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lifeinfaith

Spironolactone & Retin-A Micro Journey

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Week 9

I have been really stressing lately about not being happy in my job and being soo bored at work. Yesterday I really let it get to me and squeezed at a bunch of old clogged pores on my face. I really have issues with compulsively doing this when I get stressed and anxious. Now since my face is so much clearer, I have this mental attitude of "once I get these last ones everything will be better", which is such a lie. I am not, and will never be perfect, and will only hurt myself in striving to be. I took a mental health day today to relax at home, read and apply for new jobs. I have a few scabs on my face now to heal over the next few days, but I am not really even going to closely count my clogged pores anymore. I have no pimples, maybe just a handful of imperfections that only I notice. Need to work on healing by not picking and getting rid of the minor hyperpigmentation I now have. Retin a really helps speed that up.

Also, after 2 weeks on 75 mg I decreased my Spiro to 50 mg because I felt like it was maybe affecting my mood and wasn't really changing my oil production all. It has been over a week on 50 mg and everything pretty much feels the same. Hoping a normal period will come on this low level.

Onto a epiphany moment I had last week. Thinking about how I have always had oily skin and never had major breakouts my whole life...I was researching oily skin stuff. Found a blog on the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) that gave pretty negative reviews along with hundreds of women sharing their negative experiences and it jogged my memory of me trying this over the past year. AND THEN IT ALL CLICKED. Blog here - Read all the comments - http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/11/15/my-brief-traumatic-foray-into-the-oil-cleansing-method-or-how-overreaching-can-sometimes-backfire-on-your-skin/

Around April of 2012 my boss told me about OCM and finally convinced me to try it so I bought castor oil in the drug aisle and mixed it with my extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen. I used it off and on maybe once every 2 weeks for several months...never noticed a major effect but did start noticing slightly more clogged pores than usual. I attributed it to stress and stopped using OCM for a while and used gycolic acid...I picked OCM back up more frequently in Sept-Oct 2012 and then we moved to Colorado Springs. I started noticing more and more clogged pores around my mouth and nose, where I normally did not get pimples (I have always been Tzone for breakouts). I attributed this to the dry air we had moved to and started using OCM even more. Early November I bought grapeseed oil and used it to clean and moisturize my face almost daily...my face continued to get worse and for some reason I thought I needed more oil. In mid February I went to see an aestetician for the first time and she told me not to use the oil since I was already oily. I stopped and went back to moisturizer and in March is pretty much when all hell broke loose. Since I wasnt really using OCM at that time anymore I didnt think of it...it was like every single pore in my lower face was clogged and I started getting swollen breakouts too (which are not common for me). In April the derm told me it was hormonal and recommended Spiro to accompany my retinoid use. March-April were the worst acne I have ever had in my life. I think the antibiotics were finally controlling the swollen ones...but I had to literally manually extract every single clog as the retin a was bringing it up over the period of 2-3 months. I don't know how many I extracted...but they were all stuck under the skin. I always commented that my skin had seemingly changed in the way it functioned...Ide never had major issues on my cheeks and jaw...and some of the clogs were in lines across my cheeks, like every pore effected and took sooo long to come out. After finally getting most of all that gunk out (4 months after stopping OCM) I am still getting occasional clogs rising to the surface, but it was nothing like it was. After reading the comments in that blog as well as the negative reviews on makeupalley - http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/itemid=73176 and her story - http://beautyandinspirationblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/oil-cleansing-method-final-review-be.html I finally realized how what had happened to be was EXACTLY what happened to so many of these women, seeing effects for months later. I even read some saying there's took over a year to correct after OCM. Mine has gotten so much better in the past few months that I am hoping my skin is pretty much clear of all that stupid oil and possible infection now. I am still going to take Spiro to control any excess oil and antibiotics for the next month. I hope I am over it, but I can't believe I was the cause of it. I am 90% sure using OCM was the worst thing I could have ever done to myself. It caused so much anxiety and trauma over the past several months. The stress caused from that may very well be affecting my skin too....but I cant imagine that my experience is a coincidence if so many women using OCM had literally the exact same experience, type and location of pimples. I have my 6 week derm checkup tomorrow and will be talking to her about this in depth. The retin-a micro (and microdermabrasian) has been a godsend in getting this stuff out of my skin much faster than it would have.

This gives me hope in that this shouldn't continue. Since I caused it myself with oil...once all that is out of my skin it shouldn't be something inside of me that is causing it...however it makes me so angry at myself...that I did this to myself. Such a simple stupid mistake could cause such terrible effects. Wow. What I did to myself in the pursuit of perfection. It is definitely humbling. Anyone reading this, DO NOT TRY OCM!!!

Has anyone else had a similar experience with OCM they would like to share?


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Going off Doxy today. Saturday night I was up for an hour throwing up right after I took it. I think I was dehydrated from a long hike we did and that made my stomachs extra mad and rejected the antibiotic. I've been meaning to get off it soon anyways... It's been over 2 months. I only have a handful of small clogged pores left in my cheek area so I am hoping this will be ok since the majority of the OCM oil has been purged out at this point. Also, I am attpting Tazorac spot treatment in those few remaining areas along with my RAM to see if it can dissolve them faster. I might do a few more peels too. Derm on Wed!


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Week 10

Had my 6 week Derm checkup. She told me it looked like I was really clear and had little to work on. She even said most people in her office would want my skin. :) We made an 8 week follow up and she said if I were still clear at that point we could start tapering off Spiro. I'm day 4 no antibiotics btw too. Especially since I don't really think it was hormonal. I told her about OCM and she had never heard of it but said it could have been the cause, no way to know. Derms never like to say definitive answers about causes it seems. I still think it was, the experiences with OCM were identical and the timing exact. I did a light SA peel last night for residual red marks ( I hardly have any now!) and the few tiny clogs still in my cheek area that seem like they are so small they might just dissolve. My forehead seemed like it was getting a few tiny whiteheads so now it's kinda red from the SA where the blemishes were. Husbands folks visiting next week and we move in 4 weeks!! I think I am quitting my job and going back to school full time for pre requisites for physical therapy or PA school. Still thinking about it.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Week 11

Well...this week has been kind of rough. My cheeks are still pretty much clear, but I had a huge breakout on my brow area and chin. Before all this mess happened I used to breakout in my tzone on occasion, so at least this is more characteristic of how my pimples used to be but it's really frustrating because my forehead and chin have been really clear for a while and I am on Spiro and topical retinoid. There are two things I am guessing caused it - I had a couple clogged pores on my cheek that I was mad at so I smeared Tazorac all over my face. The next day is basically when all the chin pimples popped up over night...along with my face majorly peeling and burning. Bad move on the Taz, I think I am going to throw that junk away. OR the fact that I stopped antibiotics 10 days ago. Regardless, my OCD kicked in and I stabbed at a bunch of the pimples creating several big scabs on my chin :( and my face had been so clear! It's like I'm self sabotaging since we have friend coming this weekend. I also put on my notice at my job yesterday so that caused stress. I have like 3-4 healing pimples on my forehead and like 6 healing pimples and scabs on my chin. There is one underground comedone on my chin still too. I ordered Omega 3 capsules and Saw Palmetto to incorporate into my vitamins for skin health since I think I'm going to start coming off Spiro this month. I don't feel like it reduced my oil and its not really stopping new pimples after almost 3 months while its stopped my period for almost 4 months which I do not feel good about. Well see if my period comes back on 25 mg. I think I might downgrade to Differin too. That worker wonders for me for years - I had some of my best skin on that stuff and its much gentler.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Well...2 days since I picked at my skin and the active pimples on my brow and chin are pretty much all gone. The big scabs on my chin came off too, so now I just have some pink marks and 2 tiny scabs on my forehead. I still have a bunch of tiny clogs on my chin area now and in between my eyes, which is so weird because I had been clear there for months and fighting my cheeks and jaw. Now that my cheeks and jaw are finally cleared, it seems my chin and forehead act up. Now sure whats up. I started tapering down to 25 mg Spiro, but this all happened before I changed that. Who knows...its weird that they arent pimples on my chin, just like little sebum plugs I can see rising up from beneath the skin. It seems like if I pushed them they would come out but ide probably just scab myself again. I am thinking about getting microderm again in maybe a week or 2. By then these plugs will probably be ready for extraction (also help with residual faint marks from the big breakout). My chin ones usually don't hang around too long. Currently, I am doing Differin on my whole face at night along with 2.5% BP on my T-zone area to stave off any potential bacteria. I rotate with a aqua glycolic toner (drying) and Paulas Choice Skin Balancing toner (moisturizing) in the mornings after showering depending on if my face feels oily or dry. Still figuring out how to incorporate SA 2% liquid.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Week 12

I realized that the Paulas Choice skin balancing toner was leaving a sticky film on my face that made it feel tight and oily during the day.....I bought Thayers alcohol free aloe vera witch hazel and so far it is feeling really nice. Incorporating it in as my new PM cleaner/toner. I have kind of started using Differin as a spot treatment (like I used to back in the day when my skin was at its best). It has been exfoliating like crazy and I dont really feel like I need intense exfoliation all over my face every night. I am trying PC SA 2% liquid in combo nightly to see if that will give the slight exfoliation all over. I still have quite a few clogged pores on my chin and in between my brow. Its like I had a resurgence lately. I have a few tiny ones on the left side cheekbones and near jaw, and a few on the right side cheek and jaw. They are all really small...I have a hard time telling what is "normal" or not and tend to freak out about every tiny new one cause I fear going back to the mess the OCM caused. I am down to 25 mg Spiro now for 1.5 weeks and seeing no difference.

I am getting microderm in 4 days. Hoping that will clear out some of these little clogs and even out some of the last post red marks.

Does anyone know if never having any tiny bumps/clogged pores is achievable? After the trauma of the breakout I have been dealing with over the past 10 months, I have a hard time remembering what my face was like before. I never looked at it as closely or examined it every day like I do now...so I wonder if I just didn't ever notice the tiny clogs before or if I really do have more now...I think I lost site of what my actual goal should be. Any advise much appreciated.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Week 13

Well it seems I have lost my audience on here. I had microderm on Tuesday with extractions, yesterday was good, but then last night I started getting a few swollen spots from some of the extraction sites on my forehead and chin. This is always a possibility with extractions. I squeezed some of the infection out in the spots, so I am hoping they will heal now. Something strange - I developed a weird almost cyst like swollen spot on my jaw before the microderm. She extracted it, and it totally vanished for a day but then came back with a vengeance today. Weird...I have not had a swollen one like this that occurred on its own in many months....I am praying that it is just a fluke. It doesnt hurt at all...is just reallllly swollen and red. At least its not in a noticeable place.

I switched to a new Paulas Choice Hydralight toner at night to cleanse that feels a lot lighter than the Skin Balancing. Also, I am using the Sanitas oil free moisturizer more consistently in the morning after my shower as I worry that the dryness here might be negatively effecting my skin's hydration even though I am oily. So far, my facial oil has not increased. It actually felt better the past couple of days.

I have been timid about taking the fish oils...I started then felt like I got a few more clogged pores so stopped after reading some anecdotal stuff online about it causing breakouts in oily skin. Anyone have experience with fish oils? I also started


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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I take spiro and I use fish oils to help with my joint pains I get. I do not break out from fish oil. Lots of people take it with no issues. Maybe change brands. It has so many benefits to using it I think you should give it a try again.


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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Well...3 months later (23 weeks I think?) and I am clear. My face is finally "back to normal". I have gotten off Spiro (been off for a month with no change). I actually dropped all the way down to 25 mg for a couple months because my period had disappeared for so long. It finally came back at 25 mg, but I thought at that point I probably didn't need it anyways...I really don't think my issues were hormonal...my pimples come all through the month, not associated with my period and they are not cystic (usually not even swollen) and not just on my lower face.

I moved back to TX 2 months ago!! My face was already doing a lot better in the summer in Colorado, but since I have returned home my face has shifted back to how it used to be. Only a few tiny clogged pores here and there, and everything resolves really quickly and extracts easily. Also, the overly oiliness is gone. Its like my face was just lacking moisture so bad in CO. Now its producing its old level of oiliness again here in TX. I got my tan back too. I have finally concluded that my breakout over the past year was brought on due to my use of the oil cleansing method, worsened by moving to an extremely dry and cold climate (my skin became overly clog prone and wasnt exfoliating well...and then I stupidly rubbed oil on it for months). And I am sure all the stress and anxiety it caused, along with moving and changing careers did not help anything. I am maintaining my face now with Differin (retin a micro was just a little too harsh at times) and Epidou for swollen spots. I still take fish oil too, but thats it! I have changed to CeraVe face wash and PM moisturizer, which I love and makes my skin all glowy with just the right amount of moisture.

I want to encourage others struggling with skin issues to not give up! This whole traumatic experience lasted almost a year....I didnt really start treating is correctly until 6 months ago. It brought on a lot of anxiety and depression in me that I had never had before. I feel like getting my skin back to normal, along with moving back to TX and getting my career and life back (and deciding to go back to school to pursue being a PA!) have helped me leaps and bounds. I am currently working on not focusing on my skin so much anymore (this past year has got me into a really bad habit of overfixating on it, especially because I am OCD personality type). I still get that sinking feeling in my stomache whenever a new little pimple shows up because I still think its just going to get worse again. My mind hasnt quite caught up with my skin, but its getting there. I am sure it will just take time and some retraining of the mind. If you have skin issues, see a dermatologist!! Dont give up with trying things, there are so many options out there and so many people with acne 100X worse than mine that have amazing success stories with the right treatment, so there is hope for everyone!


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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