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25F, Spiro: My Last Resort!

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Hi everyone,

I'm here to show my progress with spironolactone.

My background: Suffered from acne since I was 13. Didn't get real bad till I started college, started getting quartered size cysts. Parents refused to let me see a dermatologist before then, so all I was on up until that point was Minocyclen and Tazorac. When I started to get cysts I begged my mom to let me see a derm and after the first visit I got Accutane. My 7 month course cleared me up well. The ortho tri cyclen I took a month before starting gave me the worst cystic acne breakout ever, about 10 penny sized lumps all along my right jawline.

Even though accutane cleared me, I still broke out a little here and there, mostly around the time of the month, nothing extreme. The oil came back in about 2 years and I noticed I started breaking out a little more, but again no cysts and nothing extreme, but annoying nonetheless.

I went back to the derm and he prescribed me doxycyline, never tried before, and tretinoin, and he said these should work better now after accutane. It helped a little, but not what I had liked, but again no cysts so I dealt with it.

Started my last semester if college and whamp, my face broke out all over! Then my worst nightmare, I got a quarter sized cyst in the same place I got a previous one year earlier! It was heartbreaking and I asked myself what am I doing to deserve this and that if accutane didn't help, I'm doomed! The condition my skin was in stressed me out to the point where I did not want to leave the house, was no longer social and I just stopped eating altogether. I was a skinny, malnourished acne ridden freak.

I finall went to the derm again and saw his PA-C, who seemed to listen to what I had to say more than just writing me a script and leaving the room. At first, she suggested another course of accutane but knowing my current mental state and all the side effects I got from my previous course (gave me eczema I still suffer from, intestinal problems, made my cholesterol go through the roof) I wanted to try something else.

My brother, who had acne in high school was put on bactrim and cleared up, and it never came back after stopping. Knowing how antibiotics work, he probably outgrew his acne and the bactrim helped him along. Thinking that my current breakouts are from stress from school, I asked to try that, maybe it will help calm things down for a while and my acne will subside in the mean time. She also gave me duac and tretinoin. I also just started ortho tri cyclen lo, needed birth control but was afraid to take the regular ortho tri cyclen because of the cyst problem I had last time and the other icky side effects I got from that bc, so my primary doc told me this has less side effects.

I don't think it took more than a week after starting all this stuff that I started clearing up. Within a month I was 100% clear. I stayed on everything for about a year and then was weaned off of bactrim, still clear. Being so clear, I felt normal and stopped the topicals too. Washed my face with normal face wash and was fine! Still took my birth control and still had oily skin, but barely broke out, never got more than 1 or 2 zits a month and they were little ones!

Fast forward 6 months later, my insurance changed at work and my birth control was no longer free. So I switched to the generic ortho tri cyclen lo and noticed a decrease in my libido. So, being with my fiancé for a while and living together, I stopped taking my birth control thinking it would be ok to just use condoms and be careful.

BIG MISTAKE! After going off birth control, I noticed the breakouts I got during the time of the month were a little more severe than they were on birth control, but it was manageable. Fast forward 6 months later and they were getting pretty annoying and my PMS symptoms sucked too so I started up ortho tri cyclen lo again, the same exact stuff I've been on before with no problems , thinking this would help the problem.

This made everything worse. Instead if breaking out a week before my period, I started breaking out all the time. Mind you, no cysts but I always had at least 5 pimples on my face and sometimes they were big pimples that had yellow heads. But it was weird and came in waves. One week I would break out, the next I would be clear, then it started all over again! Enough is enough, I couldn't see my derm without a referral this time so I went to my reg dr. And told her this stuff is making me break out. Of course, my skin cleared up that week and she said no to a derm and wouldn't even prescribe me anything! She said give the bcp 3 months to kick in and the benzoyl peroxide that I'm using to spot treat is interfering with the bcp so stop using that and use salicylic acid. That was probably one of the most bullshit answers I ever heard, but I followed her directions for another 2 months and if course things got worse and I saw her again, this time with a breakout and she referred me to my derm. I was able to see the PA-C the next day and she asked if I wanted to do the bactrim, duac, and tretinoin again and although I was tempted to because I know bactrim will help, it's not solving the root if my problem, which I think are my hormones causing this. All my breakouts are on my chin and jawline, sometimes cheeks, my forehead is completely clear, I haven't had a pimple there in years! Also the breakouts started because of starting/stopping birth cobtrol.

I asked about spironolactone and she didn't hesitate about it one bit and said its good for chin acne. She said I could take bactrim too but wants to see if the spiro works first. She also gave me duac, which I love as well.

So below is my progress, I just documented my current active pimples to see if there's a pattern and of any changes. Too embarrassed to take pics, sorry!

9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new

9/28- 4 active, 0 new

9/29 -3 active, 0 new

9/30 -4 active, 1 new

10/1 -5 active, 1 new

10/2 - 8 active, 3 new

10/3 - 6 active, 0 new

10/4 - 6 active, 0 new

10/5 - 5 active, 0 new

10/6 - 4 active, 0 new

10/7 - 6 active, 3 new

10/8 - 5 active, 2 new (I think I am purging as my neck and some parts of my face have little whitheads pimples that aren't inflamed, there's about 10 of them but I'm not counting them toward my actives because they seem to go away pretty quickly)

Also I've noticed my oil production slowing down tremendously, which is great! But now the duac is making my face flaky and itchy, I guess from the dryness?

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Hi, I hope the Spiro helps you as good as it does for me. I have ahd those strange whiteheads and clised comedones in the beginning as some kind of purging, got rid of them with BHA 2%.

I really hope for you that you are one of those whose acne just clears up without any initial breakout. But be aware that many women get a really bad IB with spiro, and it will usually take 3-4 months at least to start working, for some more than 6 months.

So don't give up even if you get relapses, it will get bette!!!


Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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Thanks! That's a good idea with the BHA. Parts of my face have been dry for a few days to the point where a piece near my lips is a bit bloody so I may try that next week if things are ok in that department.

If this is the initial breakout, this is nothing! It's just a lot of little tiny bumps on my neck/jawline, you can't see but I can feel them and they itch like crazy! I wonder if it's a rash? Anyway, today's been a decent day regular pimples-wise.

9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new

9/28- 4 active, 0 new

9/29 -3 active, 0 new

9/30 -4 active, 1 new

10/1 -5 active, 1 new

10/2 - 8 active, 3 new

10/3 - 6 active, 0 new

10/4 - 6 active, 0 new

10/5 - 5 active, 0 new

10/6 - 4 active, 0 new

10/7 - 6 active, 3 new

10/8 - 5 active, 2 new

10/9 - 3 active, 0 new (still not counting the little tiny bumps all over the place!)

Oh and I wanted to point out, especially since I am not posting photos, that I have relatively mild acne. I mean, I think it's terrible but my fiancé and mom think I'm overreacting. I tried telling them it's the point that I went through hell and back (Accutane and other stupid treatments) and I still can't go out without makeup and the fear of cystic acne returning is something I fear worse than death! They just don't understand that. But I usually don't have more than 5-10 (small/regular pustules or sometimes large ones, no cysts), as you can see my worse days I'm heading towards 10 and my good days I have 3 or less, sometimes none but those days have been rare lately. And I count them as active until they are completely flat and gone so I could have a pimple that's gone pretty much just waiting for the bump to disappear.

I'm hoping since my breakouts are mild (yet irritating) that the Spiro will work pretty fast and more easily.

I'm on 50mg Spiro a day I take in the morning. I'm reading about everyone taking 100mg or more, will I see results with 50mg?

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9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new

9/28- 4 active, 0 new

9/29 -3 active, 0 new

9/30 -4 active, 1 new

10/1 -5 active, 1 new

10/2 - 8 active, 3 new

10/3 - 6 active, 0 new

10/4 - 6 active, 0 new

10/5 - 5 active, 0 new

10/6 - 4 active, 0 new

10/7 - 6 active, 3 new

10/8 - 5 active, 2 new

10/9 - 3 active, 0 new

10/10 - 4 active, 1 new + 20 little tiny bumps all over the place!

Today isn't a good day, almost at the 2 week mark. The little bumps that started to pop up the other day, which I'm assuming is the initial breakout/purging of my skin, are really getting me down. They are not really noticeable because they are under the skin but they itch! I'm hoping this is just the worst of this and that they go away and don't turn into anything large. Right now they are jump little bumps, size of pencil points, and are in clusters. One cluster on each side of jawline/neck area (left & right), cluster around my upper lip, clusters on both cheeks closer to my lips, and like 3 on my forehead.

I also have 4 active pimples, 3 smaller pimples and 1 that was a big pustule that is still healing from about 2 weeks ago, it's almost gone. All are on chin and jawline.

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My doc added Doxy for me to prevent the worst of the IB because it can be very bad and even cystic. Hang in there, it takes time for this to kick in, usually months.


Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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I started (again) spiro 2 weeks before you did and i already see results. No acne free yet but definitely less severe and fewer. Until the third week i saw no improvement at all, but it can take months in some cases so hang on and don't get disappointed. It is worth a try, it helped many of us so much. I hope it will clear all of us completely.

When i lowered my dosage to 75 mg i started breaking out again.. generally the dosage is 100+ mg but there are women that stay clear with 50 mg. Every one is different so there is no way to know the dosage you in particular need. I suppose you could ask to take 100 mg and when it clears you you can experiment with the dosage but again it's too early to see results and 50 mg may be great for you.


What clears my acne:

Spironolactone 100 mg + limiting dairy

indoxyl (duac) gel + aha + baby brush for comedones.

3hnd.jpg


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9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new

9/28- 4 active, 0 new

9/29 -3 active, 0 new

9/30 -4 active, 1 new

10/1 -5 active, 1 new

10/2 - 8 active, 3 new

10/3 - 6 active, 0 new

10/4 - 6 active, 0 new

10/5 - 5 active, 0 new

10/6 - 4 active, 0 new

10/7 - 6 active, 3 new

10/8 - 5 active, 2 new

10/9 - 3 active, 0

10/10 - 4 active, 1 new + 20 little tiny bumps all over the place!

10/11 -10 active, 6 new + small bumps under the skin

Today continues my initial breakout. Some of the little under the skin bumps that formed over the past few days have either disappeared or for the most part turned into regular pimples (on the smaller side, no cysts).

I haven't broken out like this in a long time, so of course I'm a little depressed. Just hoping it stops and this is it.

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It can continue for a while.. But it shows it is starting to work, so don't give up


Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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UPDATE!

Everything has progressed from bad to 10000x worse.

I counted every pimple that has appeared on my face right now. I went from 4 actives to 30. They are no longer just little bumps but rather painful ones and I think some of them are turning to cysts. Tons on my neck and jawline, chin and around the mouth.

I want to stick it through and hope this drug works. I'm gonna try to contact my dr to see if she will put me on an antibiotic to help this thing. This is terrible.

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Try to stay strong (easier said than done, i know), hopefully in a few months your skin is going to be great!


What clears my acne:

Spironolactone 100 mg + limiting dairy

indoxyl (duac) gel + aha + baby brush for comedones.

3hnd.jpg


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Still bad today. It feels a lot worse than it looks. My face is dry and itchy and bumpy. The bumps for the most part are skin colored so you can see them unless you get real close but you can feel them.

Here are some pics, I was trying to find lighting where you can see what thee things look like.

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post-72429-0-29691800-1381581311_thumb.j

post-72429-0-43334700-1381581342_thumb.j

post-72429-0-20771900-1381581275_thumb.j

post-72429-0-66919200-1381581290_thumb.j

post-72429-0-29691800-1381581311_thumb.j

post-72429-0-43334700-1381581342_thumb.j

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That is pretzy exactly what happened to my skin . But it did not hurt, rather feel itchy and all the pores that were clogged started to turn into these little pimples


Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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That is pretzy exactly what happened to my skin . But it did not hurt, rather feel itchy and all the pores that were clogged started to turn into these little pimples

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Yes I think it is purging. It lasted for a good month


Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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So today everything is the same pretty much. My skin is so dry and tight I think it's helping dry up these little spots. A few have calmed down, most remain the same and I have my first cyst in almost 3 years pop up from this madness on my jawline. I'm gonna try calling my derm tomorrow and ask for an antibiotic, even though I think this could ease up by the end of this week, I'm scared it could get worse and I could break out in more cysts.

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Things are looking kinda better today. Most of the bumps on my neck and jawline are gone. Still have some bumps around my mouth that are drying up. There's a cyst/large pustule on my jawline near my ear. My forehead, which is normally clear has a few tiny clogged pore bumps.

I'm starting to think the cause of my breakout was not a purging effect caused by spiro but in fact an allergic reaction to new makeup I just started using about 5 days before this breakout occurred.

I say that because thinking back, I thought the breakout was a rash at first because it itched and was on my neck/jawline on one side. Then it spread to the other side and all along my neck to behind my ears. Who gets pimples behind their ears?! Then it went up along my hairline on the sides of my face and around my mouth/up around my nose a little. They didn't look like normal pimples either, most were skin colored.

My fiancé looked puzzled because I said I had a million pimples on my face and that means huge red bumps but he said my face looked fine, in fact clearer.

Yesterday I stayed home and didn't put on any makeup so I noticed there was no itchiness.

It sucks though, the new stuff I bought was the best makeup I ever used and looked great! But I'm gonna go back to my old stuff to see if I see any difference.

FYI the makeup that I had used that u think could have caused this was:

Kat von d lock it foundation

Makeup HD setting powder

Shiseido makeup primer

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I bet it was the primer. Primers generally do stuff like that to my skin, I cannot tak one, not even the expensive ones


Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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We will see if it is. I stopped using it and went back to the makeup routine I use before the new stuff...ugh, I spent $100 on the new stuff and it made me look flawless! Except for when my face erupted in bumpies everywhere! angry.png

BTW, I called my dermatologist office and let them know the situation with my flare up and they pretty much told me to deal with it and call back in the beginning of November to let them know how I'm doing. So I didn't get an antibiotic to help calm things down and they gave me the whole speech about with new acne treatments it will get worse before it gets better most of the time. UGH

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Better day today. Just woke up. A lot of the clogged pore bumps are drying up and peeling off as well as the zits around my mouth that formed from them. Still got that cyst on my jawline hear my ear but it's not visible when my hair is down and doesn't bother me too much so I'm leaving that alone.

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I just put some makeup on and it makes all these tiny little bumps I gave around my mouth really noticeable, more noticeable than what I thought I had so all the bumps I thought were gone are still there, just can't feel them but I I can see them and it still looks like a rash on my face. Why won't they go away? I tried putting salicylic acid peel on them and they felt like they dried up but when the skin peeled off this morning, the little bumps ate still there.

I'm feeling discouraged right now. At least I know with inflamed pimples, once the gunk inside is expelled it heals and flattens. These things aren't budging.

Here are what these bastards look like today. Still ugly.

As you can see I also have rolling scars on parts of my cheeks thanks to the cystic acne I got as a teenager.

So as if scarring wasn't enough to make me feel ugly now I have a rash of pimples all over that I can't even hide.

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post-72429-0-71001500-1381850131_thumb.j

post-72429-0-26019800-1381850145_thumb.j

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Aaah I hate those. I do not think Salicylic Acid once will help. I use it in 2% twice a day and 2- 3 times a week I substitute my night salicylic acid product with 10% AHA. This does clean out the pores and the surface, but unfortunately it takes some time. Like everything about acne, I hated that sooo much, everything takes FOREVER until you have results. Although I have to say that the paulas choice pruducts showed great improvement after the first use, but the I again went through some kind of purging (or whatever) process when all of that gunk came out.


Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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Things have been looking up today and yesterday. The little bumps are going away and peeling off, I'd say about 90% gone.

No new breakouts since the initial breakout last week and the cyst on my jawline that came with the initial breakout is healing nicely.

My skin feels dry, I think it's from the duac and the spiro controlling my oil. At the end of the day, my t zone feels a little slick, but not like it used to.

So hopefully this clearing of my IB and no new ones means I just suffered through the worst and there will be improvement here on out?

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Ok because my skin is back to normal and have no crazy little bumps anymore, going back to my initial reporting.

I'm happy to say everything cleared up quite fast and well and I'd say I'm about 95% clear. Still have the cyst healing on my jawline and one or two clogged pores still lingering. But the worst part is over. I also just got my period and I usually breakout bad beforehand, but all is well!

9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new

9/28- 4 active, 0 new

9/29 -3 active, 0 new

9/30 -4 active, 1 new

10/1 -5 active, 1 new

10/2 - 8 active, 3 new

10/3 - 6 active, 0 new

10/4 - 6 active, 0 new

10/5 - 5 active, 0 new

10/6 - 4 active, 0 new

10/7 - 6 active, 3 new

10/8 - 5 active, 2 new

10/9 - 10/16 - INITIAL BREAKOUT, tons of clogged pores, some turned into zits and one turned into a cyst. All along jawline, around mouth, a few I forehead, and along sides of face near hairline.

10/17 - 3 active, 0 new most of IB has healed. One cyst and 2 lingering clogged pores/small pimples

10/18 - 3 active, 0 new

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9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new

9/28- 4 active, 0 new

9/29 -3 active, 0 new

9/30 -4 active, 1 new

10/1 -5 active, 1 new

10/2 - 8 active, 3 new

10/3 - 6 active, 0 new

10/4 - 6 active, 0 new

10/5 - 5 active, 0 new

10/6 - 4 active, 0 new

10/7 - 6 active, 3 new

10/8 - 5 active, 2 new

10/9 - 10/16 - INITIAL BREAKOUT, tons of clogged pores, some turned into zits and one turned into a cyst. All along jawline, around mouth, a few I forehead, and along sides of face near hairline.

10/17 - 3 active, 0 new most of IB has healed. One cyst and 2 lingering clogged pores/small pimples

10/18 - 3 active, 0 new

10/19-10/28 - Not one pimple, face was about 98% clear, still had the cyst that was healing and an old pimple bump that never fully went away. But no new actives!
10/29 - Some clogged pores popped up around my mouth and on my jawline, about 8 of them I count. Small and unnoticeable but definitely discouraging after more than 2 weeks of no new actives.
Not sure what could be the cause of it, here is what I am contemplating:
1. Used makeup primer I used a few weeks ago before my initial breakout (discontinued during initial breakout, thought it may have been a cause).
2. Started using Tazorac sparingly (every other night) a week and a half ago
3. It's day 10 of my cycle, according to my birth control pack.
I'm still on 50mg of Spiro. I get to call my derm in about 2 weeks with my progress. Not sure what she'll do without seeing my face. I'm assuming nothing because I've been doing well post initial breakout but my face is still a bit oily and I'd like for my dosage to be upped so my oil decreases like it did while I was on Accutane.

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9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new

9/28- 4 active, 0 new

9/29 -3 active, 0 new

9/30 -4 active, 1 new

10/1 -5 active, 1 new

10/2 - 8 active, 3 new

10/3 - 6 active, 0 new

10/4 - 6 active, 0 new

10/5 - 5 active, 0 new

10/6 - 4 active, 0 new

10/7 - 6 active, 3 new

10/8 - 5 active, 2 new

10/9 - 10/16 - INITIAL BREAKOUT, tons of clogged pores, some turned into zits and one turned into a cyst. All along jawline, around mouth, a few I forehead, and along sides of face near hairline.

10/17 - 3 active, 0 new most of IB has healed. One cyst and 2 lingering clogged pores/small pimples

10/18 - 3 active, 0 new

10/19-10/28 - Not one pimple, face was about 98% clear, still had the cyst that was healing and an old pimple bump that never fully went away. But no new actives!
10/29 - Some clogged pores popped up around my mouth and on my jawline, about 8 of them I count. Small and unnoticeable but definitely discouraging after more than 2 weeks of no new actives.
10/30-11/6 - I have 2 actives on my face. One is a cyst, a small one that I got last week. Not even sure if it is a true cyst, more like a large pimple that never came to a head, It's smaller than a pencil eraser but it's slowly getting smaller. I'm hoping it to be gone by the weekend or next week. The other active is a small pimple. Other than that, maybe a few clogged pores but nothing worth mentioning. Oh yeah, that cyst I got a few weeks ago is gone. Hooray for that!
I get to call my derm Friday (being 6 weeks since starting Spiro) to tell of progress. Not sure what they will do, I'm assuming keep me on the same dosage.
Does anyone think I am improving, I know there aren't any pics but I think I am. It's weird, I feel like these breakouts are coming in waves. My face wasn't too bad when starting spiro, 2 weeks in it was TERRIBLE, cleared up and didn't get one single spot for over 2 weeks, then had a mild breakout again. Any explanations?

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