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Day 2



Hello everyone! I created this blog to track my skin's progress as I begin Isolaz treatments. Mainly, this blog is for me to keep track of how I'm doing, but anyone and everyone, please feel free to comment with your feedback.

I'm 22 years old and I've had acne since I was a teenager. It has always been relatively light to moderate until recently. In high school I have used topicals such as Duac and Atralin which were severely drying for me and worked okay, but never fully cleared my skin (Atralin probably did me more harm than good as while it would dry up my pimples, it caused my skin to be so dry that I broke out even more). I stopped using them in college, but started breaking out more severly earlier this year. This past February, I picked up some over the counter benzoyl peroxide from the drugstore (Neutrogena's On the Spot 2.5% BP) which was a very low dose of BP (Duac contains at least 5%, I believe) and had a HORRIBLE allergic reaction. I got a painful, horrible rash all over my face that blistered. I could not even wash my face with plain water for over a week. For the next 3 months, I could only cleanse my face with a 1:6 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water and moisturize with jojoba oil. Now that my skin has healed, it is terribly, terribly sensitized and even more prone to acne. And to make matters worse, not only did I now develop this allergy to BP, but I am also allergic to aspirin and therefore also salicylic acid---both over-the-counter medicines commonly prescribed for acne. 6 months after that terrible reaction, I had 3 rounds of microdermabrasion to slough off all the dead skin and scarring that had accumulated. While that had helped slightly lessen my breakouts more recently by removing the dead skin accumulating in my pores, my breakouts are still relatively moderate to moderately severe with whiteheads/papules and cystic/nodular acne. Antibiotics are not an option I am willing to consider yet because I hate the idea of being dependent on oral medication, and I am not even going to consider Accutane because I don't think the risks/side effects are worth it. So, Isolaz sounded like my only option that I was truly confortable with.

I went for my first treatment yesterday, and I'm happy to say that so far, so good! My derm started by wiping down my face with wet gauze and inspected my skin before proceeding with the lazer first. She made sure it was on the lowest setting to ease my skin into it and will increase the setting everytime I come in for another treatment. The lazer just felt like a warm light---no pain at all, just a warm sensation. After she went around my whole face with the lazer, the started with the vaccuum. After she wiped down my face again one last time, did a few extractions of whatever the vacuum couldn't suck out, applied moisturizer, and was done! It probably took 30 minutes at the longest. I did have to get one cortisone shot though on a particularly large nodule on my jaw, but it was fine.

Initially, while the treatment didn't hurt, my skin felt warm and flushed after and a little tender. My skin stayed pink for maybe 2 or 3 hours before calming down. And WOW! My skin was sooooo smooth and soft! It felt so clean and nice. I did get a couple "hickies" on my forehead from the vaccuum, which I read happens occasionally since the skin on the forehead tends to be thinner, but they are already starting to fade away. In 2-3 days, they will probably be gone. I may ask my derm not to do my forehead next time as I don't really breakout on my forehead, just 1 or 2 flesh colored bumps which can probably just be extracted.

Today when I woke up, I was SHOCKED. My skin was no longer tender or the slightest bit red (outside of the hickies). And my skin was still very smooth and supple. All the acne I had the day before (both pustular and cystic) were all flat and pretty much gone (except a teeny tiny one that I'll explain in the next paragraph). I am definitely impressed and Isolaz is starting to look very promising. I didn't see any improvement with my scarring as others have mentioned, but that's okay. I don't want to get my hopes up though, so we shall see...

In addition, my derm gave me a sample of Differin and said that I needed to use some sort of topical in conjunction with Isolaz for better results. She chose Differin keeping my sensitivity and allergies in mind. It is the lowest concentration retinoid available and should be the least irritating. It works by cleaning out the pore from the inside out and helping skin turnover, so it should be a nice compliment to the Isolaz. I tried a tiny amount on a pimple that had started forming under my skin last night. Miraculously, it already came to a head by this morning. It did sting upon application, but no severe drying like when I had used Duac or Atralin, and certainly no allergic reaction. So I'll slowly start putting it on more and more of my face as it seems promising as well.

So that is where I am on day 2. Hopefully thing keep getting better from here! Also, I'll list all the products I use below, in case anyone is wondering about the products I use on a daily basis. After trying SO MANY skin care products, particularly after that reaction I got in February, these are currently what's working for me. I've been using all of these for at least 3 months now, so I'll update if anything changes.




cleanser: Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser for Dry or Sensitive Skin

moisturizer: Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin SPF 15


make-up remover: Bioderma Crealine H2O or Pond's Cold Cream

cleanser: Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser for Dry or Sensitive Skin

moisturizer: Dermalogica Active Moist (when my skin is not too dry), Clarins HydraQuench Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin (when my skin is more dry), or Janssen Cosmeseuticals Aquatense Gel-Cream Moisturizer (if had my skin resurfaced with microderm, but while this is the most moisturizing and soothing out of the 3, it contains algae extract which itches my skin and sometimes gives me hives, so I don't like using it a lot).

Nighttime acne treatments

Neosporin w/pain relief - it does relieve the pain a bit, but I mostly chose it because the only other ingredient outside of the medicine is petrolatum; mostly I use this when I can see a pimple forming which does stop it 4 out of 5 times, or if a pimple had popped to disinfect it

Differin - just used it yesterday, so far only on actual pimples. Stings but is tolerable.


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