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hopingforclear

Retin-A Micro at age 25

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Well, I recently (about 3.5 weeks ago) went to a derm and began a regimen of 100mg daily Doxycycline and 0.04% Retin-A Micro. I am 25 and have had mild acne since my teens. Mostly I have small white heads around my jaw and chin that will morph into mild zits or painful cysts occasionally. I had been managing fine with Proactiv for almost 4 years. But finally it stopped working well, and I was beginning to see some hyperpigmentation. I don't eat chocolate or fast/fried foods because I know they make me more oily, but finally I couldn't do it on my own, I needed help from a derm!

The first few days I didn't really notice anything, besides some mild redness. I really thought, WOW no side effects for me. Wrong. By the first week I had horrible breakouts, worse then I have ever experienced. Then began the redness and peeling. I got to a point that I wouldnt go anywhere except work and school and stopped really socializing. I almost quit last week, I really felt bad, but that lasted about an hour and I told myself I had to give it time.

Now I am in the middle of my 3rd week. My redness is mostly gone, my face is usually only red at night after application of the RAM. And while most of the acne I am experiencing now (still worse than my usual) goes away quickly, I still have a lot of it! Is this normal? I also notice that a few of the pimples DON'T go away quickly, especially if I don't pop them. I know, I know, don't pick...but sometimes if I don't they linger!

I guess at this point I just need some encouragement. Should I ask my derm to up my antibiotic dose? How have other people fared at this point? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Any insight would be much appreciated.

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I should mention that I am using Cetaphil Daily Wash in the morning and at night, followed by Proactiv Oil Free SPF 15 moisturizer in the morning. Anything else is too harsh or oily. I also spot treat with a BP like clearasil during the day, but make sure to wash it off before I apply RAM.

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RAM will take a while to work, and what you are going through is completely normal. It might be like this for 8 to 12 weeks before things really turn around. Lame I know. I wouldn't recommend spot treating with BP unless you really feel it makes a difference. Odds are it might cause more irritation or potentially react with the RAM. Are you taking any supplements? I would add a multivitamin and some fish oil if you aren't already doing so. If you are, then there isn't much else you can do except ride it out.

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i have mild to moderate acne. ive been on retin-a .05 for almost 8 weeks now (i'm using it for whiteheads/blackheads) and i'm just now seeing GOOD results. for the first 6 weeks i got quite a few breakouts and my skin was really irritated. in the past week or so ive noticed alot of my whiteheads have cleared (most of them got inflammed before they cleared) and a lot of blackheads cleared or closer to the surface. my skin tone looks soo much brighter and even. it really sucks for a few weeks but ive found it to be more than worth it.

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Up to 12 weeks? Wow, I should start praying for a miracle and that it will clear up sooner. Its so discouraging. But at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am on 100mg Doxy once daily. Is that enough? I had read a few things online that said I should be taking it twice a day, is this right? Anyone have any experience?

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My Son started Retin-A Micro 0.01% on Dec. 11th.. plus he takes 150 mg of Adoxa

every other day. The Derm also has him using a wash twice a day called

Bioglycolic Bioclean by Jan Marini.

This is his ninth day with the Retin-A Micro and wash.

His face started stinging immediately with the Bioglycolic Bioclean

but went away after about 10 minutes.

It has only been 9 days and his face is so red.. burning... and stinging

all day, he has held a washrag on it at times. He is also scaleing I know thats normal

but is the redness, burning and stinging normal? He looks sunbuned Badly...

He is not going to use the wash

or Retin A Micro for a couple of day's to see what happens

any info would be greatly appreciated....

Thank-You

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My Son started Retin-A Micro 0.01% on Dec. 11th.. plus he takes 150 mg of Adoxa

every other day. The Derm also has him using a wash twice a day called

Bioglycolic Bioclean by Jan Marini.

This is his ninth day with the Retin-A Micro and wash.

His face started stinging immediately with the Bioglycolic Bioclean

but went away after about 10 minutes.

It has only been 9 days and his face is so red.. burning... and stinging

all day, he has held a washrag on it at times. He is also scaleing I know thats normal

but is the redness, burning and stinging normal? He looks sunbuned Badly...

He is not going to use the wash

or Retin A Micro for a couple of day's to see what happens

any info would be greatly appreciated....

Thank-You

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My face just got over that really red sunburned phase. It would sting something fierce in the morning after washing. Now it is a little pinkish, but hardly noticeable. I would use Cetaphil, thats the only thing that wouldnt really sting too bad. Don't use any scrubs or try to peel/rub away the flaking skin. The skin directly underneath is really sensitive. I know it is kind of gross, but just let it slough off on its own. Try alternating the RAM, use it only every other night. I know my derm said I could do that (though I never did--used it every day) if it was unbearable.

For me, the burning and discomfort is pretty much gone. I'm more worried now about the pimples! I have more now than ever. I called my derm and asked about upping my antibiotic to 2x daily, but she said to wait another few weeks. I've gone from someone who had some mild white/blackheads and one large pimple during my period per month to more than 6 big ones on my face at a time! And even when they are gone, they leave a big red spot. I hope this "initial breakout period" will end soon.

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Thanks so much for answering us, we called the Derm today.

He said to stop using the Retin A Micro and the wash for a few days

then use it every two nights.

I will also get the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream like you said instead of what we have...

That wash was stinging his face the first time he used it even before

using the Retin A Micro.

He is still holding a wash rag on his face and neck today.

I'm so Thank-full for finding this website, it has helped my Husband and I

understand more of how our son feels and the depression he is really having

because of his acne and the physical pain it causes let alone the mental...

God be willing they will find a cure for acne without having to take acutane.

I pray for members of this board to be cured every night along with our son..

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Wow, I hope the stinging goes away. Definitely laying off the RAM for a few days should do it. Sometimes it just seems so unfair what people have to go through just to feel normal. Sometimes I look at my skin and think, "why are you doing this to me?" It sort of feels like its betraying me.

Well, I woke up this morning and I have a new zit! Blast! It is right by my jawline and very small and pretty much unnoticeable, but it kind of hurts if I brush up against it. I think that is what I hate the most about acne, the hurt. I am hoping that I can put some BP on it today and minimize it. I am sure that I will have no such luck. I have two areas that are still healing. I say areas because one is a dead zit sort of above and to the side of my mouth, with a big raised scab next to a dry red spot from an older dead zit. The next is on my chin and was two zits that sort of came together to form a happy little union, also both dead but with a big raised scab. I have two other non-zits on the other side of my face, they are pretty much red spots from past zits that are peeling from the RAM. I really hate these scabs, though, but they are way better than the painful active zit. They linger for so long and it is hard to cover them up. I usually try to gently wash them in the shower to minimize the outer layer, sort of dissolve it, without accidently ripping it off. I know that in the long run it is better if they stay on because they minimize scarring and red spots.

I talked to my derm yesterday, over the phone. I was concerned about these larger painful zits that I never usually got before RAM. I thought maybe I needed to up my antibiotic, but like I said, she wants to wait a few more weeks. At least the redness is mostly gone. I am still peeling in sheets, ick. Honestly I would be ok with a red peeling face as long as I didn't have zits! But my cheeks and forehead and nose look good, almost dewy. And no zits, just a few blackheads working their way out. I just wish my chin would get with the program. I know this takes time, and I know I need to be patient, and believe me I will stick with it. But I really hope that I am not going through all this for nothing. That like so many people at the end of the 8 weeks the RAM claims it takes to heal me, I will look exactly like I did before, or worse! Oh bother...

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Ok, just thought I would give a quick update. I really hope I am not shooting myself in the foot here...But, as of now I have no NEW pimples developing. This may be a really good sign that my IB is starting to end. I hope I hope!!! Usually before I got to bed, I notice a little painful bump somewhere that will turn into something, but not tonight. I still have the one I woke up with on my jaw this morning, but its on its way to dead. The other stuff I have is just two scabs and a few peeling red spots from long gone pimples. And of course, there are a few blackheads and some whiteheads that are NOT infected as of yet. Hope they decide to leave peacefully. No discomfort when I applied the RAM. Did have some peeling at the end of the day, but at least it waited to slough til I was NOT in public. And no discernable redness other than the red healing areas. I am moving into my I hope this is a new beginning for me! What a great Christmas present that would be!!! And I looked on my calendar and I guess I am finishing my 4th week this weekend!!! I thought I was a week behind that, hm. Guess time flies when you're having fun...ok, no that doesn't work, no fun here. I will keep praying that this is my breakthrough, if anyone has some insight on their experience with RAM at this point, let me know!

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So...it appears my little yelps of joy last night were a little short lived. I did awake to find a small pimple emerging in the proximity of my mouth. Annoying as this is, and slightly painful (not too bad). It is very small and not angry red yet, just light pink. I am hoping that it will not amount to much. In my experience, pimples in that area and of this character either do two things: stay that size and fade away, or get bigger (never coming to a head) and linger for at least a month. Hopefully it will fade into oblivion. Most of the scabs that I had have sort of fallen off here and there, but I still have red marks. The only scab left is right under my jaw on that pimple I got yesterday. It still sort of hurts, but I am going to leave it alone. I had extracted some goo from it yesterday, but I have a feeling if I leave it alone today it will die soon. Other than that, no new developments.

I am try something new today. My derm said it was ok to use my proactiv while on RAM, just not at the same time. Proactiv in the morning and RAM at night. However, I have been unable to do this because of the redness and discomfort the RAM causes. Now that I am no longer experiencing said redness and stinging, I am going to try and work the proactiv back in. No ill effects after my shower, so hopefully I will tolerate this well. Has anyone tried this before? Are the effects good long term or no? I do like that the proactiv keeps the oiliness at bay during the day. I still have some peeling from the RAM, but as it is on the lower part of my face where all the pimples and red marks are located, I should like to encourage the exfoliation to speed up the "beautifying" process. Let me know if anyone has tried this with good results!!! I am anxious to get this IB under control and move onto the glorious clear skin phase of my life, especially before New Years, that would be great.

Hope everyone is having a good Holiday. Don't let the season stress you out and cause new pimples! That is what I worry about!!!

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Well, it is indeed a brighter day. I woke up this morning to discover no new pimples. And the one little guy next to my lip never amounted to anything and is fading away. Anything else I have is a little dry white head easily washed off. I really think this is the end of my IB with RAM. I am so excited. I still have a few initial white heads from before treatment under the skin, but I think those will at least go away quietly without erupting into something painful.

I do, however, have a plethora of red spots covering the lower half of my face. Some of them are peeling, others just sitting there in all their flaming glory. What is to be done? How do I get rid of these red spots. Some have been there since the beginning of my RAM treatment. Does anyone have any good ideas?

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If your face looks sun burnt, then your applying too much. Only a pea size amount all over your skin. If its still red, I would suggest alternating days.

Applying too much can have a detrimental effect.

Retin-A micro helps with red marks.

But what I noticed is that while on Retin-A, my red marks look worse (more red and pigmented) because it makes my face overall slightly redder. So not I just spot treat to compensate.

If you stop retin-A, then your red marks might look less visible. But at the same time, the moment I stop, the acne comes back for me.

Red marks take longer to heal though. You'll be lucky if they heal within 1 month imo. Some people use a glycolic acid peel along with retin-a-but I've never tried it.

Maybe a zinc supplement to help the healing process. It has helped for me. When I get acne marks, they fade quicker.

Maybe a B-complex vitamin as well with folic acid. But I just started taking it like a month ago-my skin does look better though. After taking it, it had noticeably reduced the acne on my chin.

Fish oil supplements also helped with the oiliness on my skin.

Try out the red mark forum as well. Retin-A micro makes your skin very sensitive though, so beware of some of the home treatments on there. I won't suggest something like ACV or baking soda remedies on there.

These three supplements helped me alot. I noticed a change within like two weeks. I also take other supplements, but I've haven't seen any noticeable chances.

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Well, here I am again. It looks like my IB has officially ended. I only got one new pimple since my last post, and that has since gone. My face is no longer red, and the peeling is isolated to first thing in the morning, after I shower and use my face wash, the dead skin is gone. I am glad I started using the Proactiv during the day, my face no longer gets oily throughout the day. I still have some red marks, but they are fading slowly and can be covered with makeup. I still have a few clogged pores around my mouth/chin, but they are slowly opening into blackheads and working their way out, no longer getting inflamed, I think that is the Doxy doing it's job finally. I am soooo happy that I have stuck with RAM this far. While my skin isn't where I want it to be yet, I can tell I am on the road to clear and creamy. I looked at my calendar and I have been using the RAM for 4.5 weeks, since my derm said it would take at least 8 weeks to see full results, I am really pleased at my progress. This time last week I was lamenting my pimply red face, thinking it would never get better, and all of a sudden it did! I will keep updating on my progress. Anyone reading this, take heart! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

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Still no new pimples! My face is no longer oily throughout the day and the peeling is starting to get better. I still have red marks, but I know I need to be patient and they will fade. Already I notice a difference from just a few days ago. I am so glad that IB is over, I didn't think I could take much more of it. Hopefully my skin will stay zit free! I will keep you all posted.

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Update- Awoke this morning to find a pimple growing near my chin/mouth. It is and under the skin (i.e. no head) red bump. I am not too concerned about it, cause the last one didn't amount to much, so I think it should go away soon. I have a few bumps above my upper lip, but thats because I waxed yesterday and I think it irritated my skin. These bumps aren't infected and should go away soon as well. Definitely still have red marks. I have to wear makeup when I leave the house, but its slowly starting to get better. I was noticing that I still have a few dark spots from hyperpigmentation that occured before my treatment. When will those go away??? The derm said they would eventually, but I wonder if there is something else I could be using to speed up that process. Has anyone ever tried any lightening creams? I do worry that I would end up making my chin lighter than the rest of my face or inflaming my red marks.

Other than those problems, I am pretty satisfied with my process. Although, it occured to me that something I read on this site--in a log--might be spot on. The person said they wondered if RAM makes your skin really bad, so that when it goes back to the way it was before RAM that you would be so relieved you would THINK that it worked! I would still say that my skin is on the same "level" that it was before RAM. I still have whiteheads around my chin, I still have red marks (and now more of them) and hyperpigmentation. I STILL have to wear makeup when I go out. Hm. SO where is the improvement? Well, there have been some noticeable benefits of my treatment. When I do get pimples, they go away quickly, thats a plus. My skin is really smooth, especially on my cheeks and forehead. Small areas that used to breakout with tiny pimples, like my hairline and temples are smooth as a baby's butt. And there is the added benefit of small lines and wrinkle removal. While, at 25, I don't have many fine lines persay, I have noticed that the lines from my nose to mouth are GONE, and around my eyes I look "fresher." Hm, that could be nice in a few years.

So, while I am feeling a little skeptical today, I am hoping for clear makeup free skin by March. And I think that is pretty realistic based on what my derm has told me and what I have read. And I know it is important to set realistic goals, otherwise I will let myself down.

So heres to a new year, with new skin!

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Hm. I'm on a similar treatment to you (you can see in my signature), but I saw drastic improvements, and I'd say almost no IB. (just lots and lots of peeling/dry skin the first week) I started mid-November, so basically I'm 6 weeks in, and I'd say I'm 99% clear, just a few redmarks. I've been actually leaving the house without foundation, just concealer on the redmarks, and I haven't done that since I was 13!

I wonder if the fact that I'm on a BP facewash has anything to do with it. I was skeptical at first, because I heard you shouldn't mix BP and Retin-A (I've been careful to only apply the wash in the morning and obv. the Retin-A at night), and also I've not had good results with BP in the past, but maybe it did help? I mean, I guess the fact that it helps kill off surface bacteria WHILE the antibiotic is working from the inside?

Dunno, I'm not a doctor.

But good luck, and I'm sure things will get better. You could ask for a BP facewash like mine, it could help. I'd say our stories are similar. I'm 21, had acne since I hit puberty (mild to moderate, never cystic but pretty damn bad on some days, just in the fact that it was everywhere and really red) and finally went to a derm last month. So glad I did!

Edit: Ha! And I am also on YAZ. 'Nother coincidence!

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Hm. I'm on a similar treatment to you (you can see in my signature), but I saw drastic improvements, and I'd say almost no IB. (just lots and lots of peeling/dry skin the first week) I started mid-November, so basically I'm 6 weeks in, and I'd say I'm 99% clear, just a few redmarks. I've been actually leaving the house without foundation, just concealer on the redmarks, and I haven't done that since I was 13!

I wonder if the fact that I'm on a BP facewash has anything to do with it. I was skeptical at first, because I heard you shouldn't mix BP and Retin-A (I've been careful to only apply the wash in the morning and obv. the Retin-A at night), and also I've not had good results with BP in the past, but maybe it did help? I mean, I guess the fact that it helps kill off surface bacteria WHILE the antibiotic is working from the inside?

Dunno, I'm not a doctor.

But good luck, and I'm sure things will get better. You could ask for a BP facewash like mine, it could help. I'd say our stories are similar. I'm 21, had acne since I hit puberty (mild to moderate, never cystic but pretty damn bad on some days, just in the fact that it was everywhere and really red) and finally went to a derm last month. So glad I did!

Edit: Ha! And I am also on YAZ. 'Nother coincidence!

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Hm. I'm on a similar treatment to you (you can see in my signature), but I saw drastic improvements, and I'd say almost no IB. (just lots and lots of peeling/dry skin the first week) I started mid-November, so basically I'm 6 weeks in, and I'd say I'm 99% clear, just a few redmarks. I've been actually leaving the house without foundation, just concealer on the redmarks, and I haven't done that since I was 13!

I wonder if the fact that I'm on a BP facewash has anything to do with it. I was skeptical at first, because I heard you shouldn't mix BP and Retin-A (I've been careful to only apply the wash in the morning and obv. the Retin-A at night), and also I've not had good results with BP in the past, but maybe it did help? I mean, I guess the fact that it helps kill off surface bacteria WHILE the antibiotic is working from the inside?

Dunno, I'm not a doctor.

But good luck, and I'm sure things will get better. You could ask for a BP facewash like mine, it could help. I'd say our stories are similar. I'm 21, had acne since I hit puberty (mild to moderate, never cystic but pretty damn bad on some days, just in the fact that it was everywhere and really red) and finally went to a derm last month. So glad I did!

Edit: Ha! And I am also on YAZ. 'Nother coincidence!

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Alright, so I know it has been awhile since my last update. I was out of town for the holidays and didn't have internet. So, it has been about 6.5 weeks since I began my treatment with RAM and Doxy. About a week ago I was really clear (except for the red marks) then I started getting pimples again. These were smaller than the ones I got with the IB and usually healed within a day or two. But I keep getting more and more and they leave little red spots. How annoying!

Maybe it has something to do with my new moisturizer? I recently bought a moisturizer with spf 15 and AHA cause I thought it would help with the red spots. I might stop using it because I feel like it makes my face redder.

My forehead, cheeks and nose look great, its just my jawline/chin area! How frustrating. I know I need to keep using it though, it supposed to be 8 weeks before noticeable results, and the derm said it could be 3 months. I am wondering if I need to up my Doxy to twice a day, I will ask my derm when I go for my checkup in a week or so. I'll start updating more regularly!

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Argh! Well, If I had written this update yesterday at this time, you would be hearing about how clear and wonderful my face is starting to get. Yesterday at this time, I could see that my red marks were fading, my clogged pores about my chin--under the surface whiteheads--are rapidly vanishing. Alas, last night a pimple began to rapidly develop on my chin/jaw area. It had a small head, so I gave it a little pin prick and a squeeze, utilizing all of the proper methods for safe extraction. Nothing came out, so I left it alone. And it grew, and grew, and grew! I awake this morning to find a moderately sized red dot, with a ridiculous amount of swelling all around! I'm not sure if this is just because I woke up, and facial edema is more prevalent in the morning, or if I am stuck with this chin appendage all day!!! But seriously, my red spots are fading, and the whiteheads are starting to disappear. I know this giant zit monster will abate soon.

I have been on the RAM/Doxy for about 8.5 weeks. So the results are about time! I would say that to the casual observer my face looks about the same as when I started. Mostly because of the red spots (which I had before along with hyperpigmentation). However, the multitude, and I mean multitude, of whiteheads/clogged pores that were constantly becoming inflamed before are starting to go away. I used to have, easily, 20 or more. Now I can only count 3 or 4. And the derm said these would take the longest to start to slip away. Speaking of the derm, I go tomorrow for a checkup. I am going to ask about upping my doxy to 2x a day so these bigger, occasional, painful pimples will stop coming on. Hopefully she will agree, she has to if she looks at this thing growing on my chin! I wonder if she will up my RAM as well. I am currently on .04% and maybe the .1% will give me the final push to sweet facial bliss.

I'll keep you updated!

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By the way. I changed my regimen, as you can see on my signature. The biggest thing is I stopped using the AHA lotion, it really made my face red and oily. My skin doesn't peel anymore, so I don't need it anyways. Also, I dropped the toner, it just made my face shiny.

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Pimple status update: Ok, the big pimple on my jaw/chin area that I attempted to extract yesterday to no avail and was big and angry all day. I squeezed a bunch of goo out of it this afternoon (sorry for the details) and it is looking/feeling much better. I have a scab now and it is red but no pain. HOWEVER, a new pimple cropped up in pretty much the same location on the opposite side of my face, literally within a span of an hour. It looked ready, so I pricked and sqeezed some goo out, no residual pain and it is drying up. I should have let it fester so the derm would see just how badly I need to up my Doxy. I am sure my face will look pristine, for once, tomorrow for my appointment. Isn't that always the way it works?!? Then as soon as I get home 20 pimples will instantly appear. I am a little disappointed that I am not completely clear at this point, after 8.5 weeks. But, I would say that things are looking better. My derm did say it would take 3 months to see full results. So for now, things are at least slightly better than before RAM and getting better by the day, so there is no reason to quit. I wonder if she will up my RAM concentration? Has anyone had any experience with this? Would I need to expect ANOTHER initial breakout? I don't think I could do another one of those again, that was just too much for me. I can deal with a week or two of redness, but no more of those huge painful cyst-like pimples.

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Alright. A few new developments. First off, saw the derm a few days ago, she upped my Doxy to 100mg TWICE daily. I was expecting that. I am continuing with the same strength of RAM, thank God. I am have some minor tummy troubles with the new Doxy dosage, but it is very minor and I am sure it will resolve itself soon.

I have two new pimples. One in my hairline and one on my forehead. The hairline one is pretty little, the forehead one is slightly sore. This is new because I haven't gotten any on my forehead in a while, and only had one my whole treatment. The pimple on my chin has resolved, just a little red mark left. The derm said all in all, I have had good results. I am looking slightly better than before I began treatment. To the casual observer I look the same I'm sure, but I do see that the clogged pimples are gone. Soooo, this should mean less future breakouts, yay! The derm said the red marks can take 6 months to go away, so I just need to be patient. All in all, my face is less greasy than before treatment, which is a huge plus. I do also notice that any small scarring I had plumped up nicely and other than the red marks, I have no other problems. Good! So with the new doxy dosage, any other painful pimples should be eliminated from now on. The derm says that I have to be pimple free for a few weeks before going off the antibiotics, to make sure we have really eliminated any bacteria.

So, good report I think, I am happy with the results so far. Perserverence pays off, and I know things will keep getting better!

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