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i don't see any posts on tazorac, so let me just say that it's the greatest acne medication i've ever beheld.

i'm not sure why my dermatologist prescribed tazorac instead of another retinoid, but from my personal experience, it was a good choice.

in addition, she prescribed an antibiotic (for the first month) and duac. i use the duac in the morning and tazorac at night.

the first month, i saw very little change from my previous pattern of breaking out, but within the past month, my breakouts have stopped. i use the duac sparingly, since it dries out my skin, so my current skin condition is mostly sustained by tazorac.

another piece of advice i got from my dermatologist was to stop washing my face if the topicals were causing excessive dryness. at this point, i no longer wash my face. i just rinse it in the shower.

so basically, by using tazorac to normalize my sebaceous glands, and by avoiding irritating actions like washing and touching my face, i'm finally on the road to recovering from acne.

but i should add the caveat that i'm 25 and i'm a lot more disciplined about acne treatments than when i was 18. i might have had the same positive experience with retin-a if that's what i had been prescribed, even though i see a lot of people complaining about it in these forums. conversely, if i had been prescribed tazorac at age 18, i probably would have blamed it for subsequent breakouts caused by picking at my own face or something, and i would have given up on it before it took effect.

in the end, it's not just the medicine that cures you, it's the way you use it.

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i didnt think think retinoids like tazorac normalize the sebaceous glands?

Is your skin less oily now?

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you're right... i remembered incorrectly. it normalizes the rate at which skin cells divide:


in any case, it restores your skin to something like its normal function at a microscopic level, and i think this is the biggest hurdle to get over when you have persistent acne. the pores become little land mines because they're not functioning correctly, and they're just waiting for something to set them off. before tazorac, my face would break out no matter what i did. now, it's a lot more resistant to triggers that would have set it off before.

for example, my grandmother pinched my cheek the other day, and i almost punched her because that's the kind of thing that used to trigger a wicked breakout. however, no breakout came. for another example, i took some friends to the airport at an ungodly hour one night. when i got home, i was so tired i went straight to bed without showering. normally, that would trigger a breakout within 3 days, but this time it didn't. this leads me to think that something is definitely working here.

as far as oil goes, my skin is oily, but i also use a lot of lotion to keep it moisturized, so it's hard to tell which is the main reason for the shiny appearance.

at my old office, one of my coworkers and i would go around rubbing our faces against people's windows to leave streaks of oil (the office manager could never figure out where it came from). my coworker had perfectly clear skin, but we both left incredibly thick smears of grease on the glass, which leads me to think that total oil reduction is not necessary for recovery from acne.

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Believe it or not, there have been many posts both praising and cursing Tazorac.

It's a very powerful medication, and it definitely gave me flawless skin for a while. As wonderful as the drug is, its only downside is that as powerful as it is, it can be just as aggravating.

If not cleansing your skin does the trick for you when it gets aggravated, that's really great. For me, no matter what I did, my face ended up just getting so red and flushed/blushed that I ended up having to go through a whole cycle of treatments just to treat the redness (along with persistent acne).

In the end, what you said is very correct, that how you use the medication makes a difference, but it's also important to remember that everyone seems to react to different drugs in various ways. Some people get cleared from Retin-A, others from BP, others from Finacea, and others from Tazorac.

After all, if one drug worked wonders for everyone, there wouldn't be so many drugs on the shelves.

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i've noticed that with tazorac, using as little as possible is the most effective. it's counterintuitive, but it's true.

it's possible that a lot of people blame specific drugs for irritation when the root issue is that they were learning through trial and error how to deal with these irritating compounds.

there's a learning curve: if you overdo your first medication, you'll reject it and choose a new one. using the lessons learned from the first drug, you'll use the new one more carefully and your chances of success are higher. which drug ultimately works for you has more to do with the learning curve than with the unique properties of your skin. that's my theory, anyway.

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Yeah, that's how it goes for all retinoids. When you have big zits here and there, the most instinctive thing to do is make sure that layers of the medication are lathered onto all the warzones, but that only ends up causing more irritation and doing more bad than good.

But there is a difference though. As much as I agree with what you say, each medication has different properties that make certain ones more amiable to certain people.

For example, since I was on the tennis team in high school, it would've been much better if my dermatologist had prescribed me Finacea instead of Tazorac, since Finacea doesn't cause sensitivity to the sun (one very undesirable effect of retinoids... And really, the doctors say you can compensate with sunscreen, but that has very short limits when you're out on a 108 degree court for up to 6 hours sometimes).

But also, I do think it is very important to stick to one thing for a while at least. I know for myself, even though I've found what works best for me right now, I'm still tempted to try out the old retinoids that I have, every time I wonder "What if I be more careful this time...?"

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