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Irin99

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

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Day 74:

Nothing new to report. Still breaking out, still at the same point in my treatment. I know retinoids take a long time to work, but come on, I really hoped I'd be a lot better at this point. Nothing to do but keep on trying. I did decide to give this treatment a good 6 months and if there is no improvement, then its back to the doctor.

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EDIT: I started thinking about when I started this routine and counted how long I've been on it and I've actually been using Retin-A Micro for 77 days. Interesting. So, about 10 1/2 weeks. I don't care either way, I'm just getting truly impatient! Particularly since people say around the 12 weeks mark I should really see some great results. Nothing to do but wait I suppose cause I gotta keep going.

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EDIT: I started thinking about when I started this routine and counted how long I've been on it and I've actually been using Retin-A Micro for 77 days. Interesting. So, about 10 1/2 weeks. I don't care either way, I'm just getting truly impatient! Particularly since people say around the 12 weeks mark I should really see some great results. Nothing to do but wait I suppose cause I gotta keep going.

It takes a very long time to work. I'm not sure if 12 wks is realistic, but good luck. Don't get discouraged if it is not that great. it will work eventually, believe me.

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It takes a very long time to work. I'm not sure if 12 wks is realistic, but good luck. Don't get discouraged if it is not that great. it will work eventually, believe me.

Wow, ok. It had previously seemed that the overall consensus was around 12 weeks. How long would you say to wait? I've been planning on at least 6 months before entertaining the idea of seeing a doctor but its very tough because I'm just sick of still breaking out. The problem is, my skin looks really great. The scars are fading and my skin is soooo much smoother and the overall tone looks awesome! On top of all of this, I'm still breaking out. Not a lot, but enough. At least 1 new one every day or every other day. I go through periods of feeling great about my progress and days of feeling like crap about my progress. But I'm trucking through.

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Hi Irin,

I have been using retin-A about 11 weeks. I have a similar feeling to you -- I'll feel great about my progress for a few days, and then I'll get new breakouts and feel discouraged. I am hoping that the periods of discouragement will get fewer and further between.

I am definitely not clear yet (I have a ton of little whiteheads that I know are going to get worse before they go away), but I am getting there. I am sure you will too, just keep going!!

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Day 85: Blah...still stuck in the same situation, aka lack of clearing and still no signs of the improvement that I should be experiencing. And on top of it, I've got 2 wonderful cysts that decided to pop up both in the weirdest of places....one literally in my earlobe and the other on my neck. Never get pimples there....until now! And the icing on my cake, I can feel one growing on my one area that I never get breakouts either, smack dab in the center of my forehead...super fun.

I did post a couple of updated pics to my gallery here.

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Hi Irin,

I have been using retin-A about 11 weeks. I have a similar feeling to you -- I'll feel great about my progress for a few days, and then I'll get new breakouts and feel discouraged. I am hoping that the periods of discouragement will get fewer and further between.

I am definitely not clear yet (I have a ton of little whiteheads that I know are going to get worse before they go away), but I am getting there. I am sure you will to, just keep going!!

Thanks liz, I appreciate the encouragement. I'm trying to stay positive because I have seen improvements in my skin overall, I just haven't stopped breaking out at all. Perhaps I'm still going through an IB?? I've seen an overall smoothing of my skin and scars but the breaking out every day is killing me! I still plan on sticking with it for another 3.5 months though. I want to give RAM a full chance to work and I figure if it doesn't work in 6 months, it's not going to.

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I am in a very similar situation, only I'm on differin (i'm not sure how this ranks in relation to retin-A, but I think they're similar). I've been using it for about 11 weeks now, and while my skin looks amazing - more even toned, tightened, radiant - it's still breaking out constantly and i'm really frustrated with my lack of progress.

anyway i know this isn't helpful at all, but i really sympathize with you. hopefully the breakouts will stop sometime soon.

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I am in a very similar situation, only I'm on differin (i'm not sure how this ranks in relation to retin-A, but I think they're similar). I've been using it for about 11 weeks now, and while my skin looks amazing - more even toned, tightened, radiant - it's still breaking out constantly and i'm really frustrated with my lack of progress.

anyway i know this isn't helpful at all, but i really sympathize with you. hopefully the breakouts will stop sometime soon.

Hey Amelia, it's more helpful than you know.

As an update, my skin is actually doing well today and yesterday. I'm hoping that the lower humidity levels and drier air are helping! Who knows at this point! But, things are healing nicely and wow, nothing new when I woke up this morning. Of course, we all know this can change. Regardless, I'm now 88 days in and I've really put in too much time to throw in the towel this soon.

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Just wanted to thank you for your posts. I'm 31 and have been dealing with acne since the age of 13. It's been a long battle. Things got better in my late 20's, but then a resurgence in the last year has driven me to try RAM .04%. I'm towards the end of week 5. My first couple of weeks were not so bad, but the last 2-3 weeks have been a lot of IB... in spots where I haven't had acne in a long time!

I've been calling it the Face Project -- as it is definitely a project! Whenever I start to feel really discouraged, I read posts like yours, and it helps me. I wish I wasn't so preoccupied with it all, but I am. Sounds like other people are too!

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Day 93:

Sorry it's been a few days but things have taken a turn.....for the better! My skin has totally cleared up and is healing nicely. I did have a monster inflamed pop up on Monday but by Tuesday it was gone. My skin is looking really good (with makeup on). With the exception of a lot of hyperpigmentation (red marks), things are looking really good. I'll take a couple of pics tonight and try to post them in my gallery.

I've now passed the 12 weeks mark and I'm hoping that by sticking it out this long, maybe my reward is finally approaching. I've been aiming towards improvement by the last weekend in May because I'm going to a wedding where all of my BF's college friends will be so I want to look my best. Maybe that will actually happen.

On a side note, just 2 1/2 weeks left in my semester and I can't wait. And I'll have to officially change the name as of May 4th cause I'll be 27 (boooo - so much closer to 30).

I'm really glad I've stuck things out this far.

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Just wanted to thank you for your posts. I'm 31 and have been dealing with acne since the age of 13. It's been a long battle. Things got better in my late 20's, but then a resurgence in the last year has driven me to try RAM .04%. I'm towards the end of week 5. My first couple of weeks were not so bad, but the last 2-3 weeks have been a lot of IB... in spots where I haven't had acne in a long time!

I've been calling it the Face Project -- as it is definitely a project! Whenever I start to feel really discouraged, I read posts like yours, and it helps me. I wish I wasn't so preoccupied with it all, but I am. Sounds like other people are too!

It is so easy to get discouraged. I find that I have my days where I'm totally positive (cause usually my skin is looking really good) and then I have a lot of days where I'm discouraged and feeling like things aren't working at all. The past month has been really hard because I expected to see results after 2 months, as RAM states. For me however, this progress has taken a lot longer. From the get-go I knew I was going to stick it out as long as possible to give the medicine a fair chance. So many times I've started something and not let it go the full course. For this, I wasn't giving up regardless of how my skin looked. And I'm so glad I did because I'm now finally seeing results. Don't give up! I wish you the best of luck.

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Hey Irin. Just wanted to see how you were progressing. Well, I don't know how long ago I (re)started with RAM 0.1%, but luckily my prescriptions don't expire until November. I'm on tetracycline 500mg 2x a day, plus the RAM. I don't think I'm going back to the derm until I am running out of prescriptions.

So my face has improved, but very very slowly. Acne is actually no longer the main problem. I have maybe 4 or 5 pimples in total, but that's spread across my chin and cheeks, so no biggie really.

However, my problems now consist of hyperpigmentation. I don't think I'll have scarring, but the discoloration caused by previous acne goes away only very slowly as well, so I know I just have to give this stuff time. Another problem is a cyst on my right cheek that has not gotten away in months. It must literally be at least 5 months old, if not older. I'm gonna press the derm to do something about this next time I meet with him.

Also, I've decided to up my dosage of RAM. I'm using it twice a day now, each time after I shower. I put on sunblock when I got outside (I have Neutrogena's 45spf and 70spf; I think these are enough to withstand whatever I'm doing that day).

Other than that, I am 100% convinced that time is the key to RAM.

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Day 98:

Big improvements are on their way, I can tell. So far, I've had a small pimple appear near my left ear, so no biggie....the hair covers it! I can see something festering under the surface on the left side of my chin - it hasn't surfaced and it's already almost gone. One great thing about RAM is how much faster things go away! Other than that, I haven't had anything pop up since I last posted. I have noticed that at the end of the day, the skin in my worst areas (chin, laugh "line" areas) is kind of peeeling, but not really. Actually, I guess it is just a bit of dry skin, but with my makeup on, it looks like peeling. Anyway, a small price to pay - I can deal with that, I can't deal with acne.

I also was pleasantly surprised this morning to see that my red marks seem to be healing much faster than usual. Usually I seriously will have red marks for like a year or more because I have very fair/pale skin. But, the ones I've gotten recently, I can see are healing and hopefully going away. That's the worst. You have to not only deal with some nasty zits but then they leave a memory that lasts for what seems like forever.

Regardless, I agree with StephenX in that RAM takes TIME. I seriously was beginning to think I'd never see results but now it looks like I finally am. At least I hope....

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Day 98:

Big improvements are on their way, I can tell. So far, I've had a small pimple appear near my left ear, so no biggie....the hair covers it! I can see something festering under the surface on the left side of my chin - it hasn't surfaced and it's already almost gone. One great thing about RAM is how much faster things go away! Other than that, I haven't had anything pop up since I last posted. I have noticed that at the end of the day, the skin in my worst areas (chin, laugh "line" areas) is kind of peeeling, but not really. Actually, I guess it is just a bit of dry skin, but with my makeup on, it looks like peeling. Anyway, a small price to pay - I can deal with that, I can't deal with acne.

I also was pleasantly surprised this morning to see that my red marks seem to be healing much faster than usual. Usually I seriously will have red marks for like a year or more because I have very fair/pale skin. But, the ones I've gotten recently, I can see are healing and hopefully going away. That's the worst. You have to not only deal with some nasty zits but then they leave a memory that lasts for what seems like forever.

Regardless, I agree with StephenX in that RAM takes TIME. I seriously was beginning to think I'd never see results but now it looks like I finally am. At least I hope....

hey there, I've been using RetinA 0.05% for 2 mths. But it shows no signs of improvements. I have red spots on my face which is the aftermath of acne and so I applied the cream on it. Now that area is like popping up every other day. Should I continue using Retin A? I am getting discouraged every day u know. it's not getting better man.... Do u encounter this too when u are using it at ur 2nd mth?

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Day 104:

I've been battling three nasty zits that popped up. No, not small ones, but huge, painful ones. Ick. They seem to be diminishing though. I'm less confident than I was a week ago. Bleh, I just wish this work 100%.

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Ok so I've been depressing myself by going over to the Accutane posts board and checking out the before and after photos. On one hand, I'm so glad my acne is not as bad as others. On the other hand, a large part of me wants to go on Accutane to finally be rid of this nightmare I face every single day. Too bad my derm will probably never prescribe it for me.

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Day 105:

I'm going to change up my routine a bit. I'm done feeling sorry for myself (sorry guys) and crying about a couple spots and hyperpigmentation. I looked in the mirror today and saw that overall, I am seeing a difference and that is what matters. Anyway, back to the changes. My mom has been raving about the Eucerin Redness Relief skin care line which is for rosacea, but my mom told me that once she started using this line, she stopped breaking out. Not that she had breakouts like me, but I figure we have the same genes, I might as well give it a try. Plus, I was almost out of cleanser! I also decided that I'm doing away with my Purpose moisturizer (for now) and switching to an alcohol free/dye free aloe vera gel and top that with the Nutrogena Clean Touch spf 45 sunblock. So, I'll keep you updated on my new routine and progress!

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Day 111:

So the change to my routine/regimen seems to be going well. I like the aloe vera so far because it is moisturizing yet light. I also LOVE the sunscreen because it is not oily feeling but feels like a light moisturizer not the way the usual sunscreen feels on your face! Overall, I really like the change and have noticed less oil buildup throughout the day. However, I am noticing that my "laugh line" area has become very dry, even before the routine change. I still have my Aveen Ultra Calming night cream that I've been using on that area only if the dryness is too much.

Ok, on to skin changes. One thing I've noticed with Retin A is that you can't pick anything! I've developed over the past several weeks deep and gross blackhead that previously I was able to squeeze out, gross I know, but so satisfying. Now, I have to curb that urge because if I attempt to pick at the smallest or the largest blackhead, my skin gets all torn up because it is so much thinner and sensitive. However, my skin is healing much faster and if I can just keep my hands off of it, I think things will work out better! So far, not much is happening. The previous week's breakout is healing nicely but nothing new is popping up. I have a wedding to go to with my BF at the end of the month and I really want my skin to be in top shape! If only I could fade these red marks...

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Day 114:

So, the new routine is doing well still. I've had a couple of tiny, tiny pimples pop up that literally went away as fast as they came. I'm dealing with dryness and redness in my laugh line area. Other than that, things are looking pretty good.

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Hey Irin I started on Retin A gel 0.01% 3 days ago. I haven't noticed much irritation or redness since and minute flakes. I'm thinking shall I move up or continue trying this for a bit?

Also my ance is mainly comedomes such as whitehead (the kind tht if you squeeze a string of white stuff comes out). What I did this morning was squeeze almost all of the whitehed bumps i could see and now I have little bumps left. Do you think this will prevent an IB as atleast reduce it?

Also how are your red marks healing up? I have quite a few red/brown marks. Do you have any updated pictures?

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Hey Irin I started on Retin A gel 0.01% 3 days ago. I haven't noticed much irritation or redness since and minute flakes. I'm thinking shall I move up or continue trying this for a bit?

Also my ance is mainly comedomes such as whitehead (the kind tht if you squeeze a string of white stuff comes out). What I did this morning was squeeze almost all of the whitehed bumps i could see and now I have little bumps left. Do you think this will prevent an IB as atleast reduce it?

Also how are your red marks healing up? I have quite a few red/brown marks. Do you have any updated pictures?

Perhaps you are on 0.1%...??? Which is actually a higher concentration than my 0.04%. Regardless, I did not experience much irritation, redness, or peeling, just a little bit here and there. My initial experience was a small IB that did not consist of more pimples, they just came up faster than usual.

Additionally, in the first month or two, I found that extracting the "gunk" in pimples made them heal MUCH faster, BUT as I've been on it longer, my skin is so much more sensitive that if I leave everything alone, it goes away super fast. If it pick at even a blackhead, it will pop up into something nasty that sticks around. So I'm learning to leave my skin alone because of how sensitive it is.

My acne has improved to the state that it is no longer cystic (wasn't too pronounced in the beginning) and what does pop up is usually an open comedone (gross whitehead ready to pop) that goes away very quickly.

My red marks, I'm still battling. However, my scarring has decreased considerably. I haven't taken any new pics but I will try to take some either tonight or tomorrow and post them to my gallery.

Looking back, I have improved quite a bit and with makeup on, my skin looks just about perfect. However, I have noticed a flareup usually 1 week after my period. Otherwise, for the past month, I have led a mostly acne-free month. The red marks kill ya though. They are slowly fading. I recommend at least spf30 every single day even if it is rainy and cloudy. I LOVE the new Nuetrogena dry touch sunblock because it is not greasy whatsoever.

Good luck and keep me updated! Also feel free to ask more questions if you have any!

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Irin,

Did your skin start off with a dry look to it when you first started using Retin A Micro? Do yu still flake and peel a little or alot after these 100 odd days of usage?

And do you think you will ever be able to go without using a moisturizer?

All these creams is such a hassle. Renova is supposed to be more moisturizing, maybe using that would with dryness??

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Thanks for the reply. No i'm actually using 0.01% its the lowest in the gel form and the UK only has Retin A in 0.01% and 0.025%. I am going to ask my doc to prescribe the the 0.025 hopefully next week sometime. Also we don't have RAM in the UK only the regular (I really don't know why). But ye basically after 2 days of starting I did notice all the bumps with gunk insid were easy to extract so I spent a good amount of time getting rid of them without causing irritation. Today i have noticed that the two deep pimple I had a day before Retin A have now finally started to dry up so hopefulyl in a day or so it should just fall off. My main problem is not only preventing more comedomes but really also getting rid of my hyperpigmentation marks and getting and even skin tone! Hopefully this works and I will keep everyone updated. thanks.

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Irin,

Did your skin start off with a dry look to it when you first started using Retin A Micro? Do yu still flake and peel a little or alot after these 100 odd days of usage?

And do you think you will ever be able to go without using a moisturizer?

All these creams is such a hassle. Renova is supposed to be more moisturizing, maybe using that would with dryness??

Hey DC. Actually, when I started, it was staggered to prevent irritation and dryness. In fact, I haven't had any dryness until the past couple of weeks on my chin and laugh line area. I have yet to figure out how to stop/get rid of it, but I'm trying.

Thanks for the reply. No i'm actually using 0.01% its the lowest in the gel form and the UK only has Retin A in 0.01% and 0.025%. I am going to ask my doc to prescribe the the 0.025 hopefully next week sometime. Also we don't have RAM in the UK only the regular (I really don't know why). But ye basically after 2 days of starting I did notice all the bumps with gunk insid were easy to extract so I spent a good amount of time getting rid of them without causing irritation. Today i have noticed that the two deep pimple I had a day before Retin A have now finally started to dry up so hopefulyl in a day or so it should just fall off. My main problem is not only preventing more comedomes but really also getting rid of my hyperpigmentation marks and getting and even skin tone! Hopefully this works and I will keep everyone updated. thanks.

RA definitely helps even skin tone and lessen red marks. However, the most dramatic transformation for me has been the decrease in scarring. Careful with your extractions as the longer you are on Retin A the more sensitive your skin becomes and extracting will cause a huge flareup, at least in my case

Day 118:

Not too bad so far. I did have one pimple pop up on my left cheek, but otherwise, things are looking really good. I'm trying sooooo hard to get my skin into super shape for this wedding the weekend after memorial day. All of my BF's college friends will be there and I need to look hot! Thank god for makeup. Anyway, my skin is feeling smoother and overall doing pretty good. Still a pimple though and this stupid dryness is killing my makeup after a few hours. I'm also experimenting with the oil cleansing method in the evening and the Eucerin Redness Relief in the morning. I'll keep you updated...as usual. :)

I took some new pics.....they are in my gallery HERE.

Let me know what you think. I did not use a flash this time so you can see more of my scarring much more clearly now. I just washed my face so the big red pimple has already subsided some. Anyway, let me know if you see an improvement. Thanks!

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