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Week 3 Of Tretinion And The Dreaded Initial Breakout

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#1 Megs410

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 02:48 PM

Hi everyone nod.gif

 

So i was prescribed .05 tretinoin at night, clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide in the morning, and ortho tri-cyclen for what my derm believes is hormonal acne. I'm 3 weeks into the tretinoin and clindamycin/benzoyl and a week and half into the ortho tri cyclen. 

My acne started randomly a few months ago mostly on my chin, lower jawline, and lower cheeks. Never had a problem in high school...I'm 21 now. shrug.gif  Its caused me a lot of emotional and self-esteem problems. 

So yesterday marked week 3 for me and i'm pretty sure I'm in the initial breakout stage as my chin area is an utter mess and VERY painful. I got at least 5 new pimples in what seemed like less than 2 days. And these are the deep, under the skin type pimples. Very large and inflamed and impossible to cover up. My skin was burning badly after I moisturized this morning and I've experienced those flakes everyone talks about which are VERY ANNOYING. Its so hard to even put foundation on. Did anyone else have the breakout phase? How long did it last and is your acne any better? I guess I'm just looking for some hope with everything. Praying that this clears up in the next few weeks eusa_pray.gif



#2 leelowe1

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:15 PM

Hi - yes, retionoids are a marathin and the IB sucks ass.  From what i know, the IB can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to clear up depending on how bad your acne it.  At week 10, i thought that Atralin was working as i only had 1 pimple but then the cycle started again and i kept on breaking out so for me the IB never cleared up but if retinoids work for you, by month 3 you shoudl be seeing consistent improvement



#3 Tootie2014

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 10:46 PM

3 weeks was like clockwork for me, 4 at once on my chin area and 1 on my neck last time I quit and got back on. But it all died down and no more came. They say 6 months is your peak acne benefit time, and 12 months for thickening skin/collagen fullness benefits. First it looks like crap on both accounts, then it's all beauty after that :)

I don't know how you tolerate so many topical products though. BP would fry me on top of tretinoin. I would just use calamine every night with a q tip on the big ones and pop a benadryl and they'd be gone in a few days. I don't use BC anymore because it tended to go haywire a few months in, but tretinoin alone has me 100% clear from chin, neck and jawline acne.

#4 Megs410

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:53 PM

3 weeks was like clockwork for me, 4 at once on my chin area and 1 on my neck last time I quit and got back on. But it all died down and no more came. They say 6 months is your peak acne benefit time, and 12 months for thickening skin/collagen fullness benefits. First it looks like crap on both accounts, then it's all beauty after that smile.png

I don't know how you tolerate so many topical products though. BP would fry me on top of tretinoin. I would just use calamine every night with a q tip on the big ones and pop a benadryl and they'd be gone in a few days. I don't use BC anymore because it tended to go haywire a few months in, but tretinoin alone has me 100% clear from chin, neck and jawline acne.

Thanks for responding! My derm put me on the combo BP and clindamycin...the first few weeks it burned like crazy everytime I tried to put a moisturizer on over top of it! It was just a neutrogena sensitive skin water based moisturizer so I have no idea why it burned? huh.png Its not as bad now I usually wash my face and wait 15 mins before putting on the bp and then wait again and put on the moisturizer and that helps. He said it was good to have a topical antibiotic along with tretinoin. It does seem like alot of chemicals tho!



#5 Megs410

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 05:05 PM

I also just wanted to update this in case anyone is reading! So I'm now on week 6 of the tretinoin and clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide and I have definitely seen improvement from week 3 :) Right now, I do not have any pustules or cystic acne like I had during my purging phase (knock on wood I hope I didn't jinx myself!) I also went off of my birth control about 2 weeks ago because it was making me severely depressed and dizzy and it just was not for me. Kudos to anyone that can stick with Ortho-tri cyclen but my body is WAY too sensitive for it lol
 
I'm coming up on my prime breakout time however (the week I ovulate) and I'm scared to death I'm going to wake up with 5 new pimples again...it's exhausting to worry about it. I still get flakes but they aren't as bad...every once in awhile I'll get a soft wash cloth and gently exfoliate to get rid of the dead skin. I wear a moisturizing sunscreen of spf 50 everyday because I know if I get sunburn it'll make me want to peel my face off (I've read the horror stories ) I'm hoping the hyper-pigmentation will start to clear up soon too 

I'll update in a few weeks again!

Also, I found this site that gives a breakdown week by week of tretinoin. I'm not saying this is the same for everyone, but it gives me hope that my skin will go back to normal if I just stick with it!
http://acne.about.co...A-Treatment.htm

Edited by Megs410, 07 June 2014 - 05:12 PM.


#6 Tootie2014

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:43 AM

I do the same with a warm wet cloth and then tidy up with my dry towel to catch all of the dead skin that rolled off. If I don't then my skin looks kind of snakey under makeup. My guess is you'll be smooth sailing now unless your skin gets irritated from the BP.

During ovulation I do sometimes get an ITTY BITTY bump (the kind your friends complain about and you roll your eyes at), so I think you'll be pleasantly surprised :)

That's a great site and I hope more cystic acne sufferers see it and stick with tretinoin; I quit so many times in the past so I totally get it.

#7 Megs410

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 06:04 PM

I do the same with a warm wet cloth and then tidy up with my dry towel to catch all of the dead skin that rolled off. If I don't then my skin looks kind of snakey under makeup. My guess is you'll be smooth sailing now unless your skin gets irritated from the BP.

During ovulation I do sometimes get an ITTY BITTY bump (the kind your friends complain about and you roll your eyes at), so I think you'll be pleasantly surprised smile.png

That's a great site and I hope more cystic acne sufferers see it and stick with tretinoin; I quit so many times in the past so I totally get it.

 

My God...makeup and tretinoin definitely do not mix! The flakes made it impossible to look good...sometimes I felt worse with it on. I did wake up with a bump on the side of my chin today where I am acne prone...but it seems smaller than the ones I'm used to having. I'm hoping it will go away within the week and won't turn into a pustule!  I can feel a few under the surface bumps that I hope will go down and will not become inflamed.

 

It's weird, but I find myself really obsessed with skin now that I'm going through all this. Even when I'm in public...I constantly catch myself staring at people's faces to see what their skin looks like. This is something I never really cared about before because I never had a problem with acne. But now I just can't help it! blink.png



#8 Tootie2014

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:43 PM

I know; I have to be careful so it doesn't take over my life. I'm now experimenting with tackling my scars so it's a whole new journey to obsess over!

Yeah my skin's texture is way better naked, if I'm on a kind of half-peeled day I have to reach for the maybelline color stay which is a real thick creamy foundation and sometimes even throw a thick primer under to make a smooth base. But if I really go to town with a dry towel I can usually hang with bare minerals. One thing I learned is to make sure I use the tretinoin ALL OVER so I get as close to a consistent base as possible.

At least with the tretinoin acting like a meat tenderizer your new bump will come to a head quick if it's going to at all. And good part, you'll probably never see a big one again in the places you're getting them now as that sebaceous gland is shrinking up :)

#9 Megs410

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:00 AM

I know; I have to be careful so it doesn't take over my life. I'm now experimenting with tackling my scars so it's a whole new journey to obsess over!

Yeah my skin's texture is way better naked, if I'm on a kind of half-peeled day I have to reach for the maybelline color stay which is a real thick creamy foundation and sometimes even throw a thick primer under to make a smooth base. But if I really go to town with a dry towel I can usually hang with bare minerals. One thing I learned is to make sure I use the tretinoin ALL OVER so I get as close to a consistent base as possible.

At least with the tretinoin acting like a meat tenderizer your new bump will come to a head quick if it's going to at all. And good part, you'll probably never see a big one again in the places you're getting them now as that sebaceous gland is shrinking up

 

Hoping with every ounce of my being that I'll never see those cystic bumps again! eusa_pray.gif  I use neutrogena's healthy skin foundation when I have to but I honestly try to not use it...it all depends on my self-esteem for that day lol Before I had problems I would get like 1 pimple once in a blue moon and it never really bothered me. But now everytime I get one I'm like OH MY GOD THEY'RE ALL GOING TO COME BACK and I just freak out. How long have you been using tretinoin? What strength do you use and are you still on it?


Edited by Megs410, 10 June 2014 - 11:05 AM.


#10 Tootie2014

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:53 PM

Oh Lord, off and on for years. I didn't understand how it worked when I first used it in 2009, so I would get clear and jump off. Then break out again, reach for other stupid products etc. My biggest stretch was the last year and a half, clear the WHOLE TIME, never happened before in my adult life that long. Started with .01 on my chin and threw .05 on my forehead for my fine lines and on my neck for some old scars, then a month in jumped to .025 on my chin. Decided on my 30th bday this year that maybe my skin wouldn't be so oily if I stopped, started getting ruddy looking after I quit for a couple months and that's when I realized tretinoin was my holy grail and started reading the actual studies on it. About 4 weeks ago I got back on the .025 on my chin and boy did it bring a few to the surface, and they hung around like a week and a half. Now I'm healing and back to no oil on my face and I'm staying on this for a few years this time. I use a generic cream form. And I really like having multiple doses to use.

That's why I wanted to post here, seems like the key to tretinoin is not quitting or else you're back at square one. Wish my derm had informed me about all of the phases.

#11 Megs410

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 05:07 PM

Oh Lord, off and on for years. I didn't understand how it worked when I first used it in 2009, so I would get clear and jump off. Then break out again, reach for other stupid products etc. My biggest stretch was the last year and a half, clear the WHOLE TIME, never happened before in my adult life that long. Started with .01 on my chin and threw .05 on my forehead for my fine lines and on my neck for some old scars, then a month in jumped to .025 on my chin. Decided on my 30th bday this year that maybe my skin wouldn't be so oily if I stopped, started getting ruddy looking after I quit for a couple months and that's when I realized tretinoin was my holy grail and started reading the actual studies on it. About 4 weeks ago I got back on the .025 on my chin and boy did it bring a few to the surface, and they hung around like a week and a half. Now I'm healing and back to no oil on my face and I'm staying on this for a few years this time. I use a generic cream form. And I really like having multiple doses to use.

That's why I wanted to post here, seems like the key to tretinoin is not quitting or else you're back at square one. Wish my derm had informed me about all of the phases.

 

I'm glad you've found that it works for you! I hope that this works well enough that I can stay on it for years without becoming immune to it...if that's even possible. My derm basically told me "it may get worse before it gets better" but he never said when I should expect it or for how long or anything. I did a lot of research by myself online...especially when I had my IB I would read people's testimonies that said to stick with it stick with it stick with it. Because I almost quit it completely...I didn't know it would happen so I didn't know what to expect. I think that's why a lot of people quit...they're not properly educated about tretinoin and get freaked out when the IB happens. 

 

I'm still just on the .05 and I don't go back to see him until the end of July for my 3 month checkup. Just gotta keep telling myself that tretinoin is a marathon...not a sprint. eusa_pray.gif






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