I haven't had time to update this blog at all, but it also means I have more interesting news since it's been a while. I still have the same regimen:
A-derma oat cleansing bar evening and morning
Avene moisturiser evening and morning
Retin a (airol) 0.5% evening
Dalacin (topical antibiotic) evening (and morning when I remember)
Yasmin birth control
First of all, as I have written before, I have been constantly breaking out on my chin for over a year, with at least 3-4 painful nodules (at times cyst-like) and often more than 5-6. I have done everything to try and get rid of it and nothing has worked. I have had small/medium sized pustules spread across the face in addition to this, as well as closed comedones and blackheads, although nothing severe, but enough to give me a few scars, lots of red marks and very low self-esteem.
Now, this has happened:
I felt like retin-a started working very quickly, not on the chin acne, but just the overall look on my skin, - it has constantly improved from week 2. Today, week 7/beginning of week 8, I basically have no active acne, just a few closed comedones and one dying pimple. My skin texture has improved and my indented scars look softer and is only visible in harsh light. My skin is soft and in a healing stage where I know its going to get even better as it hasn't even been 2 months yet. I don't know what has happened to the chin acne, but I suspect its the Yasmin that has helped. Although I am very sure retin a is what is giving me nicer skin, I know that retin a cant possibly eliminate those painful nodules in such a short time (i haven't even had an IB at all). I now have ZERO chin acne (and I havent even felt anything lying under the skin for almost 3 weeks now, which is a miracle!!), but just red marks. My skin is a lot less oily, and I also credit that to the Yasmin. I don't feel like my skin looks "glowy" in any way, but it looks a lot better, more even toned and texture is improving, although very slowly. I'm not sure how the dalacin has worked, it might have helped to keep things under control, but it doesn't have that visible effect on the skin as retin a have, so I'm not going to say anything bad about it, because its a topical antibiotic, not tretinoin. My eczema hasn't been aggrevated by retin a, I haven't been "lobster-red" as some people describe, and there has been no initial breakout. Maybe this is due to the fact that I started doing glycolic acid peels about 10 months ago and then did another 5 months of differin (although I didnt have any irritation or IB from either of those). I find this strange as I have very sensitive, eczema-prone skin, and I am pale with some freckles.
I feel a lot happier these days, and my mind has shifted from thinking about acne constantly to actually worrying more about my career and future plans, which is what I am supposed to do at this age! haha. It's actually nice to have to worry about more "important" things for once, than my looks.
I have also eaten a lot of sugar the past month, just indulging in whatever I have wanted, and it hasn't had any impact on my progress whatsoever. It is so nice to eat and enjoy myself without feeling guilty and scared it will affect my skin.
If my skin has improved this much on tretinoin and yasmin in under two months, I am so excited to see what my skin will look like in 2-3 months from now, and without the red marks! I am feeling very optimistic, although I am still anxious to see to what degree my indented scars will fill in or improve with time.
I also have to say that I am a little sad I didn't start tretinoin sooner So for those of you who are scared, it is really worth trying as soon as you can - it is better to start earlier instead of trying cheap drugstore or DIY stuff that doesnt work, or doesnt work long term. If you have adult acne, it is very unlikely that it will suddenly disappear or you will "grow out of it", and it's time to research some serious treatments, whether it's hormonal treatments, antibiotics or prescription creams in higher strenghts. Maybe I wouldn't have the indented and textured scars I have today if I did more research on proper treatments earlier. But at least I found something now, and I am very sure I will continue using retin a for as long as possible if it continues to work the way it has.