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i tried 5 month long period before, it worked for my back and chest acne (not completely gone, really more better than before), but it was partly good on my face. especially around my chin and nose area it did nothing. so i ended for my face. then two weeks ago, i decided to use it again (now with vaseline for moisturising and imex soap for cleaning). today i have two deep and persistent ones and a couple of smaller. everybody knows that tretinoin can develope plenty of them at the first weeks of the treatment (i experienced before). i think if this treatment is working for my body, it can work on my face as well. maybe it needs longer time. i hope.
WEEK 3: i decided to use tretinoin with clindoxyl for only initial breakouts because it helps to heal persistent and deep acne faster. 2 more huge and deeper breakouts in this week and so far the total number is 5 huge/deeper (3 gone), lots of (8-10 maybe more) smaller (all of them around my chin area and left side of my nose -right side no problem). the smallers are ok, they don't disturb me, nobody notices. the initial breakouts started with the second week. a little bit peeling and no redness so far because of vaselin. i use tretinoin (%0.1) every other night.
i will try to write the stiuation every week.
WEEK 4: this week i have no more huge and deep acne. they have been nearly cured, some dark areas remained. three medium size (papules) around my chin and nose and a couple of smaller acnes recently. i hope initial breakouts have just started to calm down. within next weeks i will see the first result i hope. i'm still using clindoxyl gel but not everyday. there have been lots of minor, non-infectious white spots which come to surface since the treatment began.
WEEK 5: i had 3 medium-size and 5-6 small-size acnes in this 5th week of tretinoin treatment with vaselin and clindoxyl gel. as i said before, i'm using clindoxyl for only breakouts for quick results. no more deep and huge breakouts in this week as well. but my skin remains uneven after breakouts. a little bit peeling no redness.
note: when i edit, helpful votes disappear ;)
WEEK 6: only one medium size pimple and lots of fast-growing small white heads around my bottom lip and nose (maybe 12-14 totally). sizes are decreasing which is good but breakouts are increasing so far. at the same time there are lots of non-infectious white spots around my chin, the most problematic part. uneven skin appearance is not good at all, some darker spots, pimples...
WEEK 7: medium size pimples (5-6) around chin and more small size white heads. nothing better.
WEEK 8: last week i was in holiday and i discovered that it is better to use bepanthen plus cream with tretinoin and vaseline. it is good for redness and also pimples themselves. the pimples become less visible. so this week it was a bit more better than last week. less medium size pimples and white heads, but not a big difference.
WEEK 9: only one middle-size and a deep cystic one in the right side of face, close to my ear but it is hardly noticable because it is really deep. i think this is not related to tretinoin because i didn't use it in this area regularly. except this, this week was relatively better.
WEEK 10: best week ever! no new huge or medium-size acnes, just some tiny whiteheads. i hope this is not temporary.
WEEK 11: better than last week! just a few whiteheads...
WEEK 12: a few whiteheads, one bigger (not too big) deep but hardly noticeable acne around my chin.
I have struggled with acne as an adult for years. At first I thought I could treat it myself however it quickly became evident I was loosing the battle. My dermatologist initially prescribed me onexton, which helped at first but then seemed to stop. When she prescribed me retin A I was nervous because I had read about the "purge" that users experienced. Retin A has been a miracle! I did not experience a purge and although it makes my skin dry, it has cleared my acne completely!!!
So ive been using 0.1 tretinoin for just over two years and my skin, my confidence, as well as my relationship with my skin (and myself) has changed so much. Now instead of getting panic attacks near mirrors and obsessively checking my skin, I love staring at my smooth complexion and admiring just how much better it gets every day.
This was not the case when i first began my treatment as many of you know the purging stage happens at around the first few weeks/months of daily use and I was still very emotionally vulnerable and sensitive about my skin problem so it was a difficult time seeing my skin go from problematic to lots of clogged pores unplugging themselves all at once all whilst going to school and interacting with people. There was no hiding my skin problem anymore as concealers only made my dry bumpy and healing skin look worse and redness persisted as my skin tried to adjust to this new irritant routine.
At that point I knew there was no going back and i continued to use retin a daily slowly incorporating a non irritating moisturizer into my night time routine as my skin needed it and it didnt slow the process but helped my skin heal quicker. I find paraffin/petrolatum based creams for very dry and sensitive skin are best as they deeply moisturize, arent irritating and help remove flakes.
Retin a has taught be to be patient with my skin as before I would scrub and squeeze the hell out of it and for what? Temporary feeling of gratification which resulted in superficial scarring. With retin a i learned to give my skin time to heal and clear itself naturally and I havent gotten a scar since. I am much MUCH less compulsive about my appearance now than i was and I have also grown to be OKAY with whenever i do get acne, because i know it wont harm me. its normal, its only temporary and most of all doesnt define me as a person. <--This was not how i felt before i began my treatment, it took about 7 months for me to adjust to the routine and develop the patience and discipline required to have and maintain the baby soft baby smooth skin i have now.
I had acne in highschool and it cleared my sophomore year of college, via differn gel (accutane helped to clear me in hs). After the accutane i was pretty clear and really didnt do much to fight the acne. It eventually went away 100 percent with differin. when i was 25 I noticed i was developing a few pimple here and there which blew up into full blown acne. I tried over the counter BP gel and this absolutely made my skin worse. I think my skin is too sensitive for bp. After this i tried doxycycline and ziana for my face. the ziana definitely gave me an initial breakout pretty bad, it was very hard to get through. After a month of that i swithched to bactrim and retin a micro .08. Immediately i noticed a difference in my skin (2 days). the bactrim made my skin look almost tan and it definitely helped dry out pimples. I retin a was much better on my skin than ziana which gave me a sticky feel. Retin a micro made my face feel smooth the next day, although there was some sensitivity the next day it was nothing compared to 10 percent BP. After 2 months on this regimen i can say that i am 100 percent clear. i give it 4 stars bc the initial breakout is vey difficult.
My thoughts on acne:
Acne is a seriously challenging monster to battle, don't let anyone convince you that just because it is common that it isn't serious. I dont know if I will ever go through anything as traumatic as acne. I've told a friend before that i would trade a hand or foot to have clear skin and i'm sure some of you out there would do the same. Acne is on your face everyday and in the way of every face to face interaction you have. A friend of mine from high school just got in a car wreck and is having facial reconstructing surgery and i'm sure she will be dealing with a similar challenge as an acne sufferer goes through. The reclusiveness, the tears and anger at her situation. She will atleast have one thing an acne suffer doesn't have, she will have the full compassion and understanding of all of her friends and family. Because acne is so common, acne, even server forms often get down played and or ignored by our friends and family. Also people will even blame our acne on us being unsanitary or not properly washing our face like 'they' do. as acne sufferers we are traped in this tug of war between being a victim and being at fault. We are told it is normal and nothing to worry about, but we see the scars forming and we see the picture of those with more serious acne. I can say i understand how confusing it is to be in this living hell.
Just know you aren't alone, and you can get 100 percent better. And for now know that people will love you,and jesus will love all the same. Maybe we go through these events in our lives and can create positive outcomes from them. Maybe we will be that inspiration for someone who is on the verge of suicide and they see your positive outlook despite having acne and decide not to take their lives. just know we live and a broken world with car wrecks and acne and evil all around us but we can have peace and love and satisfaction with jesus in our hearts. And ironically our struggles are our best tool to spread the love we find to others.
However.... does work, to a certain extent. I find the 3 month rule bullsh*t. The retin-a 0.05 only started to show signs of improvement at the end of june (i started in february, 5.5 months ish) and that was only after a HORRENDOUS belated purging phase. I had a lottos under the skin bumps prior to retin-a, thus why i got it, and since then i only have a few on my face and nothing else, I'm not 100% clear but around 80%. The under the skin bumps only went away around month 5 though, so be patient. Use sunscreen.
I've only done one round of Retin A. Fortunately I did it when the only thing I had to do was stay home and hide for a week and a half. Yes, you will peel like you have never peeled before. If you're someone who doesn't have the luxury of getting to stay home and hide, I would recommend something else. BUT, I have also found that If i put a tiny bit in with my nightly moisturizer it works pretty well in maintaining clear skin once the "uglies" are over. If you really want clear skin, just bite the bullet for a week or two, and make sure you DON'T OVERDO IT. It's worth it in the end.
I'm writing this review because reading reviews of retin-a, the side effects and the trials and tribulations helped me stick at it & get where I am today.
Retin-a does work but yes, as everyone else says, it takes a serious commitment. I have been using it for just over 4 months and I am finally starting to see the results I want.
My face was a state when I first started using it. I actually had folliculitus on my forehead and medium acne around my chin, but it just never got better. Everytime a spot started to go away, another one would come up. I decided to buy retin-a (off prescription and online - obviously I don't recommend this - you should probably see a dermatologist!) after reading about how it could help.
For the first 8-10 weeks of using retin-a my face was pretty much a mess. Spots everywhere - skin erupting where it wouldn't usually erupt (cheeks), dryness, flakiness, redness, sensitivity etc etc. It was bad and I felt very self-conscious a lot of the time.
Where as my face was relatively oily before, it was now super dry, so I had to go out and by all new skincare, makeup products. I used cerave moisturisers, and around week 4 ish I came up with a system to keep the crazy peeling at bay.
Step 1: Wash face (using oil to remove makeup, then tea tree soap)
Step 2: Apply rich moisturiser all over (I used a caudalie one)
Step 3: After 20 minutes apply retin-a
Step 4: After another 20 minutes apply cerave night moisturiser
I did this for up until about week 12, which was when my skin finally to recover from the crazy dryness and I started to see the results I wanted.
At this point I had A LOT of hyperpigmentation - all the scars from my breakouts over the last 3 months were so red, I also have pockmarks from some of the really bad spots, but not many. And now retin-a is taking care of both of those.
Now my regimen is:
Step 1: Wash face with an oil - either jojoba or hemp right now (I haven't yet found any other cleanser that works for my skin)
Step 2: Let dry and apply moisturiser to only parts of skin that are very dry (not very many - usually around lips)
Step 3: Apply retin-a after 20 mins
In the morning, I wash face with water usually and then every other day I am using a 5% glycolic acid treatment to help with skin renewal and removal of dead skin cells.
Yes my skin is still dry and I do still get spots - because it is hormonal - but overall I am very happy with the results. The scars are fading, my pores are clearer and my skin is smooth. It has also helped a bit with fine lines.
I will continue using it, and I would encourage others, unless they have an allergic reaction to it, to stay the course for 12 weeks or longer to actually see any real improvement.
Hope that's helpful!
For context: I'm 17 and have had moderate acne since I was 13. I tried everything OTC and nothing really worked. Last year, I went to a dermatologist and tried several different combinations (Epiduo + Doxycycline, Acanya + Doxycycline, etc) and finally, Acanya and Tretin-X (0.0375% tretinoin). That combination worked and I was the most clear I'd ever been since I started getting acne. My dermatologist then suggested I move to a stronger tretinoin (Retin-A Micro in 0.08% formulation) and that worked just as well, but also helped with my oiliness. I had a lapse in treatment (Tretin-X was discontinued, I couldn't find Retin-A Micro in that formulation, and I had no time to really follow my routine), but even some application overnight worked. I'm restarting with Aczone and Retin-A, but the lesson is: It takes time, but it will work.
When used correctly, tretinoin is a miracle beauty cure sent from the gods. With anti-aging benefits and powerful acne treatment properties, both tretinoin products I've used pack a one-two punch. I had success with Atralin as well as Retin-A Micro, you can read my full review at my blog Creation Despite.
I am 15 and have quite a bit of acne on my face, so after a year or so of doing Proactiv (which amazing affects wore of after a few months), I decided to ask my doctor for solutions and she gave me Retin-A (0.05%) and Minocycline. I found that the Retin-A wasn't really working at first and having naturally oily skin, didn't have the dry skin I heard talk about, so my doctor bumped up my percentage to 0.1%, which almost immediately gave me dry, flaky skin, which I know is supposed be a part of the process, but I didn't find any changes in my acne, the old was still there, the new still coming in, so I went back to my and got something called Differin XP, which is another topical cream (0.3%) which gave me the same side effects and results as Retin-A, so I have recently stop using it and switched back to Proactiv which seems to be working again for me. I feel this product can work if you can live with the side effect of constant dryness and peeling, since I would normally stop applying it for a week because my face would become so dry, sensitive and red, even with constant mosturizing. Also at the beginning my acne will flared up, but a few weeks later it started to go down a bit.