I've had acne for six long years. It flared up four months ago. Then I went on birth control and retin-a which MADE IT WORSE. I could honestly vouch for the most ridiculous initial tretinoin breakout. I'm trying to keep a positive outlook and telling myself that my skin will be clear soon, but I can't help but obsessively check my mirror 30 times a day!
I've been on retin-a for .1% for 6 weeks now. It was given to me by a friend, so 0.1% was my only option and it irritated my skin badly but I think it helped speed up the purging process. I had numerous humongous zits that drained by itself daily. My face was extremely bumpy, dry, raw, painful, etc...
During the past week or so, my face has calmed down. I'm still getting 3-4 zits per week but they come and go very quickly and are not cystic. When I feel my face now, it's really smooth and soft which means there's no more stuff to purge out right? However, the retin-a worsened my hyperpigmentation by 20 shades. My face is red, purple, and discolored all over. Keep in mind that I'm only six months in retin-a.
I'm scheduled to start Accutane in 2 weeks but now I'm scared. I heard that Accutane doesn't help with hyperpigmentation at all and in fact worsens it (the last thing I need lol). I have active acne still but the active acne is not bad anough that I would want to worsen my scars for. Also, I found out that accutane dries out the joints and I already have TMJ so I don't want to cause permanent damage to my jaw joints.
If I take accutane, would I have to repeat the IB all over again? Or did retin-a already purge out all the comedones? Is accutane worth risking more scarring and TMJ?
Or should I just keep with retin-a since my skin is responding to it? I mean I have't really seen the "improvement" part of retin-a, but I'm only 6 weeks in.