This is the longest I've gone without seeing any great level of improvement while being treated for acne. Before, when I was using Duac, and on Dianette/tetralysal, I was halfway to being clear after a month, and on both occasions I was entirely clear by two.
My friend Mags is a nurse and we were chatting about it the other night- apparently there's not really any way of getting around it- the topical retinoid is f'ing my face UP.
I'm getting a lot more nodules than I ever have before, and they're super painful, even when I'm washing my face gently. I've done away with face cloths almost entirely and am just using my hands, but it's harder to get make up off without them. Infuriatingly, every time I manage to clear a few lumps under my skin, two more start growing the next day. I HATE nodules so much. Give me a whitehead any day. They're all kinds of unsightly, but at least they don't hurt and I feel more confident that they'll disappear more quickly.
At the minute I have about three small nodules on either side of my chin. Around six to eight in total. It's hard to tell because my skin is quite red and I don't want to touch my face too much to figure out where the lumps are. The ones of my cheeks have pretty much entirely flattened out, and I got a fringe cut in so I can hide the three or four whiteheads on my forehead that are sort of dying off anyway. So at the minute my chin seems to be the problem area. It looks worse because of the red marks, but I can deal with them later! I've accepted that this is where my skin is at right now- I'm avoiding the mirror and trying to carry on as normal without feeling too self conscious on a night out or in work. It's hard when you have business meetings and you feel like a bit of a troll, or you're with your friends and they have smooth, perfect, blemish-free faces. I went to a gig on Sunday night and it was so warm and sweaty I was terrified that my foundation had slipped right off my face!
I'll update with some pictures tomorrow. Maybe there is an improvement but because I live with my face every day it's hard for me to notice? I think some of the redness/angriness has calmed down but I'm still developing new acne, albeit in the same area, so I'm hoping this is just a very long initial breakout?
The leaflet that came with my Isotrex gel said it could take 6-8 weeks to notice the effects of the treatment so I'm going to remain patient and persevere with it!
In the meantime, I'm still cleansing with Cetaphil and moisturising with Aveeno. I've been breaking out in some red dry skin patches (not sure if it's the Isotrex or I'm sensitive to the super cold windy Irish weather) but I bought a hydro-cortisone cream from the pharmacy and it's working well!
I wonder if everybody's dreading Christmas a little bit? Having to interact with lots of family, and Christmas parties, and getting pictures taken. A lot of things you tend to want to avoid when you're suffering with acne and not feeling at your best. Either way, I hope you can pull through it and stay strong and have a lovely time. Treat yourself nicely and try to look beyond the acne. I know it's super hard, impossible at times, but as long as you try. Smoosh your loved ones and eat and rest and be happy.