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ccharms

Member Since 17 May 2013
Offline Last Active Dec 18 2014 10:59 PM

Topics I've Started

Question About Tazorac (And A Long Story)

10 November 2014 - 09:19 PM

So I was just prescribed Tazorac by my dermatologist today. Interestingly, she told me to apply it in the morning on an unwashed face, leave it for a few minutes max, then wash it off. Has anyone else been instructed to use it like this?

And to put it in context, here's my backstory... I had mostly non-inflammatory acne in my early teens that responded well to benzoyl peroxide and minocycline. It flared up again in my late teens-early twenties and responded well to Proactiv and Differin (adapalene). About a year ago, I developed a wicked breakout of nodulocystic acne. Of course it happened one month before I was supposed to be a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding, so of course I freaked and when it didn't settle immediately with Differin, I asked my family doc to prescribe Tactuo. Little did I know that it would set off a chain of awful events.  First, my skin got worse. So I decided to apply more Tactuo (Epiduo... adapalene + benzoyl peroxide). Got worse still. Saw another doctor (a GP) who told me that it was infected acne and he prescribed Fucidin ointment and doxycycline and didn't tell me to stop the Tactuo.  Skin got worse still. At this point, I figured I needed to see a dermatologist, but a referral through my family doc would have taken months potentially, so went to a walk in that offers same day consultations with certain specialists, one of whom wasn't a dermatologist per se but an internist with a special interest in dermatology. He said that it wasn't infected, but it was a bad case of contact dermatitis (at this point, I had developed small ulcers as well... ugh, stupid me) and told me to stop the Tactuo and start a hydrocortisone cream. Unfortunately, this clinic didn't really offer follow up appointments, so I still had to ask my family doc for a referral to dermatology, for which I ended up getting an appointment about a month later. Anyway, because of the ordeal my skin had gone through, retinoids were basically been a no-no for the past year and I've been on oral antibiotics (first doxycycline then trimethoprim) topical clindamycin, and Aczone (dapsone), which have worked... OK... which is to say that I still get the occasional nodule, but it disappears within days instead of weeks. So my dermatologist said today that we would add Tazorac to better prevent nodule formation and to help with the scarring and redness that I am left with as a result of this fiasco.

How To Go About Testing New Products

11 June 2013 - 08:52 AM

Preface: Feel free to skip the long background story... actual question is at the end (in bold).

 

I've had mild-to-moderate acne generally well controlled with benzoyl peroxide and, more recently, adapalene (Differin). About two months ago, I started to break out horribly across my jaw... probably a combination of getting lackadaisical with my skin care routine, running out of Differin, getting super stressed about exams, etc. Anyway, I freaked (naturally) and I found this forum. I thought I'd give the vaunted Regimen a try, with the Philosophy Hope in a Jar moisturizer (new product #1). I saw the Philosophy primer (The Present) while I was at Sephora and decided to give that a try too (new product #2). Just to be on the safe side, I also went to my family doc to get my script for Differin renewed... and while I was there, I decided to ask about Tactuo (adapalene-benzoyl peroxide; Epiduo), which seemed legit from the clinical studies and user reviews. Also, why not? I'd used adapalene and benzoyl peroxide before... what could possibly go wrong? So my family doc gave my some samples of the Tactuo and off I went with that (new product #3).

 

As luck would have it, my jaw got worse and, within about 7 or 8 days, my cheeks started to swell and I developed these crazy vesicles and pustules on my cheeks that wept and crusted. Then I started to get these small erosions/ulcers within those areas. Hideous, right? Anyway, after seeing a whole bunch of different doctors, the consensus seemed to be that it was a contact reaction to one of the new products I was using. Which product? Well, because I'm a genius and I started three new products all at the same time, I'll never know. To be fair, though, I don't have any allergies and I've never had any problems with anything I've put on my skin... and I've used tons of over-the-counter acne treatments, prescription topical acne treatments, and cosmetics.

 

Right now, I'm doing OK with doxycycline and PhisoHex, but (a) I still have a few whiteheads/pustules and (b) I really don't want to using either one forever. At the same time, I'm too scared to start/restart anything containing adapalene and/or benzoyl peroxide. So my question to you is... how do you go about trying new products (e.g., do you patch test, where do you test, for how long do you patch test before letting yourself use it more extensively, etc.)