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Every moisturizer is burning my skin - recommendations?

Decided to hop back on this website and give a little update. While no one else may be reading these, I find them really helpful for myself in getting a good idea of how my acne has progressed.
So, how my skin is today - Incredibly dry ALL over my mouth, most likely as a result of Tazorac (10% gel), two pimples on my forehead, a few pimples and cysts on my neck, and quite a bit of spots on my jawline, but most of them seem to be healing (thank GOD).
After Paula's Choice didn't work out so well, I decided to get back on Tazorac. I guess it's been about two months maybe? Since this would be my 2nd (or 3rd.. I can't remember) time using this topical, I made the mistake of starting off strong, applying every night, making me skin pretty awful for a while. Started over and slowly built up to applying every night. During this time my skin has been INCREDIBLY SENSITIVE, even worse then the other times I was using this topical.
It was at the start of May that I started noticing my acne coming back with a real vengeance. It seemed to be a rollercoaster, where my skin was looking good for a week, and then the next week it was trash. Two weeks ago my skin was looking pretty good, save for a lot of hyperpigmentation, but unfortunately this week it's been more on the "trash" side. I suspect the various moisturizers I've tried using. I'd been using the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion for forever and wanted something new and moisturizing to help with how dry my skin was. Unfortunately my skin is still incredibly oily, just dry on certain areas, so I didn't know how I could possibly combat those both.
Went to Sephora and bought two moisturizers. For the daytime I got the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel+. I like it as it feels refreshing, but again, it doesn't do anything for my dry areas. Also, lately I've found it burning my skin a little. Not returning just yet...
For the nighttime I used the Boscia Oil-Free Nightly Hydration gel - didn't like it. I thought it might be great if I had JUST oily skin, but it did nothing for my dry areas, and even made my eyes and skin burn. Returned.
Then purchased the Derma E Hydrating Night Creme. Did it moisturize well? Yes! Did it burn my skin? HECK YES. Returned after realizing it was also a bit too thick and clogging my pores.
After expressing my disappointment with moisturizers online, a friend of mine recommended baby lotion, as she'd had severe acne and said when her medication made her skin dry she loved baby lotion to combat dryness without leaving a greasy feeling. I used it for about two weeks until I started noticing not just that my skin was breaking out more than usual, but also my skin would burn upon application. Not returned, but passed on to mom.
So I finally decided to go back and purchase the CeraVe moisturizer I used to use and love. I used it during the daytime and my skin felt great! But I used it again before bed and it stung! I was so disappointed and basically have concluded that my skin is just too sensitive and every moisturizer will probably burn me.
If anyone has suggestions on moisturizers to use while on Tazorac please let me know!

P.S. Just as a little note to myself later - I'd also purchased the Belif Tea Tree Oil treatment for acne spots. Unfortunately I found it wasn't for me. Using it as a spot treatment was too much work because I had spots all over my face. Putting a few drops on my hand and then spreading it all over my face wasn't good either because it used up too much product. I ran out of it in like 2 weeks!

Mels23

Mels23

 

Looking Back

I had a dermatologist appointment on the 19th and I TOTALLY FORGOT so I had to reschedule for the 15th of next month I look through my Bactrim album and I just love seeing how well my skin has been doing in comparison to when I first started. I've still got a lot of scarring, and I still get small pimples here and there, but the hyperpigmentation seems to be fading away, and overall I'm just really liking how smooth my skin feels (AT TIMES. I mean, when it's not feeling super oily. I really think it's my moisturizer.. the Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer). I actually feel perfectly fine going out in public with no makeup on. I wasn't super big on makeup when I was in middle school/high school. It wasn't until senior year when my acne got really bad that I felt the need to cover my face up. Nowadays it's like, if I'm going out and I'm trying to look nice, then I'll put on my liquid foundation. But if I'm not in the mood to dress up, I'll just apply a mineral foundation that really doesn't offer much coverage. If I'm not leaving the house (which happened often during the summer) or I'll just be out for 5 minutes, then I won't bother with either. Basically, I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Oh, and I've just started my 3rd year of college. It's only been one week, but I know the stress is coming, and I'm hoping it doesn't ruin my face too much :v Photos:

Mels23

Mels23

 

Time to make another change I guess?

Its been about 15 weeks since I went off of Ery-Tab, and 30 weeks since going on Tazorac and Benzamycin. My current facial status? Not too sure. I can recall my last post saying that my skin was doing really well. That was the last week of October. Since then my skin's status has been fluctuating. It got pretty bad the last week of December when I was on my time of the month. Currently I've only got about 3 or 4 active pimples along with 4 or 5 cysts along my jawline. Overall my skin looks clear, but the cysts are pretty painful.
Still, I've got so many questions popping up in my head. Are the topicals not working for me anymore? Am I not using them as often as I should be? Is it my eating habits? Did my Benzamycin go bad since my derm told me I didn't need to keep it in the fridge even though thats what everyone else and their mother said to do? Or is it simply because I'm not taking an antibiotic anymore and thats the only thing that will ever help me?
In the 4 years Ive been seeing a derm, that's what I've learned, that taking antibiotics will always clear me up, but anywhere between 3-6 months after giving it up, my acne will come back.
At this point in time I'm planning on tossing out the Benzamycin and ordering the Paula's Choice Acne Kit. I've heard some really good things about it.

Current Skincare items:
Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
The Body Shop Vitamin E Night Cream
BENZAMYCIN (morning)
TAZORAC (every other evening)

Mels23

Mels23

 

One Week Done

One week since I started taking Ery-Tab and using Tazorac & Benzamycin. Skin is looking the same in terms of acne production. I've got some pimples on my cheeks, a couple on my forehead, and some cysts along my jawline. I could say I've developed a lot of whiteheads and some papules on my nose too, instead of the usual blackheads. A noticeable change since last week is the redness - makes my skin looks super irritated. I bought the Mario Badescu Healing and Soothing Mask yesterday after reading reviews about how it helps with skin irritated from topicals treating acne. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm really hoping it helps. One thing that bothers me is the application of Benzamycin. After I first picked it up I read a review saying to make sure that the pharmacist mixes it well, because if not then it'll be super chunky and hard to apply. Well I look at what I've got and sure enough it's chunky. I tried mixing it as best I could but it doesn't help. When I apply it I feel like I'm not getting all that much product on my face because most of it pills (I can feel some of the product, I just mean what feels like a lot of it pills off). I keep it in the fridge like the directions say, but my derm said I don't need to do that (can't remember exactly why, I guess something about that hindering it's performance). So, last night I left it out to have it melt a little in the hopes that it'll be easier to mix and apply smoothly (Update: It did apply nicer, but still lots of pilling). Next time I see my derm, if she still wants me to use it, I'll ask if we can do the paks instead of the premixed version.

Mels23

Mels23

 

Week 4 - Ziana

Quick update - I think I'm finally in the purging phase. My breakouts are getting pretty bad. Not to mention they're leaving me with a bunch of dry spots all over my jawline, cheeks, and around the mouth. It's making it hard to put on makeup without it looking all crusty :[ Another possible trigger may be stress - finals next week! Actually I had my first one yesterday, and it totally kicked my butt. Now I'm studying for 2 more, as well as preparing for 2 papers, so I'm def feelin it. Also: I'm no longer putting up photos on my gallery. I don't know how I did it when I had my severe breakout last year, but I tried putting one up the other day and I ended up taking it down. I keep the photos on my computer so I can keep up with my progress myself, but because of that I don't feel the need to put them on here anymore.

Mels23

Mels23

 

Little Rant

2 weeks since starting Ery-Tab, Benzamycin, and Tazorac. After my skin started getting really red I eased up on the topicals, using them only every other day. I have noticed my skin isn't as red, so that's great. Still breaking out badly though. I've developed a few painful bumps on my jawline. Yesterday as I finished up washing my face I noticed I was bleeding on a bunch of spots, presumably pimples that I'd accidentally popped. Now, onto what's been bothering me. The other day I went out without makeup because why waste my foundation when I'm only going to be gone 5 minutes? I head to CVS, pick up my stuff, and head to the checkout line. The cashier is like "You know what works pretty well? Witch Hazel". I pay, head to my car, and drive home, with that simple sentence being replayed in my head, over and over, for the rest of the day. I get that strangers want to be helpful when they recommend stuff, but honestly it just irritates me. Friends are always saying "Acne doesn't define you!! You're beautiful with and without makeup!!" but that's really hard to believe when you get total strangers telling you what you should do to get rid of it. It basically just reminds me that people do notice my acne, and that even if I try to go to the store and buy stuff like a normal person, that's the first thing people will see about me. Yeah, maybe he had acne and fixed it and just wanted to share it with me to help me out. But honestly, it hurts that he would suggest it at all, because that shows me that he thinks my acne has affected me that much. A few weeks ago I saw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWTRwj9t-vU, and it resonated with me so much. Although I don't have a youtube channel and don't get comments directly targeted at me, I see them all the time. Doesn't wear makeup - "You look tired" "Do you even wash ur face?" "Wow ur ugly :/" "Honey you should really try _________ to get that fixed" Makeup tutorial - "Too much makeup. That's why you have acne". "You're so fake" "If you wear makeup it's because you're insecure" "This is why I have trust issues" I hate it. I hate that there's no way for people to stop commenting on how we look. Sure, maybe we wear makeup because we're insecure. That's our call. It makes us feel nice so we do it. Maybe we're tired of people telling us that we're beautiful without makeup, and yet constantly trying to show us how to get rid of it. What I hate most is that I personally don't have an issue with my acne. I know it's just something that I have, and that it makes things a little more difficult (basically everything I said above). I know I'm not alone in this fight either. I don't care that people notice it, because let's be real, the first thing you see on someone is their face. I care that people act as though it defines me as a person, and that I won't be satisfied until I get it under control. I just want my acne to be something as mundane as the bird crap on my car.

Mels23

Mels23

 

Day 20 - Still No Improvement

I took some photos of my face, but I didn't put them up because they look almost exactly like last week's photos... I've been on Spring Break, so I went about 6 days without putting on makeup, and still, nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed since last week. I'm still washing with the Cetaphil antibacterial bar, applying Epiduo and Clindamycin, taking Bactrim DS twice a day, and my skin looks just as bad as it did 2 weeks ago.. I ran out of mineral foundation, and since I don't want to be applying liquid foundation every day, I went out and bought myself the Neutrogena mineral sheers loose powder foundation (I used it last year and liked it, but then again my skin wasn't that bad...). I also wanted a new concealer, so I got the Physicians Formula Conceal RX. Now I'm a bit worried about the PF concealer because I just realized that it has sodium chloride, and doesn't that have a comedogenic factor of 5?... But I've been looking around and I've seen a few people say it doesn't break them out, so I guess I'll give it a go.

Mels23

Mels23

 

Week 7

A week ago I bought some vanilla almond milk (sugar free) and have been using that instead of regular milk (just ran out last night so I'm going to have to go out and buy some more!) I also just yesterday started taking some Vitamin D-3 capsules (2000 IU). I'm no nutritionist so if this doesn't sound perfectly safe for some reason feel free to let me know. Onto the skin - it's still pretty bad. Still using Ziana. Most nights I take off my makeup with coconut oil, and I'll usually end up unintentionally popping some pimples in the process.. But I have noticed that the impacted pores on my forehead are receding. I can remember a few weeks ago washing my face and feeling what seemed like 100 little bumps all over my forehead, but now I can only feel about 8. The other day I was talking to someone about acne, and she asked if I'd ever tried birth control. My derm did suggest it about a year ago, but at the time my blood pressure was too high so she suggested I deal with that first. Thinking about bringing it up again at my next appt, just because for some reason I feel like I won't get my acne under control unless I go back to using an oral antibiotic (which sucks because I feel like it's slowly ruining my system in other ways).

Mels23

Mels23

 

Week 10 - Stressing

I've finished 10 weeks of Ziana, and unfortunately, absolutely NOTHING has changed. I'm still going to use it until I've done 4 months, but the fact that I haven't seen any changes at all is really disappointing. At the moment I'm having a bad breakout since I just started my period, but honestly it's not all that different than what I normally experience. I've been getting a lot of acne on my neck, which is usually how I know my acne is bad. It's also been a month since I gave up milk, reduced my dairy consumption, and started taking vitamin D-3, and unfortunately just like with the Ziana I haven't seen any changes at all. I'd been thinking about getting the Clarisonic for a while now, but my family and I are having a lot of financial issues at the moment (I just found out I'm not going to be getting the Cal Grant, so I'm going to have to borrow about $4500 in loans). Even so, my dad's been begging me to see a "better" dermatologist, saying that he doesn't care how much it costs. All this said, I'm most likely going to instead be getting the Sirius Skinsonic. If anyone has any experience and thoughts on whether it's worth it or not please let me know!

Mels23

Mels23

 

Seems Under Control!

Saw my derm yesterday, and one of the first things she said was "Wow your skin has gotten so much better!!" Last week I was reading on some ways to help control oily skin, and I heard about using a clay mask, so I went out to CVS and bought the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Avocado and Oatmeal Facial Clay mask. I used it every day for 3 days, for just 5 minutes, and the evening of that 3rd day, as I was washing my face, I realized my skin was super soft! It's been 3 days since then, and it amazing - I don't have any pimples! (At least not any noticeable ones!). Back to the appointment! Despite my skin being very red from a slight sunburn, and still lots of hyperpigmentation and scarring, my derm said my acne looks really under control, and said that I can go down to just one Bactrim pill a day. She also mentioned that if in 2 weeks my acne doesn't come back, I can go down to one pill every other day, and then in another 2 weeks, if I'm showing no signs of a flare up, I can finally stop! Hoping things will work out! I'm still cleansing with the Cetaphil antibacterial gentle cleansing bar and using Epiduo, but I'm wondering if Epiduo even does anything for me anymore. I'm supposed to stay off of Epiduo for about 3 days before until 2 days after my appointments since I get chemical peels. What I've noticed is my skin doesn't really get any worse while I'm off it. Not sure if it's just not that long of a break, but I'm contemplating whether I should give it up for a few days to see. I mean, last time my insurance didn't cover, so I got it at $50, but if it's not doing anything for me then what's the point? My derm said that Epiduo can help scars fade but I can't find any sources about that online.

Mels23

Mels23

 

Severe Effect Of Minocycline

I've been on Solodyn (Minocycline) for a little more than a year, taking 115 mg once every morning. As I mentioned in my previous post, based on my weight, I should have been prescribed 80 mg, but I figured my derma knew what was best. I was pretty satisfied with the medication. I never had an entirely acne-free face, but it was definitely much better than it had used to be. Well, here's where it went downhill. 5 months ago, during a trip to Yosemite, I began getting headaches. I had one one day, and then another the next day. Strange, considering I don't get headaches often. I associated it with the high altitude we were camping in, as well as motion sickness from winding mountain roads. Once we returned home, I started my second year of college, and those first few weeks were hell. My headache wasn't going away. I couldn't pay attention to lectures. I started seeing blurried spots in my vision. My parents said maybe I needed new glasses, but I knew that wouldn't fix it. One Friday, I couldn't even drive myself to school. My mom drove me to the optometrist. She gave me an intense eye exam and found that my optic nerve was severely swollen. She said I needed to have a CT scan or MRI done, stat. Had a CT scan - no noticeable tumors shown. Spinal tap - he told me the fluid looked good but that I'd receive further results later. I had an MRI done a week later, and again, they found nothing abnormal. My doctor finally diagnosed me with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). What that means is that I've got increased cerebrospinal fluid around my brain, but there is no tumor causing it. Doctor said he had no idea how this could have happened because it normally occurs in severely overweight women. Because this condition may cause vision loss, my doctor recommended I see an ophthalmologist, who then prescribed me the medication Acetazolamide. Weeks later, right after coming home from picking up my prescription of Solodyn (in which my insurance no longer covered, so I had to pay $75), I found out Minocycline has been known to cause IIH. I couldn't believe that after numerous times of being asked what medications I was on, no one ever told me that my acne medication was the cause of this :'( I was just in shock - I'd been taking Acetazolamide, the treatment for IIH, along with Solodyn, what caused my IIH, for so long. As soon as I had my next dermatologist appointment, I informed my derma (my usual derma was on maternity leave so I had someone else) about my condition. She said she we needed to take me off of Solodyn, and she then prescribed Zithromax (250 mg). If I hadn't read myself that tetracyclines cause IIH, who knows if my doctor would have ever brought it up to me. But I've still no idea if what caused the IIH was my high dosage of Minocycline, or just having taken it for so long. Or probably both?

Mels23

Mels23

 

Week 5 - Progress!

While my skin doesn't look like it's getting all that better, I can feel it noticeably smoother! I've got only about 8 small active pimples on my face (excluding all the subsurface bumps on my neck. They just won't go away) and a few that are healing and thus a little crusty. Still lots of hyperpigmentation and scarring, but overall I think we're heading in a good direction! This Wednesday I've got my appt so we'll see if there's anything that we should start changing up. I was supposed to be taking Ery-Tab twice a day, but I noticed it was messing up my stomach. I was getting bad pains and was going to the bathroom a lot... so I stopped taking that second one in evening one for a bit, and then I just forgot to start it up again. What usually happens is I don't remember until after I've had dinner, and since I'm supposed to take it on an empty stomach, I have to wait about 2-4 hours for my meal to digest, so by that time I've usually already forgotten about it. I guess I'll start setting an alarm.

Mels23

Mels23

 

Day 4 - Let's Hope This Works Out

4th day taking Bactrim DS, 1 tablet 2x day. I made the mistake of making several changes to my regime, so now I have no idea what's caused my outbreak. Here are some notes I took: 3/18 - Seems that the cysts are starting to clear up! I doubt it's the medication since I just started taking it 2 days ago. Maybe the sulfur soap is already helping? 3/19 - My dad was sent to the hospital. I visited him and they said he'll be fine. While I was in the room, there was another patient with a visitor, some lady, and she asked what was up with my dad because his condition gave him these weird hiccups. At some point, she brought up my acne and started telling me what I should do to clear it up because apparently it was that bad.. Washed my face later and it feels like the cysts are coming back.. Today: Yep. Washed my face in the morning and the cysts on my jawline were totally inflamed. It's starting to physically hurt again, even when I'm not touching my face. And I know I shouldn't have, but it looked so bad I ditched that Neutrogena Skin Clearing mineral powder I just got and applied a liquid foundation for more coverage.. Got home from school and dad was back, but he was asleep. Once he woke up he came up to me and told me that he wants me to see a new derm because "clearly she isn't doing a good enough job". He means well, of course. According to my mom he had really bad acne when he was younger, and I guess he just doesn't want me dealing with it. But I don't think it's that my derm isn't doing a good enough job. My first derm put me on Solodyn, and I took it for almost 2 years and saw pretty good results, but it gave me IIH. Switched to Zithromax by my second derm when the first one went on maternity leave, and, I don't know, maybe the BB cream I started using gave me the insane flare ups. Now I've just started Bactrim, and I'm hearing that it's amazing, so I'm really hoping this works out soon. Like I mentioned before, I started washing with Sulfur soap when I started Bactrim, so who knows if it's actually helping or contributing to this inflammation. My derm thinks I'm still using Cetaphil. I wonder if I should go back to it... Also wondering if maybe Bactrim isn't working because I'm still on Diamox... Anyways, here's the face:

Mels23

Mels23

 

Skin's Good, Buut...

I was heading to my dermatologist appt. on Thursday when this car on the lane to the right of me, just a couple cars ahead, merged into my lane, going at a really slow speed in order to decide whether he should pass the gore zone to get back on the freeway. With me going 65 mph and my breaks not being as great as they could be, I wasn't able to stop in time and slammed into the corner of his bumper. We're both doing okay thankfully, but it looks like our insurance isn't going to help pay for my repairs. And I already owe my dad $400 as it is so this all really sucks.. While waiting for the tow truck to pick me up I called my derms office since they have a $50 cancellation fee, and I wasn't about to have to deal with that. My skin's looking really good, and I was so looking forward to seeing what my derm was going to say and suggest next. :/

Mels23

Mels23

 

101 Days

Unless I've miscounted, today marks 101 days of Bactrim! So last time I saw my derm, I mentioned that the first I picked up my prescription of Bactim, I got double strength, and that after that I got regular strength. Turns out I was never supposed to have taken DS at all. However, they're the same price, and my face cleared up really well after a few weeks on DS, so I guess it all worked out anyway. It's summer, and my skin is oily than EVER. I've continued washing my face every morning and night with the Cetaphil soap bar, occasionally make oatmeal, milk and honey face masks, and also started applying some Epiduo in the mornings, and I have to say things have been okay. I've still got scarring and hyperpigmentation from my last flare up, but I'm happy to say that I can apply my foundation (which I don't do often, mind you) and cover up my scars pretty well. I haven't gotten any painful red bumps recently, either. Even so, I'm wondering if I should move on to something else. My dad's constantly pestering me about how there's got to be a better medication that will keep me totally acne-free, and for longer, since even though Bactrim has helped a lot, I do still get pimples here and there. I don't know.. I don't think I've ever been on a medication this long. Not sure when it's time to try out other things. I'm almost off Diamox, so maybe in a few months I'll be able to try BC.

Mels23

Mels23

 

Acne On My Neck Getting Worse

I've been noticing quite a bit of acne popping up on my neck lately. I'm looking at my progression photos and that acne started popping up around June 20th, and has gotten worse since last week. They're basically forming all over where I apply the majority of my skincare and makeup products, so I'm wondering if something I'm using is causing this. So, all products I use on my face and neck (with some possibly irritating ingredients) include - Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Toner (Contains: Alcohol - I've been using this for months though)
Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture with SPF 15 (Contains: Glyceryl stearate)
CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation (Contains: Sodium Chloride - which is in pretty much every foundation, even ones I used that didn't mess with my skin..)
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion (... nothing really bad)
L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Setting Spray (Contains: Alcohol Denat. - I don't directly apply it to my neck though)
Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid-Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 (couldnt find the irritant rating for a lot of ingredients)
So, I'm going to take a week off of each product and see if there's any one that shows itself to be the culprit. Besides that, I'm in the middle of my 12th week of Ziana, with still no improvement. Like, NONE. I was supposed to finally have my derm appt. tomorrow buuuuuuuut of course with some relatives from Mexico in town my dad wants us to go visit Big Bear. .-. Really getting tired of having to reschedule my derm appointments. I haven't seen her in two months Luckily I did find another that'll see me on Wednesday. Just hope it's not too expensive..

Mels23

Mels23

 

Start Of - Ziana

5 days ago my tube of Ziana came in. For the days preceding it I was super worried about this stuff. I heard a lot of negative reviews of how the purging phase lasted forever and that overall a lot of people were unsatisfied with the results. But there were quite a few that said you just need to know how to use it right, so I guess I'm willing to give it a shot. I was supposed to take a photo of my skin today but I totally forgot and put makeup on, so I'll just post that tomorrow and link it here (Edit: here and here). Anyway, it looks like I'm heading toward that phase already. My chin especially. It's getting painful; yesterday I had a bagel for breakfast and 2 of the blemishes are on the corners of my lips so it hurt so bad every time I tried to take a bite. Hoping things don't get too awful!

Mels23

Mels23

 

They Still Haven't Approved My Refill!

Day 63 on Bactrim... and I might have to go back to Day 1 all over again.. So my skin's doing pretty well. Every now and then I'll get a cyst and a few pimples but it's nothing too bad. I finally finished finals so hopefully my skin can recuperate haha Alright so what's really making me freak out is that last week I noticed that I only had about a week's worth of Bactrim left, so I called my pharmacy to get a refill and they said that they would need my doctor's approval, and that they could do that themselves. So, I let them. Finally ran out today, and I'd been getting calls saying that my prescription was ready so I said "alright time to go pick them up!" Well I pick up the medication, head home, and realize it's my other prescription, Diamox! [Now, I'm going to see my ophthalmologist on the 30th, and judging by the fact that I've gone from 6 pills a day to just 1, he might end up telling me that I don't have to take it anymore... so that sucks...] Anyways, I head back to the pharmacy and I tell the pharmacist that I meant to pick up another prescription, and what do you know?? They're still waiting for approval from the doctor!! I call my derm, and guess what it's Sunday so they're not open!! And so, by the looks of it I'll be skipping Bactrim for a few days, and I'm just freaking out that my acne's going to come back and really bad, because I think that's what happened with Ziamox - I ask for a refill and they tell me they're going to ask for my doctor's approval, my prescription runs out before my refill's come in, I go about a week without taking anything, they tell me the doctor still hasn't approved my refill, and after I finally get my refill and have taken it for about 2 months it does nothing.. (P.S. Is it just me or are a bunch of images and emoticons on these posts suddenly really huge???)

Mels23

Mels23

 

Stress Is Comin'

Last week I mentioned that my acne was coming back and it was likely because of how unhealthy I've been since I started working at Dunkin' Donuts. Well I won't have to worry about that much anymore because I got laid off!! :'D Yes, that's sarcasm. I'm actually really bummed out. Only worked there for 2 months but, damn, I made a lot of good friends. And I was finally making money. But it is what it is. I was laid off because my hours of availability weren't fitting with that they needed, and that's because I'm back in school and taking 5 classes. Now instead of just finding another job, I'm looking into volunteering at clinic like most of the other people in my major. Back to acne talk: Now that I'm off acne meds, I actually break out whenever I'm on my period. I mean yeah I'm broken out practically all the time nowadays, but I've noticed my acne is much more aggravated when I'm on that time. And I've also noticed that it's always my left side that's broken out more, so yea, I do indeed now have a "good side" when I take photos. I'd also like to mention that I'm kinda done with Epiduo. I really REALLY don't see it doing anything anymore. Some months ago I said I didn't see it helping my acne, but because I was told it may still help hyperpigmentation I kept using it. But now I really don't see any improvements in my skin, so I'm pretty sure that once I'm done with this bottle, I'm DONE. Lastly, I mentioned back in December that I'd ordered the LUSH coalface cleanser and that I was super excited to try it out because I heard it was great at controlling oil. Welp I've been using it for weeks now and it hasn't done anything for me. :'( I still have an insanely oily face in the mornings, and when I put on foundation it only last about 2 hours before my face is a greaseball. But at the same time there are some foundations I try targeted towards oily skin that leave a bunch of dry patches on my cheeks and chin! :'(( Whhaahh.. when will this end...

Mels23

Mels23

 

Day One Hundred Twenty-Something

Derm appointment last Friday. I've been going to that clinic for almost 2 years, and this was the first time I had my appointment with the head derm, hah. Even though he'd never seen me before, he still said "Seems your skin is doing a lot better!", which is actually a bit true. I'm still getting pimples here and there, but haven't had any cysts in a long while. And when I compare my skin to the photos I took last month, it does look like my hyperpigmentation is fading. I wanted to mention to him that I want to try a new medication, but I want to wait until my next appointment, since on the 30th I have an ophthalmologist appointment where my doc will let me know if I'm finally done with Diamox. Got my usually chemical peel (I think we moved up to 60%). Derm said that I didn't look like I needed any cortisone shots, but that I could get some scar injections. I've had this small atrophic scar on my forehead for the past few months, and I guess I have some "ice pick" scars around my cheekbones, so I got the injections and I can't tell if it did anything for the ice pick scars but looking at scar on my forehead and yeah I can definitely see it doesn't look as deep! I'd run out of Epiduo, so he gave me a new prescription and sent me on my way. But sadly once again, my insurance doesn't cover it, so I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow to make a call and see if there's anything they can do. And that's about it.. Really looking forward to Fall so I can stop waking up with such an oily face!!

Mels23

Mels23

 

Day 34 / Derma Appt.

A little more than a week ago my skin was doing really well. It was finally clearing up, after having been on Zithromax for about 25 days. I ran out of cleanser so I went out and got the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, which I used to use back when I first started seeing a derm, and, well, boy did I regret it. After about 2 days of using it I noticed my skin becoming very dry, especially around my chin and nose. Wanting to get my money’s worth and thinking that my skin just had to get used to it, I continued washing with the cleanser, and by the fifth day, I just couldn’t take it. It made my skin so sensitive that I had to stop applying my Epiduo and Clindamycin topicals, because when I did apply them, my skin burned for like an hour. One day it was so bad my skin actually started peeling off. My chin looked as though it had had its first layer of skin burnt off. Yesterday I had my usual monthly appointment with my derm. The assistant came in and wanted to start me off with a chemical peel. I told her my skin had been really dry, but she said as long as I hadn’t applied Epiduo the night before I should be okay. It burned, yeah, but it wasn’t so bad that I had to call her in before the 3 minutes. So my derm finally comes in and I tell her the whole situation. She tells me that the Neutrogena cleanser is a good cleanser, but it does dry out skin, especially when you’re using topicals like the ones I’m using. She gave me a sample of the Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash and Moisturizer and said I should start using those. She also said I should skip my topicals until my skin doesn’t feel as sensitive, and that once that happens I should only use Epiduo every other night, and should only use Clindamycin on my red bumps. She also read through her notes and said she was surprised I went through with the chemical peel haha So that’s that. I used the foam wash last night and this morning and I’m happy to say that my skin didn’t burn at all Photos :

Mels23

Mels23

 

Week 6 - Breakouts All Over My Chin

Normally when I breakout, I breakout all over my jaw, around my cheekbones, and quite a bit around my mouth. But for the past 2 weeks, I'd say 60% of my breakouts are on my chin/around my mouth. To add, my lips have been feeling really dry lately. I still get acne all over my face (the impacted pores on my forehead are starting to settled down though) but I'd say it's been primarily centered on my chin. I saw my derm on Monday and she asked me if I wanted to get back on oral antibiotics because although Ziana would help me, it won't completely get rid of my acne. I told her I wanted to stay with just Ziana for the next few weeks before going back to that. I'm just kinda tired of antibiotics is all. After that first antibiotic I was on for almost a year sent me to the hospital, I've been really wary of them. I just want to see if a good cleansing routine can do enough. I've actually been considering trying out the Regimen. If I don't get any improvement with Ziana in the next 3 months, that's my next step. I'll admit one factor to my breakouts may just be my diet. I still live with my parents and am still finding a job (actually I found one, I'm just in training right now) so I'm not the one going out and buying the groceries to make healthy meals - I just eat whatever I can find here, and my family isn't the healthiest. I'm sure there are healthy meals I can make for myself here, I just don't know what (i.e. I'm not a good cook). Let's not forget that because of California's drought, water's been getting expensive, so I only take a water bottle from our stack if I really need it. Also, I'm just getting over a cold I caught during finals (around the 14th). And I just started my period last night too. I'm just a great mess right now lol I'm also wondering if quitting dairy will do any good. The issue with that is that I LOVE MILK. I have milk in some way every morning, whether it's in my cereal, or with my waffles, or in my coffee. I just don't know how I could give it up :'(

Mels23

Mels23

 

Day 7 / Day 8

It's been a week since I started Azithromycin and I guess I'm having that initial breakout because I've got about 10 yellow pimples and red bumps. But I finally got the call saying that they will be mailing out my prescription of Epiduo! Also picked up my prescription of Clindamycin! I've been hearing good things about it so I really hope I'll see a change soon - I start class again next week So I guess this will be my new regime soon: Morning Routine: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser Clindamycin Phosphate Topical Solution Olay Complete All-Day UV Moisturizer (Sensitive Skin) Night Routine: Grisi Sulfur Soap with Lanolin Epiduo Gel (POSSIBLY a second application of Clindamycin, if I feel necessary) CVS Acne Fighting Moisturizer Kind of worried that the Sulfur soap with Epiduo and Clindamycin will irritate my skin. Zithromax - DAY 8 Figured I'd just add this here instead of make an entirely new entry. So I applied the Clindamycin last night and reapplied it again this morning. So far I'm not feeling too bad. Noticed some of last night's noticeable pimples have dried up (but maybe that's just because I've had them a little longer than I thought. That, or I'm just being optimistic). What did bother me was the smell. I applied the clinda solution with the sponge applicator it came with, and, I didn't read about not doing this until after I'd already done it, but I rolled it around areas of my face and oh boy it left me smelling like poop..

Mels23

Mels23

 

Things Finally Seem To Be Getting Better

Day 49 on Bactrim. It's been a month since my last update, and I've got some things to say! First off, the reason I haven't posted in a month is because I've been really busy with school, and so my face was the least of my worries. However, I can still say that my acne has improved quite a bit. I remember mentioning on a previous post that I wasn't sure if Bactrim was working, and that I wanted to change things up, but a few of you users told me to just keep at it. Well, about 2 weeks after I made that post, my skin started showing signs of clearing up! I'd wash my face and it didn't feel as rough and bumpy as before. My cysts weren't randomly stinging during the day. I didn't have to apply as much makeup to cover acne (or so, I didn't feel the need to cover as much). Overall, I just felt a lot better. Yesterday I saw my derm. She asked how the acne was, and I told her that I actually felt my face had improved since the last time I'd seen her. She agreed, saying most of what I had on my face was just hyperpigmentation, and yeah still a few cysts, but overall it wasn't as bad as last time. The nurse came in, gave me some cortisone injections, a 50% peel, and sent me on my way. Oh yeah, I'm still cleansing with the Cetaphil antibacterial soap and applying Clindamycin and Epiduo. Alrighty, time to get back to my paper. Just one more week of classes left, and then, finals!

Mels23

Mels23

 

Over Ziana

I finally saw a dermatologist for the first time in 2 months. It's a clinic I haven't been to before, but making an appointment there meant being seen 3 weeks earlier than if I had made one at my usual place (but the drive there SUCKS..) So, this derm seemed a lot more thorough than my usual PA. She had this little app where she took all her notes and had this little model she could mark on to show where I had my acne. She even took a pic of my face to compare to in the future. Unfortunately, after telling her about all the topicals and oral antibiotics I've taken and my experiences with them she goes "Well, that really limits our options here". She wanted to put me on Accutane because at that moment my skin was insanely oily like holy crap I looked like I'd just run a marathon, but after looking it up and finding out that it may possibly make my intercranial hypertension come back, she decided not to. I was trying so hard to remember the topical that leelowe1 recommended (Atralin) but I couldn't She prescribed three things: Benzamycin in the morning
Tazorac in the evening
Erythromycin (twice a day)
I know I said that I wanted to stay off of antibiotics, but I just feel like my acne is so bad at the moment, they're the only thing that will help, at least for now. Since my last post I've developed several cysts along my jawline, and lots of pimples all over the place. The plan is that once Erythromycin clears up my face (assuming it does) I can just continue with the topicals. If the acne comes back, I'm going to start on the Regimen. I've been putting it off for soooooooo long.

Mels23

Mels23

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