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jackthebear

spare retin-a anyone?

After reading all the success stories of people using retin-A for scars, I was wondering if anyone might have any spare tubes available? I no longer have insurance for prescriptions like I had when I was a student, and without insurance it's terribly expensive. If anyone does have insurance and would be willing, I'd gladly remunerate you for whatever you paid for it as well as the shipping charges.

P.S. I had used retin-a for awhile, but it was for acne and not scars. It was quite irritating to me and actually caused more breakouts well past what medicine states is normal breakout due to expunging of sebum and bacteria. To be honest, I think retin-a is at least partly responsible for some of the scars I have now. However, I would like to try applying the retin-a directly and only on the scars to see if it might have an effect.

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Jack - I can send you a tube of Isotrex gel (same as retin-a/NOT retin-a micro) it's 0.5% - It's a new tube and use by date is at least another year. I got it for free, you can have it for free.

PM me with your address if you want it.

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Just a note of caution. I started using a tube of my daughter's retin-a, a very mild version--which caused horrible break-outs leading to most of my scarring. I don't think I would have any acne scarring (except for one scar caused by fingernail marks) if I had not starting using retin-A without a doctor's consent.

This is only my opinion, but I think retin-a really needs to be used under a doc's supervision.

I read on here somewhere that Maya read that retin-a could do more harm than good in certain skin types. I think I am this skin type.

Even though I break out with large cysts, I rarely have more than two at once. After about three weeks of using retin-A, I had four or five very large cysts on my face at once--all of which caused scarring. Retin-A thins the skin making scarring a bigger possiblity.

I wish I would have never used the retin-a and would strongly recommend getting the prescription from a doctor before using. If you are in the states--I would suggest paying out of pocket to see a good derm. It might be worth it in the long run.

I have been following posts regarding retin-a for over a year. On the VOY board, many people were posting similar experiences to retin-a that I had.

Now my derm is a believer in retin-a and does report that it has some collagen remodeling properties. Obviously, someone here is having some good results. Part of the problem I could have had was using the retin-a without using an antibiotic or other anti-inflamatory medication.

I just have read about so many bad experiences similar to mine that I don't think this decision should be made in a haste. After I got my scarring, I felt very guilty for using a prescription medicine inappropriately. I also wonder if there could be liability for giving someone prescription medication. People in the states are extremely litigious--so I would think twice before giving someone something prescribed by a doc.

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Go to a doctor and ask if you need it. If you can't afford it get a job or save your money better. There should be no freebies here.

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Yeah...some people are very sensitive to Retin A. I'm one of those fortunate people with lots of western european blood (although my great-grandmother was full indian, it got very diluted when it came to me inheriting the dark skin). Therefore, I'm very fair and have no problem with Retin A. It does cause inflammation in some people; especially those with darker or even medium skin (one or two steps up from "fair" skin).

I don't know if applying it to scars would cause problems or not. However, so many of us are having some incredible results with the Pure Deming gel, and the results are almost immediate. Dr. Perricone says that in studies using a combination of alpha lipoic acid and DMAE together, many people showed an 80% reduction in their atrophic (indented) scars over a 6 month period.

This should be an encouragement to you all. There is lots of things you can do topically, including peels, copper peptides, Pure Deming, etc....

The thing that amazes me about the Pure Deming gel is that it's effects are so fantastic so quick! If you have large pores or splotchiness, this stuff is like a miracle in a bottle.

Please feel free to read the ALA thread for more details...no since repeating everything here again.... smile.gif

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Well, I've read good and bad reports on retin-a. From what people have posted, it does seem like my skin type (pale/mid Asian is prone to irritation from retin-a) .. still, I don't think it ever created scarring on my face, just dried me out way too much.

will - jack explained why he wants the retin-a and he was even prepared to pay for it.. anyways, I have some available and I got it for free, I'd be glad to give it to him as a gift.. just becasue it doesn't do me any good doesn't mean it should go wasted.

I bet many here have a handful of unused/unfinished products - I am one of them.

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Denise 2

I think I need to try what you are recommending, thanks for posting. I will read the ALA thread.

Jane

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I guess I've always been confused about why some products are prescription only, while others are just over-the-counter. For many, especially the majority of the topicals I tried in my teens, it really seemed silly. I mean, other than causing dry skin, what could one possibly do with this stuff that could be harmful, that could be prevented by requiriing a prescription? I know there are possible allergic reactions, but surely that's possible with over the counter topicals as well? It really seems arbitrary to me.

OTOH, I get my retin-a micro pretty cheaply because I have insurance...but I'd bet that it would come down in price if it weren't prescription only. I know that people have had bad experiences with retin-a and that I'm probably just lucky -- but that's the thing -- the derm who initialy prescribed me retin-a didn't know I was lucky -- he just threw it in there as one of the many topicals I tried, and I could have just as easily broken out with cysts and gotten scars as anyone else on here. The derm I went to when I was a teenger handed out prescriptions for topicals left and right -- antibiotics, too -- he wasn't paying any attention to how they worked together, what my skin looked like, nothing. How was this better than getting them OTC? I know, I know -- there are derms who are attentive, try really hard to come up with the right combination of products -- but, as the experience of many on these boards have shown, it's difficult to find derms like this, and what's more, even these derms are often engaging in the same trial-and-error method many of us use with OTC products.

Sorry for the ranting...just a little frustrated. wink.gif

-kristin

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My new tube of Retin-A Micro Gel cost me 99 bucks! Believe me, it is VERY scary being one of the 44 million people in the United States without health insurance! I pay full price for everything....doctors visits, prescriptions, you name it. Wow...if I were to really stop and think about it for too long I bet it would bum me out...big time.

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It is pretty scary. Even more scary to me was the possibility of getting sick (really sick) while not having insurance, and then getting denied coverage later on.

Depending on your situation, you might want to look into a medical savings account -- you get to put away a certain percentage of your income, tax-free, and then you pay for medical expenses out of the account -- even stuff that isn't normally covered by most insurance plans. The catch is that you have to have high deductible (~$2000) insurance as a just in case, and you have to work for an employer with < 50 employees.

Also -- in the future -- retin-a micro is $70 for the 45 gram tube of .1% @ drugstore.com. Still not cheap, but slightly better.

-kristin

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I agree that it is wrong to have anyone without health insurance in a country as rich as ours. My husband is thinking about quitting his job to start a business. Luckily, I have a job and we can switch to my agency's plan. Unfortunately, I work for a non-profit and the insurance I have available to me is not as good as his company's. I don't feel like people should have to make these choices.

I did not want to come across as critical of anyone's attempts to get good treatment. It is just that retin-A for me was a disaster. I was in a lot of shame after the scaring occurred because I had used my daughter's tube on my skin when it was prescribed for her. I was embarrassed to seek medical attention right away because I had misused a prescription.

Also, I had read website after website touting the benefits of retin-A and I was not prepared for the negative effects it had on my skin. Had I gone through the derm, I probably would have had a better regime from the get-go. Also, this was a very stressful time in my life and the breaking out and scarring contributed to this black-hole type depression I went into. I ended up not leaving the house for several months except to meet with clients. I was also frustrated because until I went on the voy board, I believed retin-a to be this miracle medication that would have only a positive effect on my skin.

I just want to share my experience to prevent anyone from going through the same crap I went through last year. Also, not that I would want to sue anyone, but I do think it is best to get prescriptions when using prescription medications because I have read about person after person claiming that retin-a contributed to their scaring and if I had gotten the prescription for the retin-A, I might want to see if the pharmaceutical company could be held responsible to pay for scar revision techniques if the retin-a caused scaring (if the makers do not warn against it).

This a long message, but lastly, I appreciate so much being warned about different treatments on these boards. After I got the scaring, I spent about a month researching revision techniques and was prepared to get C02 laser. I believe that would have ruined my skin. Thank goodness for the people who share their good and bad experiences on this board.

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Jane -- I totally didn't mean to make light of your experience with retin-a. They definitely should make it clear that retin-a has caused cysts in some individuals, if they don't already. I was just trying to point out the dermatologists are often as oblivious to this stuff as we are, or perhaps just plain lazy. Maybe they expect us to be super-informed patients, and know all the risks of the medications they give us, what to expect, etc., etc., but if we did, why would we need the derm in the first place?

-kristin

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John and Kristin....Retin A Micro isn't even covered under my insurance either! But guess what?! The nurse literally gave me 2 boxes of the stuff, enough to last a year! biggrin.gif/

She really went to bat for me with my insurance company. Check it out...they cover the REGULAR Retin A, but not the micro! I called them, told them off.....etc.....but none of it worked. When my doctor's nurse tried so hard to make my insurance company cover it.....I brought her some goodies last x-mas. When she gave me a year's worth or Retin A micro for free.....I sent her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. You know....if you make friends and show people some gratitude, they will truly bend over backwards to help you.

Regular Retin A has an ingredient called isopropyl myristrate. This is the worst possible pore clogger on the planet. That is why some people do so bad with Retin A....and doctors don't even seem to know this! #-o

Regular Retin A broke me out....that's why I was so furious with my insurance company. I was like: EXCUSE ME, BUT THE STUFF BREAKS ME OUT! WHAT DO YOU MEAN "YOU DON'T COVER THE MICRO....THE STUFF THAT *DOESN'T* BREAK ME OUT!!!!" ](*,)

To try to wade through all this stuff can really get you down. It's bad enough having acne....but to try to get treatment can be a daunting task as well!

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You're so right about that ingredient (Isopropyl Myristate) being highly comedogenic. Dumb, dumb, dumb that it is STILL in that formula! I remember reading about its dangers to acne-prone skin YEARS AGO in Dr. James Fulton's book! I had to tell my dermatologist that I wanted the Micro Gel for this very reason. She had no idea! Unbelieveable. the consumer knows more than the doctor. (I wonder how often THAT happens?)

I need some help right now and I was wondering if someone can suggest something. I used the Micro Gel at bedtime for the past two nights and today my skin is as parched as the Sahara and as scaly as an alligator's back! I have my first appointment tonight with a counselor (to talk over some problems I'm having; some as a result of--you guessed it--my SKIN) and I almost don't want to go because my face is so damn dry and flaky. (It figures, right?) ](*,) I looked in my bathroom and I don't have any moisturizer. If I put some PureDeming Intense Gel on my face for a couple hours and let it sink in does anyone think it will get rid of the scaly patches on my face? Or, could it possibly irritate it more? I was going to put some Mandelic Acid on it but I think that would dry out my skin even more. I think I'm using too many new products at once as it only took 2 days from beginning the Micro Gel for my face to become dry as a bone! Thanks for any advice from anyone...

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Guest Tracy
will - jack explained why he wants the retin-a and he was even prepared to pay for it.. anyways, I have some available and I got it for free, I'd be glad to give it to him as a gift.. just becasue it doesn't do me any good doesn't mean it should go wasted. 

I bet many here have a handful of unused/unfinished products - I am one of them.

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Guest Tracy
Denise 2

I think I need to try what you are recommending, thanks for posting. I will read the ALA thread. 

Jane

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John: I would think it would soothe it. The open sores I had on my face from self-treating some places with TCA have healed unbelievably. I think it would probably help....green tea, pomegranite, and vitamin e are all very, very, soothing. Try to get to a bookstore and read what Dr. Perricone said in his acne book about what the combo of ALA and DMAE do to the skin, and to scars. After you read that, you won't be able to put it on fast enough. Unless it's really burning, I think you'll be fine!!! It should help to soothe a lot. Green tea is an anti-inflammatory....should help you out a lot. Give it a try! I put on my Retin a micro, wait 10-20 minutes and then put a thin layer of the Pure Deming gel, with no problems.

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Thanks, Denise, I did put on the Intense Gel (the new one that I got in today's mail. It's a sample size of their new "acne formula" without Vitamin C and twice the amount of Vitamin E, plus Olive Oil and Farnesol, etc.) Man, this new stuff is SUPER THICK and SUPER GREEN!!!!! It's almost like a thick seaweed mask or something, and I made it thicker by putting it on very heavily. :-$ It's burning a little but it's nothing I can't take. The damn stuff keeps running into my eyes, though, and it makes my contact lens flip out! :-({|= That's okay...I CAN HANDLE IT! I like this stuff a lot, too. Veddy, veddy good! biggrin.gif

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I'm of Afghani origin. My skin is pale with slightly yellow undertones.

Retin A did cause an initial breakout and the scars are almost gone now.But I have no problems with it now. I have noticed though that if I ever get a pimple it does leave a tiny mark which goes eventually. Normally,tiny pimples would never leave a mark on my skin.

But I'm going to continue using it while I'm having subcision and N lite.

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Try to get to a bookstore and read what Dr. Perricone said in his acne book about what the combo of ALA and DMAE do to the skin, and to scars.  After you read that, you won't be able to put it on fast enough.

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Denise - what I am annoyed about is that Dr P didn't provide b4 and after photos of his in house trial with the ALA/DMAE combo - I wonder why he didn't do that???? If he really did get 80% improvement for indented scars.. then why would any of us bother to do anything but this combo?

I must've been doing this combo (home made and puredeeming stuff) at least 1 month now and although it does skin firming ... it doesn't seem to have affected any indents.

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