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tretinoin .025% starting today

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I've had acne all my life. It was awful and I used everything, including 2 courses of accutane. I'm 33 now and I don't break out terribly anymore, but I get still break out and I get a hormonal break out every month (I might be starting spiro in a few weeks, but I haven't decided yet if it's a good idea for me since I'm considering getting pregnant within the next few years).

I just picked up my prescription for .025% tretinoin. My question for those of you who have used it is if I don't break out a lot anymore, will I still get a bad initial break out, or is the initial break out worse if you are still experiencing constant moderate to severe breakouts or cystic acne?

My understanding is that the initial break out is caused by bringing things to the surface, so is it the more you have to bring to the surface the worse your initial break out is?

Is there any way to avoid an initial break out or reduce its severity?

Thanks for any insight you can give!

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well i've tried all three strengths .25,.5 and .1. i couldn't handle the strongest one...it was just too strong but i was okay with the other two.

i've had acne pretty much since i was 14. 29 female. for me, retin-a helped a little, but made me peel like mad and kept me red pretty much all the time. that's why i tried something else.

if you're acne is pretty much under control i highly doubt you'll have any problems. you may have a small breakout, but not too bad.

my mom uses it and she's 50. her main concern is wrinkles. i used it mainly for acne. it will help both. just make sure you use a pea sized amount and apply it evenly over your entire face. use a gentle cleanser such as purpose or aveeno and a gentle moisturizer during the day with an spf to protect your skin from the sun. you may want to try purpose with spf 15 or your favorite moisturizer-just make sure it has an spf of atleast 15 because your skin will become very sensitive while on retin-a.

make sure you do not tan or get your eyebrows waxed while on retin-a. if you do wax, stop your retin-a atleast 3 days or more before waxing to prevent burning.

is this your first time using it? you may want to start by using it every other night until your skin adjusts to it.

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Hey, thanks for the thorough reply, I really appreciate it! I used retin-a way, way back in 8th grade when it was first approved for acne, so I guess I can't really compare. I don't even remember what strength I used, but I did alternate days back then, retin-a one day, cleocin the next. I remember it helped, but I don't remember if I got worse before I got better.

I use cetaphil for normal/oily skin and neutrogena original moisturizer with spf 15. I've been using these for years because any time I switched products I'd end up breaking out. I think it was my skin getting used to the new ingredients.

(It's hard for me because I'm a product junkie, I want to try every new thing and am attracted to any pretty new packaging, lol. But I've been faithful to this routine of cetaphil and nuetrogena for almost 10 years and I have to keep telling myself: if it ain't broke, don't fix it!). Although with the tretinoin I might switch to the neutrogena mosturizer with the SPF 30. I've seen it mentioned a bunch of times on these boards as one that people don't have too much trouble with.

Right now I have a whitehead and a few red bumps on my chin and my skin is super oily, but I have my period. Next week the oil will be in check and the acne will be mostly gone. My back and chest, however, are breaking out like mad all the time, which they never, ever did before, even when my face was covered in cystic acne all the time, so hopefully the tretinoin will help.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this switch from benzaclin to tretinoin was a good idea!

Thanks again. I very much appreciate that you took the time to share info with me.

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