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B-rit

RETIN-A MICRO: Took the Dip, Now it's time for the Plunge!

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BRIT: I"ve been applying Atralin Gel(tretinoin)0.05% for the past five weeks and haven"t seen enormous improvements in my skin, either(I'm very impatient!!). From your pictures it looks like the ram is working much better for you than it is for me:) But I'm much older than you. So it's probably going to take longer for mine to show results. Plus I've used so many different treatments, it's a wonder my skin is still intact. I can't post any pictures b/c I don't own a digital camera nor does my computer have any extras!! It's difficult to notice your skin clearing up when you have to look at it everyday. We're our own worst critics!! You're a very attractive young lady....hopefully, in a few weeks you'll see the results you're hoping for and all of your efforts will be worth the wait:) Good luck. Thank you for your posts.

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reading your posts and basically stalking this whole topic i feel insanely emotional

like i actually am choking back tears because i so under stand what you mean

"Yes I am complaining about five. I have such a hard time understanding how people think if you aren’t covered in cysts that you have no right to complain or have a personal log. I complain about five because I grow up in a society, which I am sure you are aware of- flaunts… magazine ads, commercials, tv series, and movies with women who have flawless skin. To me beauty is clear skin- and that mere statement is my biggest flaw, and probably harder to overcome then the acne itself. "

well now i'm actually crying haha

"beauty is clear skin"

we have such similiar mind sets

my skin rules my life and although it is normally very mild and me stating that i have acne is always met with alot of "oh no, no you donts" e.t.c

it is not mild to me to the extent that i have lost count of the times i have broken down quite literally, gone crazy, slashed myself up and cried for hours

i've had councilling, distanced myself from so many friends, completely destroyed my relationship with my mum and almost been thrown out of school and now college for this shit

the thought that it could go on until i'm 23 ( i'm sixteen) is so scary for me

i hope your skin clears, i really do

you can do it.

stay strong snd make sure you don't distance yourself from your boyfriend

good luck hunny xxxx

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Week 5

So things are as expected as described on the RAM website: horrible. My skin is going crazy. There are so many blemishes I can't really picture my skin recovering at this point. At the beginning of the week it started out with really inflamed whiteheads/redheads that are still present, and now I am getting these giant blemishes that aren't really cysts or whiteheads but they look like mini bugg bites that come and go.

And my face is SO ITCHY!!!! it's driving me nuts! Its not dry, very far from it actually. And I am still using the antibiotic lotion. Anyways I am starting to have dreams about itching my face to death, and then others were my skin is crystal clear.

Emotionally things change from day to day sometimes hour to hour. One moment I am content and happy and hopeful that things will turn around. Then I will catch a glimpse of myself and completely melt down. I really don't want to go through finals worrying about my skin, and I am thinking about bailing on this Christmas Party. The thought of making a first impression on my boys new employees seems pretty impossible at this moment. I feel ugly.

I think I have about 500 inflamed bumps all over my face... hopefully I only have to live through another week of this, two at the max. Cause I don't think I can handle an entire month of this- I would go insane.

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BRIT: I"ve been applying Atralin Gel(tretinoin)0.05% for the past five weeks and haven"t seen enormous improvements in my skin, either(I'm very impatient!!). From your pictures it looks like the ram is working much better for you than it is for me:) But I'm much older than you. So it's probably going to take longer for mine to show results. Plus I've used so many different treatments, it's a wonder my skin is still intact. I can't post any pictures b/c I don't own a digital camera nor does my computer have any extras!! It's difficult to notice your skin clearing up when you have to look at it everyday. We're our own worst critics!! You're a very attractive young lady....hopefully, in a few weeks you'll see the results you're hoping for and all of your efforts will be worth the wait:) Good luck. Thank you for your posts.

working much better? Yeah I guess if you call breaking out more doing better? haha. I am also not very patient, but willing to be for clear skin (at least trying to be)... I hope both of us can come out of this with clearer/healthier skin.

I just hope that it works, so that people can read this log with some hope when they start using the product.

wow that was a lot of "hopes" :) But I guess thats all I have going for me at the moment.

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reading your posts and basically stalking this whole topic i feel insanely emotional

like i actually am choking back tears because i so under stand what you mean

"Yes I am complaining about five. I have such a hard time understanding how people think if you aren’t covered in cysts that you have no right to complain or have a personal log. I complain about five because I grow up in a society, which I am sure you are aware of- flaunts… magazine ads, commercials, tv series, and movies with women who have flawless skin. To me beauty is clear skin- and that mere statement is my biggest flaw, and probably harder to overcome then the acne itself. "

well now i'm actually crying haha

"beauty is clear skin"

we have such similiar mind sets

my skin rules my life and although it is normally very mild and me stating that i have acne is always met with alot of "oh no, no you donts" e.t.c

it is not mild to me to the extent that i have lost count of the times i have broken down quite literally, gone crazy, slashed myself up and cried for hours

i've had councilling, distanced myself from so many friends, completely destroyed my relationship with my mum and almost been thrown out of school and now college for this shit

the thought that it could go on until i'm 23 ( i'm sixteen) is so scary for me

i hope your skin clears, i really do

you can do it.

stay strong snd make sure you don't distance yourself from your boyfriend

good luck hunny xxxx

Thanks for your post :) I am trying my best to not distance myself from people, but it's hard. I hope that by the time you are my age you never have to deal with this shit again.

If it weren't for this site I think this would have been the week that I would have given up. Its hard to see your skin fall apart and keep at it.

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I don't know what to do. I haven't been able to stop crying since yesterday morning. I didn't go to class today because I have made myself physically ill. I woke up today and things were a hundred times worse.... I look at how my skin was a month ago and it makes me sick to think I thought it was bad... my face is now covered in hundreds of inflamed blemishes and I have no where to go. I am afraid it is just going to keep getting worse... I don't know what to do. I feel so trapped... I am starting to regret starting RAM... but at this point I know I can't stop. My face is starting to scare and there are so many red marks... even with all these inflamed zits there are hundreds of clogged pores that haven't even surfaced.

I don't what to do I can't stop crying

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I am okay... I just had a moment of weakness. I am not going to let this ruin my life.

I don't really like my dermatologist... hes kinda an idiot. I just don't trust him because he told me that i wouldnt have an IB with RAM, and that I could use a harsh cleanser while using the product. He supplies me with the goodies and the lovely ppl here give me the advice. Its going to get better. I know this.

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I am okay... I just had a moment of weakness. I am not going to let this ruin my life.

I don't really like my dermatologist... hes kinda an idiot. I just don't trust him because he told me that i wouldnt have an IB with RAM, and that I could use a harsh cleanser while using the product. He supplies me with the goodies and the lovely ppl here give me the advice. Its going to get better. I know this.

That is it right there!!!! Keep telling yourself it will get better. So sorry to hear you are struggling with your skin but you are right it can only get better. Best of luck to you!

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keep struggling brit. If you think you cant use it daily, you should decrease it into every other night.

I ever heard the derm here in my country said when we use tretinoin, 6-8 weeks we will be an ugly, but after that we will be happy....

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Hey. Keep it up! I'm on week 10 of RAM and I'm starting to really see improvements. It's definitely not an easy process!! Before RAM my skin wasn't even that bad! I'd just get a few small, but annoying breakouts. I saw my derm and he prescribed RAM. By week 5, my face was a mess. I didnt want to go out. I had too many pimples to count and my face was oilier than it has ever been and peeling like crazy. I still have a little ways to go, but it's working. Places where I have stopped getting acne are so smooth, its awesome! :) Also my skin doesn't peel anymore and isn't oily. For makeup I've been using Cliniques Super Balanced. I used to use Bare Minerals, but I've found that Clinique's is much less irritating. Also, Clinique's concealer works miracles, seriously, its worth the $15.

But, stick with it. Good luck! And I'll let you know how it goes for me, since I'm a few weeks ahead of you. :)

A good SPF lotion I've found is Olay's Sensitive Skin SPF 15 :)

I'm sure you could find it at Target or Walmart.

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Hey Brit!

I haven't been on the site in what feels like forever. I guess I've been being a little bit rude, since I abandoned all of the great people (and others just like them) that helped me through my hard times with retin-a.

I've read all of your posts up to date, and checked out your pictures. I definitely think that your skin will respond nicely to the retin-a. I JUST went through the same thing that you are going through, and it is HELL. It seemed like everything was worse because of my skin, including my school work.

BUT! From the last picture that you posted, I definitely think that the retin-a is helping. And when on retin-a, it seems like people just keep on breaking out in the same spots until all of the gunk is out. It just, unfortunately, takes time. Try to stick it out to at least three months (I know you've heard that a thousand times, but it's really because people on this site really want to see you happy!). Hopefully, you will see the flawless skin that retin-a can give people. I'm almost all clear now! Only a couple stubborn red marks lingering. And I had horrible HUGE cystic zits.

Also, I agree that one of the worst parts is the itching! I would always worry about subconsciously scratching the makeup off, not to mention getting oil from my hands on my skin.

Chin up! Keep us posted.

-Allison

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Week Six, Day 43:

So this was a roller coaster of a week. I should have never started RAM to begin with. I went from the occasional flame up from comedomal acne, to the full on chicken pox. I expected my chin to go nuts, but what is so frustrating is my cheeks. Even when the acne is gone I have so many redmarks that it will probably be a year before I am happy with my skin.

The only good news I have is that the itching has gone down considerably. Haha after I typed that it got itchy for a second. The beginning of the week was def. a lot harder, but once I forced myself out of my apartment I felt a lot better.

The blemishes don’t seem to be coming and going as fast as people said they would. Once they turn into a white head the go quickly, but some are coming to a head three times!!

I told the boy I wasn’t going to be able to make his Christmas Party… and I told him the actual reason why. I have been within him for two years now and I have never told him the cause of all my heartache. It felt good to tell him.

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It's been only 6 weeks. You really should not quit after all this. All those zits were bound to come out anyway. Also, the retin-a definitely helps get rid of the red marks, although in the beginning, it seems to make it redder.

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It's been only 6 weeks. You really should not quit after all this. All those zits were bound to come out anyway. Also, the retin-a definitely helps get rid of the red marks, although in the beginning, it seems to make it redder.

I don't know if I completely believe the "they were bound to come out anyway" statement that everyone claims. For example I am getting blemishes on the sides of my face, and I have never in my entire life had a pimple in these areas... and I have a sneaking feeling that if I never went on retin-a those areas would remain clear.

I am going to stick with it thats for sure, I just regret going on it to begin with is all.

I have been reading other retin-a logs and i noticed everyone that cleared was on some oral medication, whether that be BCPs or antibiotics... so if I am not seeing any improvements by week ten I will be starting birth control... i don't think RAM is enough on it's own... and I haven't been able to find a log where just RAM cleared a person. I am just frustrated because I haven't seen one improvement since starting, usually by now ppl see an improvement in skin texture/complexion... mine is significantly worse then when I started.

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I was exactly where you were at week 6. It just kept getting worse and worse, especially on my chin around week 5-7. Then over a period of maybe one week, it all started to turn around, the cysts disappeared and I wasn't getting new ones everyday anymore...that was at week 8. I'm at the beginning of week 10 now and things are looking good. I definitely want it to get even better than this, but my skin is clearer than it was when I started.

I felt exactly like you...what's wrong with me, most people see results by now...but everyone is different and it just takes time. Also, I never used to get them on my cheeks, but after starting retin-a, I got them, but that is looking better also now.

I am on tri-sprintec though, but it's only my second month and you aren't supposed to get results from that for at least 3 months.

Hang in there!

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Everyone keeps posting these uplifting nice posts, but its so hard to be uplifting when ever day it just gets worse and worse.

The past few days I have averaged about 20-30 new blemishes a day. My skin is being destroyed before my eyes. I look in the mirror every morning and feel diseased. What happened to that beautiful girl that used to be there? I feel so ugly. I feel so worthless.

Not one spot on my face is clear… which makes me feel so hopeless.

I just don’t understand why I have to be going through this…. How come none of my friends have to, my boyfriend, even my parents have never had to deal with acne. I went through highschool with clear skin, but I was so skinny and small that I hardly had any friends or self confidence. Then I finally started to fill out, and feel good about myself and BAM acne. I just want a break. I just want to be clear so bad I actually think about things I would be willing to give up if I could just be clear.

What happens if come week twelve nothing has changed and my face is 7 times as bad..

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Oh girl, I felt EXACTLY like that at week 7 (where you're at now I believe). It really messes with your head, I know. I would look in the mirror and not recognize myself. It was even hurting my relationship with my boyfriend because I wasn't acting myself anymore. It's a blessing though that you didn't have to go through this in high school (kids are so mean). I've had acne since I was 11.

We all have our trials in life. It may not be "fair" though and I've come to the realization that some people just have it easier in life, and I've accepted that.

Anyway, try not to let it eat you up inside too much. No one cares or even notices as much as you do.

Hang in there a few more weeks.

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yay im really happy u decided to go to ur derm britt :) see and now u get accutane u lucky duck haha im so excited for u! im going to my first derm appt in 11 days and am going to refuse retin A unless i start it a few months after im on antibiotics (if i get antibiotics). anyway does that sound like a good idea? or should i just stay away from retin A (haha i like how that rhymes) everybody's experience with it has scared the bejeebus out of me.

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Yeah I am excited, but a little scared... I have a month to prepare myself and become aware of all the side-effects. I never realized how much longer it takes to go on accutane as a women. You have to watch a film on birth defects... sign all these papers. I have to start taking birth control, and I have to have a pregnancy test in one month before I can start (plus the one I had today).

Because you have already been on a topical with bad results(differn)... which i believe is less irritating than Retin-a, or RAM... I think its safe to say that your skin would probably react the same way it did on differn. I would honestly go in there and hear what your derm has to say first... and then voice your concerns. I think the next step is some type of oral treatment. There are several types of antibiotics and most of them are very effective. They will ware off... but hopefully you will out grow you acne by that point. Otherwise I guess you will just end up where I am today.

When i went in I told him I was unhappy with RAM thus far. He looked at my face, touched it a bit...and then started to tell me that there was another antibiotic I could try. At that point I truthfully told him I wasn't happy with that solution... I had already been down the antibiotic road... then asked me if I knew anything about accutane. I told him I had done a little research and was concerned about a few of the side effects (vision problems/hair loss).. We spent the next few minutes going over my concerns. But I think what made me decide to take it was when he told me that all of these topical treatments/antibiotics help to control my acne- they don't cure it. Sure I could come in weekely and get facials, or stay on RAM for the rest of my adult life... but I don't want topicals to run my life. One day I want to go to the beach and not have to worry about the possibility of frying my face off. Yes the next 5 months are going to be hard, but I am willing to go through it because there is a great possibility that I will be clear and stay clear when it's over. Accutane cures acne... or at least comes the closest to curing it.

At this point I doesn't matter whether or not I have severe acne or not. I could potentially spend the next ten years trying new products, and birth controls and get know where. I know there will be some people on this board who will argue that i am silly to go on accutane with mild/moderate acne... but I am not going to spend the rest of my life concerned about my face.

I'm actually excited to see what your derm ends up giving you... :)

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haha me too and i completely agree with ur views on accutane (wanting to go to the beach wnd not worry bout frying ur face, or coming home from a long car ride and just plopping in to bed) thats why i wanted to do a course low dose accutane. but i doubt my derm well go a long with that decision haha. but yea if i get minocycline or something maybe by the time im done i will have outgrown it and if not ill be like ok fool give me accutane hahaha

Good luck with accutane can't wait for the new log lol

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Heey. I said I'd post back. I'm at 12 1/2 weeks of retin a micro and I'm finally REALLY starting to see results.

Right now I only have one or two small bumps and my skin feels smooth. I have a lot of redmarks tho from old breakouts. Plus, my skin gets really dry now (probably because of the cold weather).

I went to see my derm last friday. He told me to stick with it because sometimes it can take up to four months. However, he also prescribed me an antibiotic. But things have improved even since last friday so I don't feel the need to take the antibiotic.

Anyway,

Good luck!!

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I'm sorry but reading through this thread makes me sick.

For one, quit over-dramatizing everything! I looked at your picfture and you have NOTHING more than mild acne at the most. Not only that, but every "pimple" you have is the size of a pin head and can easily, easily be covered with make-up. Seriously, if you think that acne is bad, look around this site. Me and countless others would KILL for your skin. The sad part is I have moderate acne, nothing compared to what some have on this site, and mine is 10x worse than yours.

Secondly, why did you give up so quickly? It takes 4 weeks for the skin to completely shed. You can't expect miracles to happen quickly. It's a common fact retinoids take a while to work. I just saw my derm today and he told me to stick with Retin-A micro for a minimum of 3 months for discounting it. Now that I think about it, I'm on week 6 and only now does it seem there has been even the slightest in improvements.

Normally I try and be really nice and uplifting on this site because I know how awful acne can be, but you have it easy kid. I can't believe you skipped class over THAT. Your acne is nothing, even now. I know it looks worse when it's on you, but really.. you don't have a single large, red splotch on your entire face.

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