First off- I'm quite excited to say that I really do think the Spiro is showing some good results in my skin after 6 weeks, even though I've only been taking 25mg for the past 5 weeks. I'm happy to say that I had virtually NO breakout before, during, or after my monthly cycle last week!!!! For me, thats pretty significant. Previous to the Spiro, I'd start breaking out in really bad cysts the week before, the week of AND the week AFTER my cycle. It was REALLY depressing because 3 weeks out of every month, I'd be breaking out from hormones and only have /maybe/ a week of no new breakouts, which wasn't enough time for my skin to repair and heal before the next round of breakouts came along. However, this month my skin stayed amazingly stable during my cycle, and stayed just as clear as if I wasn't on my cycle. It's very encouraging, I hope this trend continues!!
Second, I had my first appointment with my new dermatologist yesterday. I had issues with my previous derm because A) They were a far away, large and relatively impersonal practice, B) the derm was only in the room with me for maybe 3 minutes C) no one asked me ANYTHING about my skin, my breakouts, what I've tried in the past, how long I've had acne, or what has worked and hasn't worked for me before prescribing me medication. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite glad that I got the prescription for Spiro, because it is helping, but there's more to my acne than JUST hormones and they didn't recommend any topicals, regimens, soaps, lifestyle changes- nothing. My new derm is like night and day compared to the previous. Its a smaller practice within 20 minutes of where I live, the other was a solid hour drive, and thats without any traffic. The new derm and nurse spent a lot of time with me, asking me about my skin issues and things I've tried in the past. Not only did he recommend I stay on the 25mg Spiro, but he also prescribed me Acanya (Clindamycin 1.2% and BP 2.5%) and Atralin (Tretinoin 0.05%), which from what I've read are both pretty highly-rated topicals and compliment each other when used together. The nurse also advised me to stop using bars of soap on my face/body because the waxes, fillers and binders that are put into bar soap to make it hard and hold its shape are really bad for the skin (even the sensitive skin types like Dove that I use) and can clog pores. They gave me samples of both prescriptions so I can try it before I buy it, AND samples of CeraVe cleanser & moisturizers. I was extremely impressed with the personal care and consideration they paid to my visit and am definitely looking forward to my future with this practice.
On the last note, I have to say that the CeraVe cleanser feels amazing on my skin, not stinging and drying like the Dove Sensitive Skin bar I had been using. I'm hoping that maybe this new cleanser will make a difference in the amount of clogged pores and non-inflamed comedones that I still have. I haven't started the Acanya and Atralin yet, but I know that I'm going to start Acanya first and give it a week or so before adding Atralin, just to make sure that if one of them causes irritation or a flare up, I can identify which one is the source a lot easier than if I started them at the same time.