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didi78

Duac and Differin for my adult acne

Hello. So I think it's been just over a month that I started my new regimen (which I believe I started on 12/18/08). Mixed results, though slightly on the more positive side than negative. I don't really have any new pimples, but I still have very stubborn closed comedones that are plaguing me, and definitely still have that one cyst from 2 months ago. The scabs that I mentioned in my last post have mostly fallen off my face (or peeled off by me, I'm sorry to say, I know it's bad, but I can't help it). They have left slightly pink marks, or some hyperpigmentation, and I'm now just waiting for them to go away. Other than that, I think my skin has definitely improved, though far from perfect. There are less pimples overall, but still scars and leftover things from before just don't seem to go away.

I plan on making an appointment with my doctor again for sometime next month, just to get some input about my progress. That will be at the 2 month mark, so I think I can decide whether or not to try a different retinoid at that point. Maybe Differin just isn't for me?

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It's been over 5 weeks since I started my new regimen, and my skin seems to be under control. Still have some closed comedones but they are almost all gone. I also still have hyperpigmentation from previous pimples.

AND ONE BIG CYST FROM OVER 2 MONTHS AGO!!!!

So here's the story. I got this cyst like in December and it's been going through waves of skrinkage and then inflammation. Well, for the past few days, it's been getting REALLY inflammed and REALLY big, without coming to head. It's really bad. I have a bottle of Minocycline that I am considering taking just for this cyst because it seems to be pretty infected (I've done nothing to it, just let it grow). But I don't know if that's the best idea. I posted this concern in the Antibiotics forum but haven't heard back from anyone. Can I take Minocycline for JUST 1 month, for the purposes of treating my cyst? is this a bad idea? Anyone know?

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So i still have that cyst. it's really been forever. Not sure what to do with it. I started taking Minocycline a few days ago to see if it would help with the cyst, and it hasn't helped yet. Still the same. I actually alsio started to break out in tiny little bumps on my face, which is weird too. Maybe it's the Mino? I'm only going to take it for a few weeks and then stop. It made me horribly nauseous the first day I was on it.

So feeling a little discouraged about the whole thing. Not sure if Differin 0.3% is really helping anymore. I'm going to give it a few more weeks and then I'll switch with Retin-A. I have an appointment with my doctor again in 2 weeks, so I'll see what my skin looks like then.

Overall, OK. Still haunted by that cyst, and my skin is still unpredictable.

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Hi everyone. Anyways, i think it's time to update my log.

I went to my doctor yesterday and she recommended that I switch to Retin-A Micro 0.1% and to use that instead of Differin 0.3% Though I think my skin has been looking pretty nice with the 0.3%, I am still unsatisfied with the closed comedones and tiny pimples I still get once in a while. And not to mention that cyst that's been haunting me forever. Also, I have a few shallow, rolling scars left from cysts, and the doctor said RAM 0.1% will help with the scars much more than Differin can. She told me to use RAM on the areas that I still break out (my cheeks and chin) and to not use it on the areas that are relatively clear (like my forehead and sides of cheeks). But that may be tricky, so I may just use it all over on from my cheeks down, and use my leftover Differin on my forehead and neck.

The doctor also prescribed Spiro 25 mg to help with my cyst (along with the Yaz that I've been taking for the past 6 months). Her thoughts are that I can either take the 25 mg on a short-term basis until my cyst goes away, or to just take it indefinitely to help me with my acne in general. I don't think my skin is bad enough to warrant spiro, so I don't know if I'll take it more than a few months. We'll see about that.

Maybe I should start a brand new log since I am no longer using any of the medications that I originally started with (Duac and Differin). :)

Anyways, I'm going to try RAM tonight, and start using it every 2-3 days for the first week or two. I'm still going to use my Clindamycin in the a.m. I may cut out some of my glycolic acid products until my skin gets used to RAM. Wish me luck!

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First day...

So I used RAM for the first time last night, taking care to only use a very small pea-sized amount and spreading a very thin layer on my skin. I decided to spread it on my entire face rather than just focus on the problem spots. Also, I didn't put on any moisturizer after that. I'll see if I'll need that.

So, my reactions....I woke up and it seemed that my hyperpigmentation scars were lighter! Especially one stubborn one that's on my left cheek. I don't know if it's all in my head or what?! How can 1 day do anything? But I swear, I didn't need as much makeup this morning than I usually need to cover up hyperpigmentation.

Now, I'm considering combining RAM with my Jan Marini Bioclear Lotion. But I'm concerned about too much irritation. One idea is to use RAM for 2 consecutive nights, and then take a break on the 3rd night and use bioclear on that night. Another idea is just to alternate between RAM and bioclear every other night, and maybe working up to using RAM in the p.m. and then bioclear in the a.m. I'm still debating about that.

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Day 2:

I called my doctor yesterday who told me that I can indeed use RAM with my glycolic acid products, so I decided to continue to use my cleanser and lotion, though probably more conservatively than before. Last night, I took a break from RAM and used ny bioclear lotion. I woke up this morning with better looking skin. Again, my hyperpigmentation seems to have lessened noticeably and I used very minimal concealer to cover up those marks. My morning regimen was to use my glycolic cleaner and then clindamycin lotion, then sunblock.

Tonight, I'll be using RAM again. I'm nervous about having an initial breakout even though I've been using Differin 0.1 and 0.3 for way over a year. I hope that doesn't happen.

My new regimen:

AM: Glycolic cleanser + Clindamycin Lotion + Lotion (if needed) + Shiseido Sunblock.

PM: Glycolic cleanser or non-glycolic cleanser (alternating nights) + RAM or Bioclear (alternating nights) + Lotion (if needed).

:)

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Day 3:

So I noticed last night when I was washing my face that the non-inflamed closed comedones on the left side of my cheek appeared more noticeable and in larger quantities (there's 7 or 8 of them now, vs. the 4 I had before). tiny and not inflammed, so you can't really see them unless the light is just right. I was worried it was an "initial breakout". I ignored them and put on a pea sized amount of RAM all over and did not moisturize. I don't like how RAM dries in noticeable, chalky/powdery patches. My husband was like, "What's that on your face? Is it dried skin?" I wonder am I applying too much? Maybe I am, but I'm being really careful to only apply a little to decrease irritation. I am definitely using a lot less than the amount I used of Differin.

Anyways, I woke up and my skin is still looking good, but I'm noticing barely noticeable patches of closed comedone bumps on my right cheek near the hairline. And those comedones on my left cheek are still there, but they seem smaller and less noticeable. Hopefully RAM is going to get them all to come out and fall off my face...they tend to be so stubborn!

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Day 9. So it's been a little over a week. I've been using RAM every other day, but started to use it more often over the weekend. So I used RAM both Saturday and Sunday night. My skin is obviously reacting to this because it ws peeling pretty badly yesterday. I got home from work and saw "dandruff" flakes all over my skin, mostly the area around my chin. So I took a break from RAM last night, exfoliated, and moisturized heavily with Complex 15, and then used Clindamycin over it. My skin looked better this morning, but still pretty flaky, so I again moisturized with Complex 15 (but also used a layer of Cellex Hydra-5B hyaluronic gel underneath), Clindamycin, and then my moisturizing sunblock. My skin looks pretty good right now. No noticeable peeling (well, maybe a tiny bit around my mouth) and relatively smooth in appearance. The hyperpigmentation on my chin has definitely improved so I just need a little amount of concealer on 3 spots. My cyst is still there but it seems to be softening somewhat so it is not just a hard knot underneath...it's more spread out if that makes sense. I still have my rolling scars on my left cheek but hopefully they'll get better with time. I also still have some minor small pimples/closed comedones on my left and right cheeks, closer to the hairline.

I'm excited to see more results. I hope the peeling means that my scars are peeling off! :)

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Day 11. It's been 2 more days since my last post. My skin is still pretty even toned, but I've noticed that I'm breaking out in tiny bumps on my forehead and temple area. Not very noticeable and not that many, but still, those weren't there before. I wonder if it's the dreaded "initial breakout"? I also have a slightly bigger pimple next to my nose, but it's really not that big and not that noticeable.

My skin has not been peeling as much, I think because I've been moisturizing it with Hyaluronic Acid and also Complex 15. It's controllable. I'm also still trying to work up to every day application of RAM. Right now, I use it 2 days in a roll, then let my skin rest for a day.

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Day 15. It's been 2 weeks since I started RAM and I am suspecting that I am starting the initial breakout. I've been getting very small red bumps throughout my face, not too obvious or too many, but definitely more than I have gotten in a long time, and also they are popping up in places where I normally do not break out (like my cheek area near my nose, on my forehead, etc.). I am scared it will get worse, but I'm hoping that it will just go away soon.

Funny that I still get a "initial breakout" despite being on Differin for over a year prior to this. What's that all about?

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Day 17:

I've noticed that the pimples I'm getting get dried up and sorta fall off much quicker than before. Also, one of the closed comedones I had for a long time on my left cheek sorta came out and I helped it come out with a gentle squeeze. It sorta left a scab, but it's healing faster than it used to. Hopefully that's the RAM working.

I am stopping bioclear lotion temporarily because I used it 2 nights ago and it left some reddish patches of irritation on my skin. It's almost like a mild "burn" in those patches. I think my skin it too sensitive right now from RAM to use acids.

Other than that, my skin is still mildly peeling in some places, but not too bad. I've been moisturizing a lot with my Complex 15, Hydra B, and Clindamycin lotion, and exfoliate if it gets too bad.

My mother-in-law the other day took a look at my skin and said, "wow, you have such nice skin!" I didn't believe her. Maybe it's all in my head.

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didi!!! How are you?? Looks like you are struggling a bit with your new regimen. As you may have guessed due to my lack of being online, I am clear, happy, and loving my skin!! I am now averaging maybe 1 pimple per month. I never thought I would be that way, but sure enough, I am now!

A few tips from a fellow RAMer....If I take too long of a break between RAM applications and then start back up faithfully, I will begin to peel again, which takes about 2-3 days to subside. I can probably go every other day now, but I really like what RAM has done for my scarring. Also, sometimes I feel like my skin will look a little than luminous, and on those days I will do a glycolic peel (only about 2x's per month) to bring back a healthy glow and help remove any dead skin. Also, I just purchased Smashbox's Foundation Primer...the purple one to help with dull looking skin tone, and WOW does it make my foundation last so much longer. It also helps to fill in the scarring and makes me look really vibrant and glowing. I use Bare Minerals foundation, if that helps.

Good luck sweetie, keep on pursuing. I wish you the best!

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Day 29?

Hi Irin! I'm very happy to hear from you. Again, I am very very happy to hear that you are clear! That's really spectacular news! Also, it gives me hope that I too will become clear one day...possibly very soon!

I haven't updated in a while. For the past two weeks, my skin has been OK. I had one pimple on my chin that was a little bigger than my other pimples, but not a cyst. It's kinda going away but it left a hyperpigmentation scar. My right cheek as cleared up (previously it had a bunch of smaller pimples that I believe were initial breakouts). My left cheek still has some of the stubborn closed comedones from months ago....RAM has not succeeded and getting these guys to come out. I also have 2 rolling scars on my left cheek that REALLY bother me. You can see them under certain light conditions and it's pretty noticeable and depressing. I'm hoping that RAM will eventually get rid of these.

Overall, I'm not stressing and thinking about my skin as much as I used to, so I think that's a good sign. The other day, I even left the house without any concealer and felt OK about it....my hyperpigmentation scars are definitely lighter and acceptable without makeup (except the new one on my chin). Good news I guess!

Don't know why I am not super excited yet. Guess I don't trust these results yet and am still waiting for my scars to improve.

I have also pretty much stopped using the glycolic acid products like Bioclear Lotion. I found it too irritating to use with RAM. yesterday I did use the glycolic cleanser for the first time in probably 2 weeks, and it made my skin very soft. But this morning, my skin seemed a little crusty in some areas, so I think it was irritated by the glycolic acid. I may use it maybe once or twice a week just to help with dead skin, but I think my skin is too thin right now to use it regularly.

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For cysts and nodules and just big inflamed zits -- I can NOT recommend cortisone injections enough. Call your derm. It takes a couple minutes and within 4 days max - they are GONE. Sometimes they are gone within hours. Seriously. I think it is the only thing that will take away the stubborn ones fast. I got in about every 2 weeks and get injections. It's really my saviour.

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Hi Madatit. Thank you for your advice. I don't really get cysts anymore...I just have one that's underground and has been there since Christmas. I actually had pretty bag experiences with cortisone injections. I got them twice before, and each time they helped the cysts go away, but they also left deep, sunken indentations that were there for weeks and weeks. This happened even after my dermatologist diluted the cortisone. So since those experiences, I shy away from cortisone injections. Thankfully, I haven't gotten a new cyst in months! :)

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Day 31 or so.

So I've been on RAM a full month now and here are the results, as objective as possible....I've noticed that I'm much harder on my skin than I should be. Trying to be fair.

By the way, I'm pretty much using RAM daily now, though sometimes I take a break if I notice too much flaking.

So other than a few flakes and some leftover hyperpigmentation and rolling scars, I think my skin is looking pretty good. I am also still getting small pimples here and there, but they generally go away pretty quickly. I would have to say that my skin is probably 90-95% clear, and I haven't gotten a cyst for a while either.

I am still unhappy with my skin though, for the following reasons:

1. Hyperpigmentation and rolling scars.

My hyperpigmentation has gotten better, but the rolling scars are still there. I have a few on my chin that are "acceptable", but there are 2 on my left cheek that I think look hideous. I am hoping that with regular RAM use, these scars will fill in.

2. My "fossilized" cyst.

I still have that underground cyst that I got around Christmas! Nothing is getting rid of that thing, not RAM, not Spiro, not Yaz, NOTHING. It's not really noticeable because it's underground, though in some lights you can see a bump. It's such a strange thing. What is it?!

My doctor had recommended that I get it lasered away, but I feel very nervous about that.

3. Random small zits.

Still getting random small zits. Had one on the left side of my chin about 2 days ago, but it's pretty much gone except for a small hyperpigmented mark.

4. Closed comedones.

Still have these old closed comedones from months ago. They are not going away! They SURE are STUBBORN little guys.

So even though my skin is pretty clear, there are still things there that make me dissatisfied. Hopefully in another month, things will be better!

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It's been another week, so it's been 5 weeks since I started RAM. Nothing much has changed since my last update. Still have the same issues, though I think my hyperpigmentation is even less than before. I've been going to work WITHOUT concealor this week, though I end up applying concealer to e spots on my face when I'm in my office in the morning. My most recent biggish pimple on my chin left hyperpigmentation, and my fossilized cyst is kinda dark, and my rolling scar on my left cheek is kinda dark too. So those are the 3 spots that still need makeup.

That's pretty good huh?!

Oh, I forgot to mention that I used bioclear 2 times on my left and right cheek area in order to loosen up some closed comedones, and it ended up giving me a very light reddish burn. Those areas were pink/red for a few days, and now they are peeling. So I think I'm going to stay away from acid products for now.

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Hey didi78!

Thanks for having this blog!! I started reading it about weeks ago, when I got into Duac+Differin regimen my derm recomended me... well I'm on week 7 now and not feeling very happy… I had my "initial" breakout –with the terrible burning and redness-… but I feel I'm still hanging at the initial breakout part... I don’t have the painful redness anymore but still getting closed red ugly pimples pretty much every day... I tend to get 2 or 3 pimples in one little area, which makes my face hurt a lot and looks like a HUGE volcano is there... well and I also get little pimples too...

Is this normal after week 7?

I'm also on tea tree oil mild soap at nights... I only moisturize in the morning after Duac… I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or should I add something…

I think I’m more frustrated after I had my follow up visit with my dermatologist today and he wants me to start Accutane in 6 weeks…

I’ve been on this regimen of Duac-Differin for 7 weeks, plus Yaz birth control, Dyociclyne pills… and I also started taking a combo of vitamins that I read might be linked to acne (lack of vitamin A, B-complex and others)… shouldn’t all this ‘cocktail’ be working by now?? :wall:

Should I look for another opinion? I’m really afraid of the Accutane side effects…

I’m extremely frustrated and I really don’t see the reason why my doctor doesn’t run test on me to find the root of my acne, instead he is just prescribing me stuff …

Did they run test on you before prescribing you? Do they even do that kind of stuff in this country?

I’m from abroad and my mom told me that my cousin (who also had really bad acne) went to the doctor (back home) and they ran a series of tests and they went straight to the problem, no “lets try this, or that†like I feel they are doing to me here…

HELP

I feel so desperate, tired and annoyed… my self-confidence is on -2, I’m very shy and having my skin like this at age 25 is not really helping AT ALL!

:cry:

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Dear lilmrssunshine. I'm sorry! For some reason I didn't see your post from such a long time ago! Week 7 on Differin was one of the worse for me. I think for me, 5-7 was very bad. I had huge cysts erupting everywhere! I hope they went away for you.

Boy, I haven't updated in a long time! It's been about 5 months since I started the RAM and my skin is finally looking better! After months and months of struggling with very stubborn closed comedones on my left cheek, I finally have been able to successfully extract them myself and now they are all gone! The hyperpigmentation left by these comedones are mostly gone too! Still visible but faint, and I just need a tiny bit of makeup to cover it. I still have 2 rolling scars on my left cheek from previous cysts, but I hope in time, with RAM, they will be less noticeable. As for my chin, it's been pretty clear! I haven't had a cyst since the one I got around Christmas....it's still there by the way! my doctor thinks that I may have it for a long long time. It's almost calcified at this point. Anyways, I doesn't bother me so much. It's slightly darker on the surface, so I just put a dot of concealer on it and it really isn't that noticeable. I still have a pick scar on my chin, but other than that, it's looking pretty good. Sometimes I get some small closed comedones, but they usually go away pretty quickly. The rest of my face is pretty clear too!

I'm also trying to wean myself off clindamycin, so I'm starting to use it every other day. So far so good.

I have to say I am probably 99% clear! WOW! I hope I don't jinx myself.

My skin peels every once in a while, and I just take a day or two break from RAM to remedy that. I also started using La Roche Posay skincare products which I LOVE! I use the oil free moisturizer for intolerant skin, which I think is very very perfect for people who use retinoids. I also started using their cleanser, the water spray (as a toner), and their eye gel. I really love it. I think it's a perfect complement to retinoids. So anyways, my skin has seemed a lot healthier and less sensitive after using these products.

All in all, my skin is finally doing well! Still a small pimple here and there, and still some light scaring, but I'm pretty happy with it right now!

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My skin is still relatively clear! I get small pimples here and there, but they are pretty much gone in a couple of days. My scars have lightened to the point that they are barely visible (other than the 2 rolling scars I have on my check). Today, I actually went to work without any concealer on! That's the first in YEARS! :)

I'm pretty happy with RAM. There were some rough moments, but it's all ok now. Right now, I'm using RAM almost daily, and still use Clindamycin maybe 2-3 times a week (weaning off).

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