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Member Since 06 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active Dec 17 2013 12:44 PM

Topics I've Started

(Pic Included) Dark Circles Under Eyes After Starting Retina-A (Tretinoin)

14 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

I started tretinoin (0.025%) two nights ago and woke up with puffy eyes. Not quite "swollen" but a little "puffy". Then this morning I woke up with a dark lines under my eyes, almost like dark circles. When my labmate saw me this morning he immediately asked if I got enough sleep last night which means it is pretty noticeable. (For the record, I did get plenty of sleep). I am not putting the gel anywhere near my eyes but I read that since it is absorbed through the skin it can effect sinuses, tear ducts, etc.

I took the photo a few moments ago and it has improved since I woke up. I suppose if you don't really know me that well it might not be very noticeable, but this is pretty abnormal for me.

I've read all over the place and I can't find any cases of this happening. I can't believe my luck.

Anyways, I left a message with my dermatologists office. I wont use the Tretinoin this weekend and I will take some Benadryl to see if that helps with the symptoms until I hear back from them. Posted Image

Has ANYONE experienced this kind of thing?

Shawna's Spironolactone Log

06 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

Days on Spironolactone: 9
Days without Picking: 0
Right Cheek: 1 active
Left Cheek: 1 active
Right Side of Chin: 3 actives
Left Side of Chin: 6 actives
Back: 3 actives
Scarring: Along my chin, jawline and underneath my cheekbones.  

I had acne on my forehead as an early teen. When I was 17-18 my acne transitioned to my cheeks and chin and my forehead completely cleared. At this point, my forehead never breaks out but I do have enlarged pores due to scarring. When I was 17 I went on Yaz and I believe this helped regulate my skin a lot. I still had breakouts pretty consistently but they only consisted of 1 or 2 cysts that were very manageable. Finally, last year, I got an IUD (Mirena) and my skin has been horrible since. To be fair, I also moved across the county and have undergone a lot of stress in that time period, so I think my increase in acne could be related to that as well.

I always have had irregular periods when I am not on birth control. Since my skin has been getting progressively worse, I decided to get my hormones tested. I am still waiting to get some of the results back, but I have been prematurely diagnosed with PCOS. My Lutenizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) ratio was 4:1 and it should be 1:1. Since I am not overweight (I've lost 30 or so pounds in the last few years), my doctor said it is no surprise that my androgen levels are normal. Androgens are what often cause acne and extra hair growth. Anyways, I'll update more on my blood work when I get the rest of the results back. I am still trying to interpret them. Since my androgen levels are normal, I'm also curious if Spironolactone will help since it works as an androgen blocker?

In the meantime, my Dr. (an endocrinologist) has decided to put me on 100mg of spironolactone. I take 50mg in the morning and evening.

Preliminary Results:
It has been 9 days so far and I feel like there is no visible improvement in my skin, but I feel like the inflammation under the skin has decreased.... if that makes sense. These results could be meaningless, since spiro is not supposed to take much of an effect until after a few weeks/months of use.

My major problem is picking. In fact, I just had a 10-15 minute picking session in the mirror about an hour ago. It makes me feel horrible and I know that I am not doing any favors for my skin. I wasn't always that bad, but the last year or so has put me to the test. My picking is the main reason why I have decided to post a log here. I know that documenting my results with spironolactone will help others, but posting here might also help me be more accountable when I'm in front of the mirror.

I'd like to somehow replace the habit with something that is good for my skin, but I am not sure what. Ideas? I'm also thinking about controlling how much time I spend in front of the mirror, since I know that it is a really big trigger for me.

The Rest of My Routine
I have gone on and off Proactiv for about 7 years. I am not the biggest fan, but I find that when I use it after discontinued use I get good results for a short time. Maybe 1-2 weeks. Then my skin declines and gets overly dry and new breakouts start. I know that i can use it safely for one week, so I will go ahead and do that now to try and clear up my skin a bit more. Then, I'll use a gentle cleanser (CeraVe) and moisturizer for the remainder of the spiro trial period.

In April I will see my endocrinologist again. I might request a larger dose of Spiro then if I do not see a lot of improvement. I'm also planning on seeing a dermatologist at some point. I would like to get Retin-A micro. In fact, I'm dying to get my hands on some. I feel like it is a great alternative treatment to benzoyl peroxide because it is known to actually improve the quality of the skin, whereas BP just dries it out.

My plan is to update ~daily to help control my picking, and maybe ~weekly to talk about the spironolactone results.

Thanks for reading!

xx Shawna