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B-rit

I don't know what to do anymore? How to keep going

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7 weeks ago i threw the towel in and started Retin-A Micro... to kick my stubborn non-inflamed acne. I had clogged pores all over my face, which were really only noticeable when caught in the right sun light. But non the less they bothered me because when I would wash my face all i would feel was a bunch of tiny bumps. I was also concerned because I had been on Minocycline for the past year (which had cleared some cystic acne i had from starting birth control)... and I could feel it starting to wear off. So i stopped the antibiotic and my doctor put me on RAM.

He told me I wouldn't have an IB... but that it would take a full three months to see results. I posted below a before I started picture, and a picture I took a few hours ago. My face keeps getting worse and worse and I feel like I should just quit... but people keep telling me week seven is supposed to be bad, and that it will turn around. But I have been breaking out since week four.

I want to go into my derm, but the second he sees what has happened to my face he will probably take me off the RAM... and then the seven weeks I went through will have just been a waste of time. I am really torn as to what to do at this point..

1. Continue

A. It gets better, and my skin starts to heal itself and I have clear skin within a month

B. It just never works for me, and my skin continues to break out, and it gets worse

2. Go to my Derm

A. He makes me stop the med and I never have the chance to see the results that are just around the corner

B. He puts me on something else that will work

C. He makes me continue (results A and B)

I don't know what to do :(

I guess my question is when you are on a regimen that takes several months to work... how do you motivate yourself to keep going when you see no progress? And do you ever feel like going to the derm can actually hurt your situation?

Before:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/spo...89/IMG_0864.jpg

After:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/spo...89/IMG_1284.jpg

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Part of learning how to go on is simply going on. It's little things like that that are maddening - simple, but not easy, I know. Something that helps me is an exchange that is on an episode of a show I watch. (This may get nerdy, watch out!) The character is bemoaning the suggestion of a friend that learning a different language would take a year or more to learn.

"Well, where will you be if you DON'T learn?" her friend counters.

"Uhm, not knowing Minbari (the language)."

"There you go. What do you have to lose?" her friend says to her.

That gets me in the mindset that give or take, win or lose, all I've to give and all I've got to lose is time - which I'm going to be losing ANYWAY. May as well put some effort in hoping in the meantime!

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i was the same way with differin a while back, i was on it for 7 weeks and my face looked about like urs does now. i went to my doc and he told me to get off it. Although he was just a gp not a derm. i dunno if it would have helped or made it worse but right now my acne is really bad because i had extractions done but that was like 5 days ago and i thought the inflammation wouldve subsided by now at least a little bit :(. so i understand how u feel. I would go back to the derm and see what he says cause i really do think he'd know better than us :/

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Part of learning how to go on is simply going on. It's little things like that that are maddening - simple, but not easy, I know. Something that helps me is an exchange that is on an episode of a show I watch. (This may get nerdy, watch out!) The character is bemoaning the suggestion of a friend that learning a different language would take a year or more to learn.

"Well, where will you be if you DON'T learn?" her friend counters.

"Uhm, not knowing Minbari (the language)."

"There you go. What do you have to lose?" her friend says to her.

That gets me in the mindset that give or take, win or lose, all I've to give and all I've got to lose is time - which I'm going to be losing ANYWAY. May as well put some effort in hoping in the meantime!

haha- I like nerdy. But I do feel hope is what has made me make it this far. I just need to find ways to keep that hope alive- because its starting to fade.

i was the same way with differin a while back, i was on it for 7 weeks and my face looked about like urs does now. i went to my doc and he told me to get off it. Although he was just a gp not a derm. i dunno if it would have helped or made it worse but right now my acne is really bad because i had extractions done but that was like 5 days ago and i thought the inflammation wouldve subsided by now at least a little bit :(. so i understand how u feel. I would go back to the derm and see what he says cause i really do think he'd know better than us :/

Yeah so you went off of it... and you are still dealing with acne it seems. Do you ever wish you would have just stuck with it- and who knows you could have clear skin right now? Thats what I keep thinking... if I go off of it then I could be missing out on a lot. I think my derm would take me off of it almost instantly after seeing my face because he seems to be convinced that you don't get IB on RAM. But even the website says you do!

The way in which I just responded to your post made me realize I do have somewhat of a motivation to stay on it. And the fact that you stopped, and are still breaking out, makes me think maybe I should just stay on it...because what do i have to lose. If I stop... yeah I stopped- but I am still breaking out- so I might as well just stick with it.

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Are you using an exfoliating scrub? If so, stop using it.

Make sure you're using a gentle cleanser as well. I like Cetaphil for sensitive skin.

Your derm did say that the full results wouldn't be seen for at least three months. That doesn't look like a typical retinoid initial outbreak except around the chin. The rest looks like it is from too rough physical exfoliation or a harsher cleanser.

Seven weeks is about the worst point if I recall correctly for myself. By three months the skin was glowing and clear and smooth. :)

Some people find that they need to use a moisturizer with the retin A but your skin doesn't look terribly red and irritated.

Make sure you're waiting at least 10-15 minutes after GENTLE washing before you apply the Retinoid! Even the most gentle of cleansings will disrupt the skin pH and annoy the skin enough to make a retinoid additively irritate the skin.

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I am using Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser.. its very very gentle. Its almost like using a lotion.

I thought with Retin-a micro (not just Retin-a)... you didn't have to wait to apply it after you cleanse. I normally wait about 5-10 min or till my face drys, but not the 30 that is required for Retin-a.

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good if u want to continue thani think u should do it. cause ultimately its ur choice. Umm well i only really break out on my chin and differin made me break out everywhere it was weird. and not all of them were whitheads i started gettin acne id never gotten and my face was red ....it all really hurt so i just couldnt deal with it anymore. once i got off like a week later my skin was better. but then i recently started breaking out again so im going to a derm for my first time on the 20th (finally). did monocyline help ur comedonal acne at all??

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good if u want to continue thani think u should do it. cause ultimately its ur choice. Umm well i only really break out on my chin and differin made me break out everywhere it was weird. and not all of them were whitheads i started gettin acne id never gotten and my face was red ....it all really hurt so i just couldnt deal with it anymore. once i got off like a week later my skin was better. but then i recently started breaking out again so im going to a derm for my first time on the 20th (finally). did monocyline help ur comedonal acne at all??

Mino completely cleared my skin- it made my perfectly clear. Like crystal clear. When I went on it I actually had cystic acne (not like the acne i have now)... but it also cleared the pesky comedonal acne I had as well.

It took about 2 months to see results, and then at three all my red marks had faded.

Even though I had such great results i must say that I hate antibiotics. They only work for a brief period of time, and then your acne comes back even worse. So if you want clear skin for a year its a good way to go- but then you have to start all over again. Not only do they stop working but they can have major side effects on your body. They start killing off the good bacteria in your body- which for me meant lots of stomach issues. Some ppl have more extreme side effects then I had, but it wasn't worth feeling sick after every meal.

I didn't mean to scare you away from antibiotics, I just wish I would have known about the side effects before i started. It makes your stomach sink as you have to watch your acne slowly return. So thats how i got where i am today. If I can get RAM to work it would be the perfect solution- because its something I can be on forever. And even though I am only 22 I have already started an anti-aging regimen :)

But back to your problem with comedonal acne. That is exactly what I had when I went in to the derm three months ago. Usually they are going to give you some type of topical. Antibiotics are usually used for cystic acne. But who knows if you go in well prepared and tell the derm exactly what you want he might be able to help you. I am sorry that differin didn't work for you :( You said your skin was really irritated... did you ever try using it every third day? Would you ever consider going on differin again- or even RAM? Because week 7 is supposed to be one of the worst weeks to get through. I guess those types of treatments can be the best for comedonal acne. But I probably shouldn't be the spokesperson for that, based on how my skin looks now- haha.

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haha i know this is stupid but im so scared of retin as cause everybody says they have the worst IB's on them. well i have had 3 cysts in the last 2 months...so i will tell my derm that, u cant really see them actually they might be nodules im not sure. I have one now but u cant see it at all its like on the bottom of my chin which im thankful for. IF i do go on mino or tetra or some other cyline haha i will get probiotics too as thats what my cousin did when she was on it, (i swear to this day shes never had acne tho, i dont know how she got her derm to put her on it!) and she had no problems. Her skin is sooo perfect i envy her :mad:. but yea i still dunno if it was an adverse reaction to differin or not, i had a brother who was on it and his face did NOT look like mine, thats why i got off. altho it didnt help him really so he got accutane damn him haha.

OH YEA i forgot to say that my parents were done with acne by age 20-21, im 18, so im hoping i should be done by the too? idk for sure tho

btw i think ur really gorgeous britt even with acne :wub:

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Thanks Meagain... youre very beautiful too :)

I have heard that Retin-A is the topical form of accutane. Not sure if thats true... but I remember you once saying you really wanted to go on accutane. But yeah i would try probiotics if you do decide to go on antibiotics. Mino is by far the best in my opinion- the most powerful :) So i would def. suggest it.

The only problem with going on all these crazy topicals and antibiotics is that we are less likely to out grow acne on our own now. Your skin becomes dependant on them so when you stop you break out regardless of your age. Gosh acne just sucks :(

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yea im rly afraid of becoming dependent on my topicals thats why i wanted to try an antibiotic or low dose accutane. it worked so well for everyone that i know thats taken it thats what makes me so eager gahh i just want it to be GONE for good! thanks for ur help im gonna look up research on mino and take it to my derm so she knows i know my stuff haha.

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Hey, I am also using adapalene (Differin gel). I have been using it now for six months. My fourth and third months were the best with slight increase in the number of new pimples, but a reduction in the inflammation and a shorter time to heal. So, I was getting new ones daily, but they would be less severe and disappear fairly quickly. Still, I have had flare ups and few nodules, but I am also using aczone.. too early to tell yet....

As my derm explained to me, adapalene begins to unplug the pores and reduces the depth of the infections. It can take up to a year to see the full effect as I have read from some reports.

Adapalene also reduces oil production and the size of the sebaceous glands over time.

I see your photos, and really must say you have to get through these tough times. Although you have a flare up, you don't seem to have any extremely deep ones. The ones that can scar.

If you start on accutane, it will usually work great, but there are the risks.

Hang in there....

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