a teen and young adult and then when i went off bc 9 months ago my skin went from mild to moderate. back on ortho tri cyclen lo and i think it's getting better--sometimes it's hard to know. there's just so many clogged pores that have to resolve themselves, and when they come out they look worse even tho its more...productive. im in the stage where they're all coming out as well and it's pretty intense. some of the clogged pores are literally hanging out of my face. they're small but still whoa. i stopped touching my face a while ago cuz emotionally I just could not handle the stress of extracting my own pores, no matter how 'good' I thought I was at it. Even having estheticians do it sketched me out as I noticed for the first facial they would be very gentle but by the second or third they would be going kind of hard on my face even when I asked not to. I think the lady was overwhelmed by how many clogged pores I have, actually she told me that and was trying to get as many out in as short amount of time as possible...but more is definitely not better if they're leaving marks. So the point of all that is I let my skin..naturally unclog itself. I use african black soap, which speeds up purging and salycilic acid (2%). without those is would be really hard to just wait forever for the pores to unclog so that's definitely helping. 

 

I've also had the experience of a small zit, that I could have popped and probably gotten out of the way, turning into a big whitehead or whatever but I still would rather not touch anymore just cuz I spazz out and blame myself when I do. Anyway, I understand what its like to have your face covered in a blanket of bumps (my forehead is my worst) and worried about PIH and stuff. I'm sure the retinoid will help, you really shouldn't have to push them out if they are already that far along, it sucks but if you wait a few days they will come out on their own when you wash your face or whenever. best of luck--I think you'll be fine as it's a lot easier to deal with acne when you haven't been battling it your entire life. something just needs to get tweaked so you can get your skin back to how it was, and same for me.

 

PS I really don't think there's anything wrong with taking medication in these circumstances. everytime I've resisted something that helps me, it just ends up making me struggle more until I relinquish and take whatever I need. Sometimes the body gets out of wack and needs help getting back to normal, and just cuz you're on something now does not mean you will be forever. I tried treating this "naturally" at first myself and it only got much much worse and I felt like I was starving to death/going nuts and I've heard that story many times on here. 


Edited by kelseylee, 20 April 2013 - 09:55 PM.


#6 lifeinfaith

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:45 PM

Kelseylee -

Thanks for the advice. What kind of salycilic acid do you use and do you just use it at night? I have played around a bit with salycilic acid and sometimes I think it dries things up faster than the retinoid. How long would you say it takes for your clogged pores to finally come out? I need to try just letting them be but it's so hard because I feel like they will never come out and I constantly touch them. Some of them are deep/have a lot in there so it boggles the mind as to how theyde come out on their own. Then when I try to get them out I get so upset with myself. Acne deffinitely has a very strong mind/ emotional effect. Being stressed and anxious about it has definitely made it worse I think and then just gets me stuck in a viscous cycle that's hard to break.

#7 lifeinfaith

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:59 PM

Day 4 Week 0

Well last night I had three pimples appear randomly - two were white heads on my chin and another was a swollen pimple on my lower cheek... All popped easily. Then today one of the clogged pores on that same cheek got swollen about mid day and I gave in and popped it this evening. So... The clogged pores seem to be turning into inflamed pimples one by one... Has anyone else experienced clogged pores clearing without getting inflamed ? I guess at least they are all pustules that easily pop with gentle pressure. It seems I can't avoid the hyperpigmintation because as soon as it gets swollen it leaves a red mark whether I pop it or not :(. Anyone use anything to fade hyperpigmintation that's worked for olivey skin?

Skin still über oily. I had two closed comedones that I've had for a few weeks on my forehead that I squeezed out... Really hoping they won't be red tomorrow. My forehead usually heals up the best. I have had a really clear forehead for months until the past week or so... It's been super oily and started to get a few tiny clogged pore. Not sure why this is changing..Can antibiotics cause increase in sebum? Come on Spiro kill the oil!!


RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores minus 2, 2 healing pimples, zero active pimples
LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, 2 scabs, 1 kind of swollen clog, zero active pimples
CHIN: 2-4 healing marks, 1 healing lump (cyst)
FOREHEAD: a few tiny clogs, red mark in between eyes from picking, 3 marks from squeezing
RED MARKS: a bunch on cheeks/jaw and a few new ones!

#8 lifeinfaith

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:43 PM

Went to Sephora today to get help on makeup...I have never really worn makeup other than eyes so I dont know what the best method is for covering acne marks. For like 10 years I have used Mary Kay foundation to just dab on spots I had, currently I put that on all on my spots and my mom recently gave me Mary Kay mineral powder of the same color to brush on my lower face for all the dark marks I have now. The girl at Sephora took a brush and put foundation all over my face...while it does look more flawless having a layer of liquid over my entire face feels pretty terrible and looks "fakey" to me. I was hoping for something I could just brush on to cover the spots I need but not all over. Currently I dab with my finger on every little spot and it takes forever and makes me remember everything wrong with my face. Any gals have any good makeup advice for someone who doesn't want to look like they are wearing makeup?

 

In addition I am thinking of adding a BHA or AHA to my morning regimen. I feel like I have tons of dead skin on my face some mornings (like today it was really obvious even after I rubbed it off in the shower). For some reason I am starting to get a scattering of tiny clogged pores on my forehead. I have spot treated with salycilic acid before and it always seem to clear a clogged pore within a week or so but I have too many to spot treat. I have been looking at Paulas Choice BHA gel or liquid...any one have any advice on combining a BHA or AHA with retin a micro and which is better for clearing clogs?

 

I switched my spiro to the morning hoping that I will feel more of the drying effect during the day instead of taking it right before bed.....not sure if that is even scientific.

 

Day 5 Week 0

 

RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores, 1 healing pimples, zero active pimples
LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, 1 kind of swollen clog, zero active pimples
CHIN: a few clogged pores, 1 healing mark, 1 healing lump (cyst)
FOREHEAD: a few tiny clogs, 2 healing pimples/scabs from squeezing
RED MARKS: a bunch on cheeks/jaw and continue to grow


Edited by lifeinfaith, 23 April 2013 - 09:48 PM.


#9 Aaniella

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:17 PM

I'm so happy I found your post. My dermatologist also put me on spironolactone 100 one time a day. I started it only yesterday so yeah its a little to soon to tell whether it is working or not. I am also using Differin 0.3% gel one time a day and a benzoyl peroxide wash one time a day. I really hope that regimen will work because I've been dealing with acne since I was 12 and I am now 24. I'm at my breaking point. Just can't take it anymore. ;(



#10 lifeinfaith

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:50 PM

I'm so happy I found your post. My dermatologist also put me on spironolactone 100 one time a day. I started it only yesterday so yeah its a little to soon to tell whether it is working or not. I am also using Differin 0.3% gel one time a day and a benzoyl peroxide wash one time a day. I really hope that regimen will work because I've been dealing with acne since I was 12 and I am now 24. I'm at my breaking point. Just can't take it anymore. ;(

You'll have to let me know how the 100 mg works. My derm started me on 50 mg but I am a little concerned it isnt going to be enough since most women use 100 mg. What kind of acne do you have?



Last day of spending time with my mom before she goes back to Texas. Nothing new to report...face still really oily during day. I am trying to get used to wearing mineral powder. 

 

 

Day 6 Week 0

 

RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores, 1 scab, zero active pimples
LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, 1 kind of swollen clog, zero active pimples
CHIN: a few clogged pores, 1 healing lump (cyst)
FOREHEAD: a few tiny clogs, 2 scabs from squeezing
RED MARKS: a bunch on cheeks/jaw and continue to grow



#11 lifeinfaith

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:58 PM

Today was pretty crummy, my mom went back to Texas. I sure do miss her. In addition, I think I got really stessed and anxious last night and picked at my face..I picked a clogged pore on my cheek and ended up creating a scab...but the weirdest thing is I barely even used pressure, it's like my skin is paper thin on retin a. Has any one else experienced this and how do you get the clogged gunk out if so? Also I squeezed the weird healing cyst on my chin that was still a little bump..a little sebum seed came out but today it is swollen and hurts. Way to go... Now it's an inflamed cyst again, back to square one with that one arghhh!!!! I also squeezed a spot on my forehead but it seems to be healing. I don't know if im imagining it but in think there are new tiny clogged pores on my temple areas.


Day 7 Week 0

RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores minus 1 , 1 scab, zero active pimples
LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, zero active pimples
CHIN: 1-2 clogged pores, 1 swollen cyst (go me)
FOREHEAD: a few tiny clogs, 1 healing scab
RED MARKS: a bunch on cheeks/jaw and continue to grow

#12 Aaniella

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:11 PM

I'm so happy I found your post. My dermatologist also put me on spironolactone 100 one time a day. I started it only yesterday so yeah its a little to soon to tell whether it is working or not. I am also using Differin 0.3% gel one time a day and a benzoyl peroxide wash one time a day. I really hope that regimen will work because I've been dealing with acne since I was 12 and I am now 24. I'm at my breaking point. Just can't take it anymore. ;(

You'll have to let me know how the 100 mg works. My derm started me on 50 mg but I am a little concerned it isnt going to be enough since most women use 100 mg. What kind of acne do you have?



Last day of spending time with my mom before she goes back to Texas. Nothing new to report...face still really oily during day. I am trying to get used to wearing mineral powder. 

 

 

Day 6 Week 0

 

RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores, 1 scab, zero active pimples
LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, 1 kind of swollen clog, zero active pimples
CHIN: a few clogged pores, 1 healing lump (cyst)
FOREHEAD: a few tiny clogs, 2 scabs from squeezing
RED MARKS: a bunch on cheeks/jaw and continue to grow

 I must say that I envy you. At least you have only acne on your face. I wish I was that lucky!!

 

      I started getting acne at the age of 12-13. At the time it wasn't bad at all, only small pimples on my forehead nothing serious. By the age of 16 though, my acne has gotten worse. It was all over my face,chest (décolleté), back, upper arms, and shoulders. When my mom saw how depressed I was because of my acne, she finally agreed to let me see a dermatologist. ( My mom I love her but she wasn't supportive at all. She is kind of low maintenance when it comes to skin so she didn't ( and still don't) approve of me getting professional help and taking all those medications just because of acne. Of course she is not the one with acne all over her body so it is easy for her to say that. The first dermatologist did nothing for me honestly. I felt like she didn't know she was doing. I kept seeing for her for at least 6 months with no improvements. So yeah I decided to stop wasting my time and money and stopped seeing her. At this time, although my acne was all over my upper body, it was still pretty moderate ( small pimples not large ones, clogged pores, blackheads).

        A year later my dad  took me to another dermatologist. This one was really helpful, I could tell he really cared about my skin. As soon as he set his eyes on me, he was like your acne is hormonal hun! He put me on BCP Diane 35 ( pretty common in France for treatment of acne I don't know if it's available in the U.S.), Dalacin Topic a topical antibiotic, and tetralysal oral antibiotic (Tetracycline) with AHA prescription. I stayed on tetralysal for 3 months only. Those three months have been the best months of my entire life. Clear and less oily skin, no more acne, acne scars were fading amazingly ( the AHA cream did a good job at fading hyper pigmentation). It was all good. After 3 months i went off the oral antibiotics, and I could already see a decline in my skin although my skin still looked better than before.Months later, I graduated from high school and came over to the U.S. to go to college. Since I couldn't get my prescriptions filled here ( and I didn't have insurance at the time) , I ran out of Dalacin topic (Clindamycin) and my skin reverted back to what it used to be = oily, bumpy, uneven.

        I was still getting my birth control pills though (my father is a gynecologist so he was able to fill my BCP prescriptions and had them shipped to me). That's when I realised that the BCP wasn't helping my skin at all. I was getting daily breakouts even on the pill I guess I kept taking it because it was a convenient birth control method ( I have to admit that I wasnt getting acne on my arms and shoulders anymore, only weekly breakouts on my back but way better than in my teen years so somehow the BCP did work for those areas but not for my face). Six months ago, I was getting tired of being on the pill ( swollen and tender breast, weight gain, depression, low libido) so I decided to go off of it. Biggest mistake of my life, my skin started breaking out in a way I never experienced before. I started getting cystic acne all over my face especially my jawline, chin and neck sometimes. It was awful. i would wear my hair down around my face so that people wouldn't see how much of a disaster my skin was. Blackheads, whiteheads, everybody's head were on my face. I've never been so depressed in my life. To make matter worse, my upper arms, back and even chest started to break out once again. At this point, that was it for me I decided to get professional help. So here I am with my new treatment Spiro 100 mg, Differin .3%, and Panoxyl 10% wash. i really hope  this treatment will yield better results than the previous one. So far so good, both Panoxyl and differin seem to be doing a good job at keeping my oily skin at bay and drying out my pimples, so yeah I am happy about it. Still waiting for better days to come.


Edited by Aaniella, 25 April 2013 - 05:17 PM.


#13 lifeinfaith

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:26 AM

Aaniella-
I'm sorry about your acne issues. That does seem rough to have it on your body. I have read that the Diane bcp can make acne worse for some women so maybe that's why it didn't help your face. I think the Spiro will be a good route for you. I have heard miracle stories about it. We just have to be patient - my derm keeps telling me 6 weeks for results and most peopl say things get totally clear at 3-4 months. I can't wait! I only wish I had started 4 months ago when my derm first recommended it instead of being stubborn. I maybe could have avoided it spreading like it did. You sound like you might be a candidate for Accutane as well, have you ever considered that? At least you can know that if for some reason the Spiro doesn't work (God willing it does!) there is always Accutane as a fail safe.

Week 1 Day 10

Past few days I have been kind of down... Starting my period soon hopefully. Wonder if the Spiro will effect it. That chin cyst I irritated is going down but yesterday I woke up to a big swollen pimple right under my nose and my forehead seems to be really oily and breaking out in tiny bumps recently :( In addition for the past week my left chin area and forehead have been achy sort of but nothing's happened. My forehead almost feels like I strained the inside or something... Maybe from stress.

I called my derm and told her that I feel like the retin a is making things worse. It has been 4 months of purging and purging with no end in site. And I feel like since I started using it on my forehead it made my previously clear forehead break out. Ugh. She said I could take a break for retin a for a week and come in to have either a peel or "derma sweep" and extractions from their aestetician to maybe hurry rings along. It's scheduled for Thursday. Nervous/scared! Anyone have good experiences with peels or derma sweeps for getting out clogged pores and fading hyperpigmentation???

RIGHT SIDE: numerous clogged pores, zero active pimples
LEFT Side: numerous clogged pores, zero active pimples
CHIN: 1-2 clogged pores, 1 healing cyst
Huge swollen pimple under nose!
FOREHEAD: several small clogged pores, 1 healing scab
RED MARKS: a bunch on cheeks/jaw

#14 kelseylee

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:09 PM

Hi lifeinfaith,

I meant to respond to your original post up there but had lost the log. anyway, was going to ask how long have you been on spiro? It sounds u like might be having an initial breakout. This happened to me when I re started birth control (and was probably made worse by switching bc a month and a half in) and continued until right about now (2 months and 20 days). So I feel like with hormonal stuff it can take 2/3/4 months of on and off breaking out before major improvements happen. it def sounds like your skin is purging, even your forehead, which is a shitty phase (i'm also going through it) but if you think about it it actually is progress. I've had pores unclog that were clogged for months, but the process of them coming out makes me feel like my face is going nuts. Howevs I guess its better to have them come out than stay in there 4ever. 

 

Like I said I'd been using black soap which was causing many things to purge, and I just stopped it two days ago and while I feel gross and like I want to was my face (just been using water) I have not had a single new zit since I stopped using it. I was having lots of non inflamed pores purge AND getting like 3-4 whiteheads every few days. one on my forehead took forever to heal and is not acting like the other ones where they just dry up and go away. anyway, the whiteheads have stopped is my point but my skin is still purging. It's prolly a good idea to take a break from the retin A cuz that might have been affecting your skin similar to how the black soap was affecting me, at least it definitely sounded like it. hoping you don't get any new inflamed pimples smile.png

 

extractions can really improve the look of your skin and prevent new pimples from forming, but I would tell them to go really lightly on it and not go for anything that isn't ready (which they are already SUPPOSED to do) but estheticians are ppl and sometimes they get carried away just like we do. I was seeing a really great esthetician and even she reamed on my face and caused a scar and some pigmentation marks and it was painful. after I'd asked her to go really lightly on the extractions. so just pointing out its not a fail proof method, BUT it can really improve your face at the same time. just remember you are in control, it's your face and they shouldn't do anything you're not totally comfortable with. If they start attacking a zit and it hurts, I would say something and ask them to leave that one alone.


Edited by kelseylee, 28 April 2013 - 05:12 PM.


#15 Aaniella

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:08 AM

lifeinfaith

 

I really thought accutane would have been the first option she was going to suggest. However, she said that even though my acne has spread out to my torso, it is still pretty mild. I don't really have cystic acne nor nodular acne on my torso. My main problem is that every single pore on my face and torso is clogged which may or may not develop into pimples. I am happy that my acne does not leave me with deep pitted scars though. She also said that since my acne is hormonal, it will more likely return after stopping accutane neutral.gif . I'm just hoping spiro will work for me because I'm getting tired of trying out new medications. Right now I'm going through what people refer to as the purging phase? I've been breaking out a lot those last 2 days. If that's what it takes to get clear skin at the end, I am ok with it smile.png. You should talk to your Derm about differin 0.3%. I heard it is more gentle on the skin that Retin A. It is doing a good job at unclogging my nasty pores without too much irritation.


Edited by Aaniella, 29 April 2013 - 12:50 AM.


#16 lifeinfaith

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:27 AM

Kelseylee- I considered the idea of an initial breakout from Spiro.. But I asked my derm and she said it doesn't make sense scientifically and that her patients haven't ever complained of an IB from Spiro. With BC it can happen because it is effecting your estrogen and progestin levels as well but Spiro is only lowering your androgen level which is what causes the over production if oil/sebum. She said it is most likely a coincidence and my body reacting to normal hormonal things going on and stress (which I have a ton if especially since the acne started) since the Spiro probably hasn't made much difference yet in my body (going on 11 days). Shrug* I have heard some people claim an IB from Spiro and others not so who knows... I do feel like since I stopped the retin a several days ago and just started using a sal acid toner things have calmed down a bit... Those stronger retinoids purge like crazy. Also I had a HUGE painful pimple under my nose that finally came to a tiny white head and popped with just a tiny clog...it's amazing how much something so small can cause that much inflammation and redness!!!

Aanielle - I was prescribed differin years ago for some clogs I got on my forehead and it cleared it up nicely.... When I broke out majorely 6 months ago I used differin for about 3 months without it really doing much... Not sure why it wasn't having an effect this time, maybe the cheeks are a lot tougher than the forehead. When they put me on Tazorac and Retin a stuff started really coming out but Taz did really irritate my face.

Does anyone know if salycilic acid will have a similar effect to the retinoids or is it way too weak to help?

I really hope the Spiro works for you too. Just an FYI on the accutane - some derms will more readily prescribe than others. I have had some never mention it and others tell me come back in a month and we can talk about accutane.

#17 kelseylee

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:11 AM

Ah yes I think people say "IB" a lot but it can really just be, you are experiencing acne right now just because you are. stress sounds like a likely possibly, if only cuz its a huge trigger for me. interesting she said BC can cause one cause I did go on bc almost three months ago. I guess my acne got a little worse but nothing significant. Yeah if anything its just that the spiro has not had nearly enough time to kick in. I'm surprised she didn't say that just the change or flux in hormones (if even for the positive) can cause acne because it creates activity/change in the body. but obviously, she is the expert.

 

I think my hormones are just now finally getting back to normal after 3 months of bc; I thought it would be instantaneous--oh how we learn. thats great about getting rid of that zit..it probably takes someone else with acne to be able to recognize a good zit victory. like I mentioned previously I was enjoying not squeezing my skin BUT I have this one whitehead that will not go away and even formed blood under it, so I'm in quite a quagmire about whether I should take it out of its misery. If i wasn't so emotionally sensitive I would just do it but i'm afraid it'll make me all upset. best of luck to you on your spiro journey--it's only up from here & letting time work its magic.


Edited by kelseylee, 30 April 2013 - 01:19 AM.


#18 lifeinfaith

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:29 AM

Day 13 Week 1

For some reason I am in a "my face is looking better stage" which terrifies me because every time I go up I come crashing back down. I am also going to see an aestetician Thursday so I am also nervous about disrupting what I have right now. I still have a lot of clogged pores- the right side is starting to look clearer but the left side and both jaws are sooo bumpy, however it seems like the red marks are fading (I have been using Paulas Choice BHA liquid and Vit C serum the past 5 days and no retin a. Sometimes I feel like even though the retin a purges stuff it makes my skin LOOK worse. Also whatever was happening on my forehead seems to be fizzling out and I just have a few tiny bumps there that you cant really see. I currently have 0 active pimples!! Still feel oily so I don't know about Spiro - no side effects at all, however my period is currently late.

I went to my primary care doc yesterday to talk to him about my acne and other symptoms - anxiety, hard time sleeping/ waking up sweating constantly/some weight loss when I am already really thin. All this has been happening in the past 3 months and I have never had any of them before in my life. He is running a full thyroid panel and testing all my hormones. I can't edit to get the bloodwork back! It could very well all be from stess and if all my labs are normal he is going to prescribe me an anti anxiety to get through this while I am healing and learning to destress. The anxiety is making it almost impossible to do this.

Kelsey - are you taking bc for acne? I have always been nervous to because of all the hormonal effects and my mom could never take it due to side effects. I would say... Pop that whitehead! When this first started I used to go at tiny under skin bumps until I scabbed which was terrible... I have gotten myself under a lot better control but I can't ever deal with a pimple that has a white head on my face. I'm too ocd!

#19 michi31

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:37 AM

Hi ladies. Just wanted to say good luck to you. I am 14.5 weeks into Spiro 100mg and minocycline 50mg a day. The mino helped right away (I started it a couple weeks before Spiro) and in the last couple weeks I have been pretty much clear. I am hoping it is the spiro kicking in but I am still oily which really worries me. My endo said Spiro can take 6-9 months. Hang in there! (And I would think about going up to 100mg at least).



#20 lifeinfaith

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:11 PM

Hi ladies. Just wanted to say good luck to you. I am 14.5 weeks into Spiro 100mg and minocycline 50mg a day. The mino helped right away (I started it a couple weeks before Spiro) and in the last couple weeks I have been pretty much clear. I am hoping it is the spiro kicking in but I am still oily which really worries me. My endo said Spiro can take 6-9 months. Hang in there! (And I would think about going up to 100mg at least).


Hi Michi - did you have issues with closed comedones and if so did the Spiro clear that? That is my main issue..I actually don't have any active pimples at the moment (although I had been getting a cyst once a week and a few pustules throughout the week, crosses fingers*) just comedones all on my cheeks and jaw line.




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