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Irin99

Retin-A Micro and 26 (now 28) years old

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So, from the title you can gather that I'm a 26 year old woman. Well, almost 27....in 3 months. I've decided enough is enough. My battle began in my late teens and has kept coming full force. By the time I reached 23-24 I was dealing with severe acne. I should have gone on Accutane at that point but decided against the side effects and leapt head first into Blu-U with Levulan and Smoothbeam treatments. 2 years later I'm happy with the results because it decreased my acne considerably and now I would say I have mild to moderate with an occasional cyst. So the bottom line is, I'm still breaking out. My list of previously tried products include:

SA

BP

Apple Cider Vinegar (Internally & Externally)

Diet changes

Vitamins (Zinc, B, etc)

Proactiv

Murad Acne Complex

Various combinations of OTC products

Clindamycin

Erythomycin

Duac

Tazorac

Blu-U w/Levulan

Smoothbeam

And probably numerous others I can't even remember right now. So, with the new year and everything and still dealing with breakouts I finally made an appointment with my doctor. I decided to start with my PCP and if things don't improve, then I can be referred to a dermatologist. My doctor told me (after telling her everything I've tried) that the next course of action would/should be Accutane, but that my kind of acne is not necessarily "bad" enough to use it. Not her exact words, but I knew that anyway. So she prescribed Retin-A Micro 0.04%. My routine is as follows:

Morning:

Wash with Aveeno Ultra Calming Foamer Cleanser

Apply Purpose w/ SPF 15 (will probably switch to Ultra Calming formula when this is empty)

Night:

Wash with Aveeno Ultra Calming Foamer Cleanser

Wait 20 minutes

Apply pea sized amount of RAM

Wait 20 minutes

Apply Aveeno Ultra Calming night cream

I'm beginning the first week with applications every 3rd night. The following week with be applications every other night, and the 3rd week will be applying every night. My doctor is hoping that this will alleviate some of the irritation.

I applied my first application last night and was surprised at how far a pea sized amount does not go, but I made it work. No burning, tingling or itching, so that is great. Active acne right now: I have a monster volcano that popped yesterday morning during my shower, 1 or 2 other active inflammed pimples, and a couple I can see and feel under the surface, in addition to a couple that are in the healing stage. Also, lots of blackhead on my nose, a few on my forehead, and a few on my chin. Overall, my condition today isn't too bad, and only applying the Purpose hasn't seemed to increase any oiliness during the day. We'll see what happens from this point on, but I'm really hoping this works.

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Day Two:

No RAM application last night. Obviously not much of a difference except that I don't have anything coming up at the moment. We'll see! My next RAM application will be Friday night.

As for applying moisturizer after the Retin-A, I may increase the time between the Retin-A application and the moisturizer, but I'm trying to combat the irritation and dryness factor. If I feel like the moisturizer is interferring with the Retin-A's potency, then I will change my routine, but for the moment, this is what I'm trying. I have also heard that to ease application you can mix a little with moisurizer at the same time....so there is a lot conflicting advice out there. Thanks though!

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Day Three:

Again, not much going on. I have one pimple that popped up last night (well, I noticed it after work) in a strange and out of character place for me. Oh well. Luckily, no dryness, flaking, peeling, irritation but then again, I've only had one application! My 2nd application will be tonight. What a boring log....nothing is going on.

In that case, I'll post a joke, courtesy of comedy central.

Dragging Their Feet

Two men are approaching each other on a sidewalk. Both are dragging their right foot as they walk.

As they meet, one man looks at the other knowingly, points to his foot and says, Vietnam, 1969."

The other points his thumb behind him and says, "Dog crap, 20 feet back."

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Day 6:

Ok, so I had my 2nd application on Friday night and all went well. No burning, stinging on application and the next day there wasn't any irritation, redness, or dryness, so that's good. Overall, over the weekend I noticed that my skin is a lot less oily already. Usually when I go to wash my face I can feel the oiliness of the day....Saturday night I didn't feel that.

I've got a lovely vertical line of acne that has formed on myleft cheek (not a usual place for my acne). One on my right upper lip and one directly underneath it below my lip....yay! One coming up next to my right eye. A total of 7 or so active pimples. Thank god I'm a girl and can at least cover up with makeup.

Tonight is my 3rd application and will begin every other night applications this week. So my 4th will be Wed night.

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Day 7:

I had my 3rd application last night and woke up to a lot less inflammed acne. The large cystic-like bump I had coming up next to my right eye has gone down considerably. The lovely line of acne I had running vertically down my left cheek is less inflammed and looked a heck of a lot better this morning.

I did notice at the end of the day yesterday that areas where I was still healing from old acne under the skin (but not on the surface) were peeling ever so slightly. I also noticed after washing my face last night that the blackheads on my nose are already diminishing slightly.

I begin every other night applications tomorrow night, so we'll see how things go. In addition, my lips have been super dry, not peeling or cracking, but very dry feeling and have been slathering on lip balm like crazy. I actually found a small sample size of aquaphor and now realize why people sing its praises. I tried some on my lips and it was like heaven!

As for active pimples, I'm not seeing anything coming up in the works and like I said above, current zits seem to be decreasing much more quickly.

I'll try and remember to take some pics tonight and post.

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Day 8:

I move to every other night applications for this week tonight. Next Monday will be every night applications. I'm a bit nervous to see how my skin reacts. Today it actually looks pretty good. The line of acne is dissipating and healing nicely. Any of the very minor peeling is gone. There isn't any redness or anything. We'll see how things look tomorrow and more importantly by next Monday. I'll just be continuing to moisterize and drink lots of water!

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Day 12:

In all honesty, there is not too much to report. I'm not really breaking out, except for one minor pimple near my lip and several that are healing nicely on my left cheek. Otherwise, I am finding that things seems to healing much faster and nicer than before and the overall oiliness of my face has disspated.

Tonight I move to every night applications. I've been very diligent about only applying a pea sized amount of RAM and moisterizing as well. I think these are some contributing reasons that I haven't noticed any redness or irritation upon application and have had minimal to no peeling. BUT, with that said, I start every night applicaitions from here on out so things could certainly change for me.

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Day 14:

So I'm halfway through my first month and yet again, not too much to report. I'm on nightly applications so last night was the first time I applied for 2 nights in a row. This morning, it seemed like my skin felt a bit more sensitive, but no redness, irritation, or peeling. I don't have any acne brewing (that I can see or feel anyway) and seem to be healing quite nicely, so far. I have quite a lot of hyperpigmentation and scarring from previous breakouts that I'm hoping the Retin A will help clear up.

I have a feeling that I could be headed for the dreaded IB right now along with redness, irritation, and peeling. BUT, I'm hoping that my continual moisterizing and simple morning routine will help. I'm not using any toners or anything other than what is in my signature.

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Day 22:

Wow, I didn't realize it had been this long since updating my log! Things have been going really well. I've notice I'm a lot drier though and by the end of the day some minimal peeling has begun. As for an IB, I don't think I've noticed any difference, meaning no more pimples and no less. They are just there. I think I have maybe 4 active ones but they are different than they were before. Harder, less pussy (gross, I know), and seem to be healing much faster. Also, they are much smaller and MUCH less painful than before. So far, for being 3 weeks in, I think things are going really well!

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Day 25:

The IB is here, oh yes, the IB is here. I'm convinced. While my skin has been having a pimple here a zit there, the past couple of days I've had at least 1-3 new, albeit small, zits daily. And they are not fun. Luckily, my skin has been dealing with the Retin-A very well. I've seen some peeling around the active and healing spots, but otherwise, there is no widespread peeling. I'm dealing with a moderate level of acne right now and a lot of hyper pigmentation. BUT, being 25 days in, I'm feeling pretty confident and hoping that by day 60 I'll be seeing excellent results. When i put that into perspective, that is only a little over a month away! I'm feeling hopeful at the moment but ask me again if I get 4 new spots tomorrow.

A pic is attached I took this evening. Here I am, day 25. I wasn't able to upload the 2nd one for whatever reason. Oh well. I'll try again another time.

post-24764-1203392091_thumb.jpg

post-24764-1203392091_thumb.jpg

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Day 34:

Wow, I can't believe it's been this long since I've updated. Here's what is going on. My skin is actually looking really great. I've noticed less oiliness, smoother skin, and it may be prematue thinking or I'm tricking myself, but my red marks seem to be lightening and my scarring looks like it is changing. Of course, my mind could be playing tricks on me. I've noticed my skin looks pretty darn good.....except for my two new friends. I've named them. Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. They are nice and close to each other. Both on the left side of my face. Mt. St. Helens is located on my upper lip above the corner of my lips. Mt. Rainier is located below my mouth about an inch away from the corner of my lips.

I woke up Monday morning and POW, there they were. My face literally hurt and I had to take Advil just to get the inflammatino under control. Talk about Monsterous!!! So Mt. St. Helens is either a cyst or a HUGE closed comedone that went crazy. Mt. Rainier is a lovely peaked inflammed bump with all the signs that it wants to be popped, but I'm not touching it. OTHERWISE, things are looking good...as long as I cover up the left side of my mouth area.

Other side effects: still really minimal peeling, no irritation, no redness.

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I am on differin and also experienced an initial clearing, but then got several cysts on my chin right around week 4/5. Frustrating but hang in there! I'm in the middle of week 5 now and my cysts have gotten better, but still there. Good luck!

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Day 41:

Wow, I can't believe I'm already at day 41! So, I'm having a good week so far. The mountain range has disappeared and I have just a few "foothills" that came up. Overall my skin has more of an overall glow to it. My skin tone seems to be evening out some and I'm still convinced that the hyperpigmentation seems to be fading and scarring looks like it is softening. As for new breakouts, like I said above, I'm not experiencing any more (well, right now, lol) cysts or monsterous zits. Right now I've got a couple of very small inflammed whiteheads that I can totally deal with, compared to what I was dealing with last week. These small bumps go as quickly as they come and usually have a life of about 2 days with minor hyperpigmentation. I've noticed my skin is healing much faster and much more nicely with less redness.

The overall condition of my skin: with applying the RAM every night and ususally taking Sat. nights off, things are looking pretty good. I've had no irritation, extremely minimal peeling, and no redness/blushing. I haven't applied the night cream as faithfully at night and usually only apply if I feel really dry, but I haven't lately! So far, things are going great. I'm almost over the IB period so I'm really hoping for some good quality results by the end of March, which will put me at just over the 2 month mark.

Thanks for the support didi78!

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Retin a microsphere has actually been a miracle to me. This is mostly for all the woman out there who suffer from hormonal acne. Since the age of 12 of recieving my first period I would break out majorly about a week before my time of the month and it would almost heal before my next break out. And then I started using Retin A. I have been using it for about three and a half months and seriously after the 7th week( like they promise) I had zero active pimples on my face! As of now I have been zit free and I mean like NO zits not even little ones for 4 weeks. I didnt break out before my period!!!!! People arent patient and thats why they hate it because their skin gets peely and red. Mine did terribly but I stuck to it and now there is no irritation! So believe you me, this technology is smart and reliable.

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Day 47:

Ok, some actually really great improvements so far! The mountain range is gone...yay! I woke up this morning and took a look in the mirror and was completely surprised at how smooth my skin looked. Like, my scarring had been completely minimized. At this moment, I have not active acne with the exception of one cystic like and very painful bump on my chin. But it has already gone down quite a bit from this morning. Anyway, my skin was glowing all day long and like I said above, looks incredibly smooth particularly compared to last week. I'm really excited to see what happens from here and hopefully the results just get even better. I'm now beginning my 8th week and this is when the manufacturer says to expect results. I'm blissfully optimistic especially after seeing my face this morning.

For those that are struggling just give it a minimum of 2 months. I'd actually started thinking that wow, nothing is happening, I'm still breaking out, what am I doing? But I just kept telling myself, give it 3 months and see what happens. Hopefully, I'm going downhill now!!

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Day 53:

Ok, so I kind of hit a bump in the road with my treatment and taken a step back. My "glorious" results of last week came to a slow down when I started breaking out again in my most persistant spot....the left side of my chin....eck. Anyway, nothing major, but still a major PITA. Oh well. Otherwise, my skin is looking pretty good. Just these new ones, I think three. They should be gone pretty quickly though. I've now been on Retin-A Micro for about 7 1/2 weeks so I should be seeing some good results within the next couples of weeks. Here's to sticking to it!

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Day 60:

I'm getting annoyed and discouraged and I'm tired of waiting for this to kick in! It comes down to one or two healing and then boom....another one pops up. UGH! Oh well, nothing to do but keep waiting. OTHER than the active pimples, my actual skin looks good. If only I'd stop breaking out!

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Please do keep us updated. I am using Retin-A Micro 0.1%. I am trying not to keep track of how long I've been using it. I will look into it soon (I wrote the day down on a notepad). I have heard a lot of people say that 2, even 3 months is much too soon to tell if RAM will work or not. There was this great external article about a girl that used RAM for a year, even though she thought it wasn't doing a damn thing, and now she has the best skin of anyone she knows. Also, I've looked at what other members have posted, and there is a great post by a member here called lqrodriguez, or something like that. She too has flawless skin after using RAM / Tretinoin for a very long time. So anyways, I'm going to try and use this thing for a long time, and hopefully one day I'll look in the mirror and see a miracle. The way I figure it, nothing else has worked, so why stop RAM if it might work? I'm not loosing out on anything.

So please keep us updated, and good luck (to you and me).

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Please do keep us updated. I am using Retin-A Micro 0.1%. I am trying not to keep track of how long I've been using it. I will look into it soon (I wrote the day down on a notepad). I have heard a lot of people say that 2, even 3 months is much too soon to tell if RAM will work or not. There was this great external article about a girl that used RAM for a year, even though she thought it wasn't doing a damn thing, and now she has the best skin of anyone she knows. Also, I've looked at what other members have posted, and there is a great post by a member here called lqrodriguez, or something like that. She too has flawless skin after using RAM / Tretinoin for a very long time. So anyways, I'm going to try and use this thing for a long time, and hopefully one day I'll look in the mirror and see a miracle. The way I figure it, nothing else has worked, so why stop RAM if it might work? I'm not loosing out on anything.

So please keep us updated, and good luck (to you and me).

Yay, thanks for the encouraging words! I was going by the stupid Retin-A website and they keep saying 7 weeks, 7 weeks......and I'm past that now!!! So that's why I've been getting a little discouraging, but this helps. You know how it goes.....things are looking pretty good and then boom, another pimple. I really appreciate your help though!!!!

On another note, things are looking pretty good today! Actives are clearing up nicely (and much more quickly than before RAM). I have notice WAY less blackheads on my nose, which is awesome. I've had a blackhead-full nose since I was 13 and I don't think it's been this clear in...well, ever! Overall, my skin tone looks good, nice and clear and my red spots are fading...my scars look like they are softening ever so slightly which is awesome. Now I just have to keep on trucking!

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Day 64:

So, things actually are going pretty good. Things are healing nicely and I've had minimal new eruptions which is fantastic. I've noticed that my skin is continuing to glow and the red marks are fading more and more. Basically, I'm having a good week....so far, which is a great motivation! Luckily, my makeup covers well!

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Day 64:

So, things actually are going pretty good. Things are healing nicely and I've had minimal new eruptions which is fantastic. I've noticed that my skin is continuing to glow and the red marks are fading more and more. Basically, I'm having a good week....so far, which is a great motivation! Luckily, my makeup covers well!

Hey great log! I'm on .1% retin-a micro but it has only been 6 weeks for me so I'm a bit behind you. I've also seen a reduction in blackheads as well as oil and overall acne but the redmarks remain. Good luck and stay positive!

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I just discovered your log. Your acne is very similar to mine. Do you have a recent pic? I'd love to see how your skin has changed since you posted a pic (which was day 25 or so I think).

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Day 68:

I love log readers! It's always a bit refreshing to realize that there are soooo many other people out there dealing with the same issues you have, regardless of the people you see in real life that look like they've never had a zit in their whole life!

On to my progress. Things still look like they are getting better. I did have a couple of small pimples pop up on my right cheek but they are already healing. I got one monster mountain on my left upper lip (yeah, super fun) that I was DYING to pop. Instead, I popped it slightly last night with a sterilized needle and didn't pinch too much at all. I knew I had to relieve the pain and swelling but didn't want to break the skin. Anyway, it's already going down and looking tons better today.

At the request of a reader, I've started my own gallery to show my progress. The pics are still waiting to be approved, but you can access my gallery here.

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Day 68:

I love log readers! It's always a bit refreshing to realize that there are soooo many other people out there dealing with the same issues you have, regardless of the people you see in real life that look like they've never had a zit in their whole life!

On to my progress. Things still look like they are getting better. I did have a couple of small pimples pop up on my right cheek but they are already healing. I got one monster mountain on my left upper lip (yeah, super fun) that I was DYING to pop. Instead, I popped it slightly last night with a sterilized needle and didn't pinch too much at all. I knew I had to relieve the pain and swelling but didn't want to break the skin. Anyway, it's already going down and looking tons better today.

At the request of a reader, I've started my own gallery to show my progress. The pics are still waiting to be approved, but you can access my gallery here.

Great. Seems like things are looking up. Keep giving us updates. :-)

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