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Tazorac + Doxy Log

tazorac doxycycline retinoids retin a micro comedone closed comedones comedonal acne blackheads antibiotics whiteheads

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#1 katie789

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:47 PM

Hi guys!!

 

I'm an 18 year old trying to get rid of her acne once and for all smile.png

 

I have suffered from acne since my freshman year of high school (mild to moderate). My acne was never really cystic - I had inflamed pimples and blackheads in my T-zone. Through trial and error over the years, I was finally able to clear my skin through using Retin A Micro 0.04% (RAM) at night, along with Aczone or Finacea in the morning (alternating each day).

 

However, during the fall of last year, I began noticing closed comedones (whiteheads) on the sides of my chin. I began using the RAM in these areas. However, this did nothing, and my comedones worsened. They began to spread to the rest of my chin, on my upper lip, and in between my eyebrows. My nose, which has always had blackheads, became even more clogged. The worst part is that these comedones become inflamed zits and leave hyperpigmentation behind.

 

I talked to my derm about this, and she upper my RAM to 0.1%. This did not help, even after 6+ months. She said that the next thing to try was Spiro, which I did not want to take.

 

(I have, however, through my own research found that Paula's Choice AHA and BHA gels do help to reduce the clogs to some extent - see my routine below.)

 

I recently switched derms. He is putting me on Doxycycline (75 mg) and Tazorac cream 0.05%. I am hoping that the Taz, being a stronger retinoid, will help to eradicate these comedones. I also think that my skin may be slightly resistant to the RAM, as I have used it for the past 5 years. Because retinoids have worked well in the past, I'm hoping that a different retinoid will shake things up and clear my pores. Here is a great link describing the differences between RAM and Taz:

 

http://www.skinacea.com/retinoids/natural-vs-synthetic-retinoids.html#.UsjULODFXJw 

 

As of now, my skin consists of comedones on my chin, nose, between my eyebrows, and on my upper lip. My "problem area" is definitely my chin (esp the sides). I get the occasional random pimple, but for the most part, any inflammation comes from my comedones becoming infected.

 

My current routine:

 

AM

Wash with Cera Ve hydrating cleanser

Mix Paula's Choice BHA 2% gel with PC AHA 8% gel

Cera Ve moisturizing lotion

Aczone or Finacea (alternate)

 

PM

Cera Ve hydrating cleanser

Taz 0.05% cream

Cera Ve lotion

 

*Take 75 mg Doxy with dinner

 

I will be documenting my progress on both Taz and Doxy - partially for myself, partially because I have been lurking on other people's logs for a long time and find them extremely helpful. Please comment with questions, support, or advice smile.png

 

Other Links:

Facial Masks I Recommend: http://www.acne.org/...ks-i-recommend/


Edited by katie789, 10 January 2014 - 10:01 PM.


#2 katie789

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:38 PM

Day 1:

 

No drastic changes. The Taz did not even making my skin dry or flaky. I do like that it is a cream - I feel like it's more hydrating than the RAM gel.

 

A blackhead on my upper lip surfaced this morning and I easily pushed it out. Not sure whether this was due to the Taz.

 

I go back to school in 3 weeks, so I am hoping my initial breakout will be before then. Will I even get a major one being that I was on a retinoid before? I guess I'll see. I'm also hoping that the Doxy will help with my IB.

 

Oh, and I haven't started the Doxy yet - I start tomorrow night.

 

Hopefully there will be more to report tomorrow.



#3 katie789

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:33 PM

Day 2:

 

Nothing much new here. My skin is not even dry from the Taz. However, I have noticed that some blackheads (esp on my nose) are "surfacing" and softening up and becoming easier to extract.

 

I took two 75 mg pills of Doxy right after a huge dinner - no nausea or anything to report.

 

I have also started gently exfoliating with a washcloth to get rid of some dead skin.

 

Hoping for more drastic changes tomorrow. I really would like to get the IB over with ASAP.


Edited by katie789, 06 January 2014 - 10:07 PM.


#4 katie789

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:15 PM

Day 3:

 

Still no dryness or irritation. A comedone on my chin did become inflamed today, which is good. I'm not sure if this is due to the Taz or not. However, it does not feel as angry and sore as it normally would - I'm thinking this may be due to the antibiotics bringing down some inflammation.

 

I do think the Taz may be worsening some pre-exisiting hyperpigmentation. The spots seem more pink/red.


Edited by katie789, 07 January 2014 - 09:16 PM.


#5 katie789

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:13 PM

Day 4:

 

I see more of a change in my skin today!! My face is slightly more sensitive and pink, and stung when I applied my BHA and AHA this morning (but still no dryness). My skin appears smooth, which is nice. I can see another comedone becoming inflamed on my chin, which I'm taking as a positive sign. Maybe this is the start of my IB?

 

I may ask my derm for the Taz 0.1% strength at my next appt (in a week) just so I have it (in case the 0.05% does not clear me up completely).

 

Does anyone know good manual exfoliation methods? I've been using a washcloth but I worry it is too harsh. I'm considering the baby brush method.



#6 katie789

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:58 PM

Day 5:

 

Definitely beginning to see the effects of the Taz. My skin is very dry today. After washing and drying my face this morning, my skin started to scale up and get all flaky. I gently buffed away some flakes with a washcloth, and applied my CeraVe. I skipped the AHA/BHA today - my skin already stung just from the lotion, so I figured acids would be too harsh.

 

I also think my IB is officially starting. Yet another closed chin comedone became inflamed, along with a comedone on my forehead. The blackheads on my nose are becoming a little smaller. Last night, a blackhead in between my eyebrows became inflamed and I gently pushed it out with a tissue.

 

I'm not sure if the Doxy is helping at all. I expected it to help with the inflammation as my comedones surfaced, but they are just as red and angry as ever.

 

A lot of people have seemed to have their IBs start 2 or 3 weeks in. I'm wondering why mine is (seemingly) starting so early. Maybe because I had already been using a retinoid prior to Taz? Or maybe this isn't even my IB - but I find this hard to believe, considering the amount of comedones that have surfaced in the last couple of days. I guess I'll continue on and see.



#7 katie789

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:24 PM

Day 6:

 

Things are definitely progressing. I can feel more closed comedones on my chin surfacing and becoming inflamed. The blackheads on my nose have significantly decreased!!! I'm very excited about this. Also, my skin in general has become very smooth and glowy. I have noticed that the Taz speeds up the healing process of pimples (similar to what I saw with Retin A, but better).

 

I was able to use my AHA, BHA, and Finacea this morning without irritation.

 

I would like to speed up the IB process somehow (going back to school in less than 2 weeks), but I'm not sure if this is possible. I'm thinking of using Aztec Healing Clay mud masks to draw some impurities to the surface, but this is a very intense/harsh mask, and I'm worried it may be too much with the Taz. My goal is to do a mask tomorrow; we'll see how it goes.

 

I am enjoying exfoliating with a washcloth when I wash my face - it leaves my skin smooth and flake-free. So far it hasn't been too harsh.

 

If anyone reading this would like a review for any product I use (CeraVe, Aczone, Finacea, PC AHA and BHA) please let me know smile.png

 

I recently posted a thread about my favorite facial masks. The link is at the bottom of the first post if you are interested :)


Edited by katie789, 10 January 2014 - 10:02 PM.


#8 katie789

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 12:00 AM

Day 7 (end of week 1!)

 

Nothing new today. My skin looks good - smooth, glowy, and clear. No major dryness or redness.

 

It seems that the IB has stopped - the breakout I had a couple of days ago is over (just left with hyperpigmentation), and no new comedones are becoming inflamed. I wish they would get on with it and surface already! I can tell that a bunch are all going to inflame at once, probably soon. 

 

I can also tell that new clogged pores are being brought to the surface from the deeper layers of the skin. I find that I get a bunch of clogs close together, as if when one forms, the other pores receive "signals" also clog.

 

I will try to do the Aztec mud mask tomorrow.

 

I am also considering adding a toner to my routine - the Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner. However, I would only start this after my IB from the Taz is over, so I will be able to gauge its effectiveness better.

 

I forgot to take my Doxy this evening (oops) but I don't think it will make a huge difference.



#9 katie789

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:09 PM

Week 2, Day 1

 

Woke up with one inflamed closed comedone on my chin!! I'm weirdly happy about this…I guess one zit I get now is one less zit I will have when I go back to school. I also extracted a blackhead on my upper lip this morning.

 

Nothing else new to report -  rest of my skin is looking fine, although I did have a couple dry patches this morning.



#10 katie789

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:14 PM

Week 2, Day 2

 

Can feel a comedone inflaming on the side of my chin. Other than that, nothing new. The blackeads on my nose decrease with every day, and my skin is generally softer and smoother from the Taz.

 

It seems that my "initial breakout" has lessened…at the most, only one clogged pore surfaces during the day. I wish they would all inflame! There are so many more laying there under my skin. Ugh. Maybe what I first thought was my IB was not, and I'll get the real thing around week 3 like most people do. Well, almost halfway there.



#11 katie789

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:19 PM

Week 2, Day 3

 

Did an Aztec Healing Clay mask last night!! Weird thing happen though - my face was super red when I took it off. I'm not sure why, but it was probably due to the Taz. I slathered some Aloe vera gel all over and it seemed to calm down the irritation. No sign of redness this morning.

 

No new active pimples, except for the inflamed comedone i described yesterday. I find that my zits heal really fast on Taz. 



#12 katie789

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:19 PM

Week 2, Day 4

 

Two more comedones became inflamed on my chin.

 

I noticed that the blackheads on my nose are "softening" and becoming looser (easier to extract). I have a derm appt tomorrow evening - I might ask for Taz 0.1% just in case.



#13 katie789

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:01 PM

Week 2, Day 5

 

Went to the derm today…he said my face was looking a bit better. The nurse gave me a chemical peel and did extractions. My face is kind of inflamed and irritated from the peel and extractions, but I think that she got rid of some comedones. Unfortunately, I'm sure I'll be breaking out tomorrow due to her picking. Oh well. I also got two pustules injected with cortisone, so that's good. I've gotten the injections before, and the active spot goes away in a day or two, which is much quicker.

 

I didn't end up asking for the higher dose of Taz. My skin seems to be liking the lower dose, so I don't want to irritate it too much with an unnecessary higher strength. I'm going to wait until March (when I'm home from school), at which time it will have been 3 months since starting Taz and I will be able to actually see results. If my face is still not as clear as I'd like it to be, I can increase the dose, but for now, I don't think I need to. I want to see the results I get from the 0.05% before doing anything else.



#14 Valerie44

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:16 PM

Glad to hear your getting some results from Tazorac... I was using it for about a year or so and loved it! It helped a lot with my break outs and gave my skin a nice healthy glow but unfortunately it made my skin way too oily so I switched  back to Retin-A. Wishing you great success on Taz :)


MORNING

Wash face with Skinceuticals Simply Clean
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Moisturizer
Take Minocycline 100mg (when needed)

NIGHT
Take Spironolactone 50 mg
Wash face with Skinceuticals Simply Clean
Apply Aczone 5%
Retin-A .1% (waits 20 to 30 mins before applying)


MAKEUP

Origins Silk Screen Powder in Light Spice from Macys

Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Foundation
Lancôme Blush in Shimmery Pink Pool
Origins Lipstick in Buttercup
BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara in Black
Sephora Contour Eye Pencil Water Proof in Black Lace


#15 katie789

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:30 PM

Valerie 43, thank you so much!! Good luck to you too :)



#16 katie789

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:13 PM

Week 2, Day 6

 

Ugh my chin looked awful today…a bunch of the half extracted comedones became inflamed, so I have about 12 active spots on my chin right now (tiny, but still annoying). I myself extracted a few of the comedones that were becoming infected, so they would not become full-fledged pustules. I wrapped my fingers in tissues and gently squeezed on both sides. Still, there are so many red marks on my chin, even from clogged pores the derm did fully extract. I go back to school on Tuesday, so I'm hoping this clears up for the most part before then.

 

On the bright side, because I got so many comedones extracted, my chin is fairly clear of comedones - meaning that I can actually count the number I have. I think I have about 15ish comedones that still need to surface. I'm hoping I don't get more clogged pores - historically, even when a round of comedones surfaces, I have a billion more new ones sitting under my skin waiting to come up. It never ends. However, I don't see as many small ones forming, so I'm hoping that the next "round" is not too severe.

 

Also, my forehead is a mess from the chemical peel. I think the strength was too much - I could tell it was irritated last night, and I had dry patches all over my forehead this morning. That combined with my chin, my face is not too hot at the moment. Oh, and a clogged pore between my eyes became inflamed this afternoon, which I'm kind of happy about, because it has been really bugging me for a while.

 

Progress Check:

For the most part, my forehead, between my eyes, and upper lip are relatively clear - only one obvious clogged pore on each. My nose still has blackheads, but they have dramatically decreased. The overall appearance of my skin is better - smooth and glowy. Also, many chin comedones have surfaced, and I do not see as many new ones coming up. Fingers crossed that my skin continues to improve.



#17 katie789

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 04:36 PM

Week 2, Day 7

 

I can't believe I'm almost 3 weeks in!! I'm wondering if the dreaded 3rd week IB will happen…

 

Another comedone on my chin was inflamed this morning when I woke up (not one that had been picked it). Still have a bunch of red marks/scabs from the extractions…hoping they will fade soon. My forehead looks a bit better today, but it's still kind of splotchy and dry. I used Clinique's Moisture Surge (got it in a gift bag) on my forehead last night and I think it helped.

 

Considering doing another clay mask tonight to draw out more stuff - but I don't want it to be too drying on my forehead.



#18 katie789

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 01:31 PM

Week 3, Day 1

 

I have a lot of hyperpigmentation on my chin right now due to the extractions, and a scabbish thing between my eyes from the comedone that surfaced. My forehead is slowly going back to normal, but it is still a bit dry. I'm expecting my period, so I'm hoping I don't break out too badly in the next couple of days.



#19 katie789

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:18 PM

Week 3, Day 2

 

Still have scabs and hyperpigmentation all over my chin…I was hoping this would clear up before tomorrow, as I'm going back to school, but oh well. Also, when I woke up this morning, another comedone on my chin was inflamed.

 

My forehead seems to have recovered from the peel - it is no longer super dry and splotchy. I also did an Aztec Healing Clay mask last night, and my skin wasn't too irritated from it, which is good. I was also able to extract a couple blackheads on my nose after the mask - I think the Taz is really loosening those blackheads and the mask pulls everything out.

 

I've decided to stop taking the Doxy. I don't want to be putting antibiotics into my body. My acne is comedonal that turns inflammatory, so I didn't think antibiotics would help much anyways. They don't seem to be stopping my clogged pores from becoming zits.

 

Also, some bad news: It seems that the closed comedones on my chin are spreading to my jawline. I have about 8 comedones on my jawline right now. This makes me almost positive that my acne is hormonal. However, the good news is that the Taz seems to be helping with my clogged pores - I don't see any new ones forming, knock on wood - so if I am finally able to get rid of these comedones on my chin, it means the Taz will also work on my jawline. I hadn't been applying topicals to my jawline before (it was never a problem) so I am starting applying everything there. So far its not that bad, so I'm hoping to stop it before it starts.

 

Another important update:

I am going to start taking Lo Loestrin Fe birth control. My gyno prescribed it for me, and she said that it would help with my acne. My derm agreed with her. I am a bit worried because traditionally birth control pills that help acne have high amounts of estrogen, and this pill has the lowest amount possible. However, both doctors said it should help, and my derm said that the amount of estrogen shouldn't really matter. I don't know if he is right, but I'm going to take the pill and see what happens - hopefully my skin won't become worse.


Edited by katie789, 20 January 2014 - 09:05 PM.


#20 katie789

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:51 AM

Week 3, Day 5

 

Nothing new here. The hyperpigmentation on my chin is fading nicely. Otherwise, my face is the same.






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