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ny1982

Ziana/Duac 26y/o Female

Hello!

I'm a 26 y/o female who's been struggling with acne since the age of 13 or 14. As a teenager, I was on everything under the sun except for Accutane: oral antibiotics, Retin-A, Tazorac, Clindamycin, etc.

At 20 I went on BC, and the BC in conjunction with Proactive kept me clear for a couple of years. Then in July of '08 I moved to another state and wasn't able to refill my BC. I was able to get a new prescription in October, but by then I think it was too late. I had started to break out really bad, and it has pretty much continued to now. The breakout has pretty consistently been light whiteheads/blackhead congestion, and deep cysts/nodules on chin and jaw area.

Needless to say, it's been incredibly frustrating. The past five months I've spent hundreds of dollars on facials and OTC products, spending a big chunk of that on the Murad Acne Complex Line. It kind of worked, maybe? I'm not sure. Still breaking out, so it didn't work well enough. I used it religiously for 3 months.

But yesterday, I finally broke down and went to the dermatologist. I had a couple of cysts on my face which she injected with Cortisone (OUCH) and she gave me a prescription for DUAC in the morning and ZIANA gel in the evening. I threw away everything that I'd bought, including my L'oreal Mineral Makeup (which she said might be contributing to the breakouts) and just got some regular powder and concealer.

So I'm starting this Regimen log to keep track of what happens and connect with other people. If you have any advice about anything or have used DUAC and/or ZIANA, please post your thoughts!

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WEEK ONE DOWN...

So I've been on my new Duac/Ziana regimen for a week now. I think my skin is adjusting pretty well to both (then again, I've been on so much stuff I think my skin is tough as nails).

I have had a few new pimples. One popped up the day before yesterday, and it's one of those under the skin pimples. It's right near the cluster of cysts that I had injected a little over a week ago. However, it doesn't really hurt like those types usually can. I have zapped it with my Zeno a couple of times though. The others that have emerged have been pretty small and come to a head really quickly. Some are really tiny and kind of under the skin and flesh colored. We'll see what happens.

I have not found the Ziana to be drying yet. It makes my skin feel pretty smooth in the morning too. And I'm actually using slightly more than a 'pea size' for your whole face, like the instructions say. I am not using a moisturizer at night after I put it on.

However, the Duac is a bit drying, but I think my Murad lotion is pretty much amazing and my skin feels completely normal again after I apply it.

So far, I haven't seen anything GETTING WORSE. Knock on wood times a million. I really only have maybe three "active" pimples on my face and TONS of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. We'll see how it goes. For those of you out there on either or both of these products, let me know how it's going! I will update in the next few days or sooner.

**Question for those of you on Duac: Is there a certain amount of time I'm supposed to wait after applying Duac to apply lotion and makeup? Just wondering if waiting 1 minute is enough time to allow the Duac to absorb into my skin.

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Grrr.

I wasn't going to update until the beginning of week 3, but I wanted to share some new things. There is one patch of my face that will NOT quit breaking out! Yesterday after work, I went into the bathroom to discover that I had ANOTHER cyst popping up in that same cluster of cysts I've had forever. Albeit it's a small one, but still. It's on my right lower jaw. It looks so bad in conjunction with the others AND the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation I have! Thank God for concealer. HOWEVER, other PIG seems to be fading nicely (knock on wood). I am starting to experience some dryness, especially at the corners of my mouth. I'm mixing Jojoba Oil into my moisturizer in the morning so it will help with overall dryness. Also, I'm starting to use my L'oreal Mineral Makeup again. It's the only thing that gives me enough coverage.

Stay tuned...

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Languages-no problem! Thanks for reading. And speaking of updating...

I woke up this morning with a HUGE cyst on my chin. Big, hard, turning redder as the day goes by, and painful. I just iced it for about an hour, put a little bit of hydrocortisone cream on it, and took two 200mg pills of Ibuprofen. I haven't seen one of these monsters in months. Not sure what's happening here but I hope it goes away soon! I am supposed to get my period tomorrow, so maybe it's horomone related. I'm going to put some DUAC on the sucker and pray that it goes away quickly.

However, the cyst that popped up on my jaw two days ago turned out to not be a cyst at all but a whitehead. It's healing nicely. I'm still curbing dryness with my moisturizer and jojoba oil combination.

Sigh. Will keep everyone updated about this planet that's growing on my chin.

P.S.--Has anyone ever treated really big cysts/nodules with hydrocortisone? I've been reading different answers on this site. Any help?

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WEEK TWO DOWN...

Hi there!

So the huge cyst that appeared two days ago is shrinking. It's pretty red, but certainly not as swollen. I can kind of see a head which is usually not the case for monsters like these. We'll see what happens. It's easily covered with concealer so that's good. I'm not sure if this had anything to do with it but I've been taking Ibuprofen the last few days and icing for at least an hour.

I woke up this morning with a small bump an inch or so away from my nose, on my right cheek. It's not painful...yet. I hope it stays the same size and just goes away.

As for the other places on my face, my cluster of cysts is definitely healing. This morning I was literally peeling the skin off of one of them, and underneath the skin looked a lot better and the PIH wasn't as dark. I think that my skin is healing faster being on this new regimen.

My left side is pretty clear except for PIH (knock on wood!!!!!!)

It's STILL cold up here which is so annoying because the last thing I need is cold, dry air on my face. The jojoba oil is great for that sort of thing though.

I'm trying to stay pretty positive about the whole thing. After that huge cyst came up on Saturday morning, I got so, so, so, depressed. Saturday evening I forced myself to meet up with my boyfriend and friends that were in town and I couldn't shake the feeling that people were STARING at my face. I always find myself putting my fingers up to my lips to hide the zits on and around my chin. And then I feel like people can't understand what I'm saying when I talk to them! It's so nuts, and so ridiculous, but I know that if anyone will understand it's the people on this site!

Thanks for reading and I'll keep updating!

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Not doing that great.

I'm in the middle of WEEK 3, and I for some reason I feel like the active spots on my face are getting bigger! The cyst on my chin is pretty much the same as last reported, I think it's a pretty deep one. The one that popped up on my cheek a few days go is really red and now painful (before it wasn't). And the cluster of cysts/nodules on my jaw are still hard bumps and reallly dark. I'm just so annoyed and kind of down and depressed. And while concealer makes the PIH and pimples blend in with your skin, you can still see the raised areas and I hate it. I've been so self conscious today because I feel like every single person at work is examining my face. I'm really hoping that this is happening because it's my period this week, but we'll see. And it's still cold in NY! I hope things turn around significantly by my birthday, which is at the end of May...

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I know exactly what you mean about the raised bumps. It's awful to look in the mirror and not be satisfied with what you see.

Hopefully the next few weeks should bring you some dramatic clearing. One thing I really like about the Ziana is that it's not too drying. I don't know about the Duac, as I'm on Aczone with my Ziana, so it's nice to at least be able to use makeup without a lot of flaking.

Are you touching your skin a lot? I know it's hard not to. Sometimes if I notice an area that is experiencing a lot of breakouts, I'll think back and realize that it might be because I'm constantly checking on the healing progress with my fingers.

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Thanks for your support SpecialAgent!

I've been following your log and I'm glad you're liking the Ziana. I actually do really like it as well. It's not drying for me either, which is SO crucial for smoother makeup application. I think that my skin is just adjusting, and perhaps I'm going through some sort of IB? I'm definitely sticking with it though. And I DO have a habit of touching my face throughout the day to check on my problem areas! It's so funny that you mentioned that. Oh, how we sufferers know each other so well :) Please stay tuned!

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Hi ny - I see you're using Murad's PureSkin Clarifying Supplements...I was thinking about buying them but opted to just buy a ton of other supplements haha. Have you tried keeping a log or diary about the food you eat? It really helped me discern what causes my inflammation and I've since kept it down. Keep updating and stay positive...it always gets worse before it gets better!

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Queensbaby- I've never tried keeping a log of what I'm eating. That's a great suggestion though! As far as food goes, I've never had any allergies or anything like that. It's worth a try though! With regard to the Murad Supplements...who knows if they're working or not! I've been on them for about 3 and a half months. Smoother skin maybe? I'm also on Fish Oil, which I think definitely helps with moisture and softness. If you decide to try them let me know what you think!

UPDATE....

Huge cyst growing on my cheek, under right eye. It's in the same place where I had a small one a few weeks ago that I thought went away. I'm going to try and get it injected tomorrow if I can. Is this an IB? I don't understand! My chin has started to peel as well. Have a good night everyone!

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Hey everyone,

Wow. I'm updating a lot more than I thought I would be when I first started this log! Here's the latest with my skin...

- I still have a pretty big cyst or something growing under the skin on right cheek, under the eye. I'm terrified of what's going to happen to it, but trying not to think about it!

- Two small, painless bumps on left cheek, but otherwise clear aside from hyperpigmentation

- Healing spots all over that are flat, but leaving dark marks

- Cyst on chin healed

I'm going to try and stay positive though. I'm hoping this upcoming 4th week will be kind to my skin! Have a good weekend everyone!

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NY, after some initial clearing, I'm having some breakouts as well, including a cyst on my chin. Hopefully we'll zoom past this part and back to just getting rid of the leftover rid spots.

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Update!

So I'm in the middle of week 4 and things are going alright I guess. My skin isn't better but it's not worse either. Here's a rundown:

- The cyst that was on my chin is now completely healed but left a terrible dark brown mark.

- I still have a pretty big bump/cyst underneath my skin on my cheek, under my eye. I've been writing about it the last few posts on this site, and it's sticking around. However, it's completely under the skin, not raised at all. Not painful.

- A very small cyst popped up over the weekend on my right jaw. It's healing quickly though. I've zapped it with the Zeno a few times so that may help.

- I have two small-ish pimples on my left cheek that aren't too painful and I'm hoping they don't get bigger.

- I am noticing a VERY SLOW lightening of my post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. But God, it's slow.

- Skin is tolerating everything well. No dryness, peeling or anything like that. In fact, when I wake up in the morning, the Ziana feels a little oily, and there's a bit of a film on my skin. Also, I am using slightly more than a pea size of Ziana.

That's about it. Staying positive, still taking all of my supplements, and trying not to think about it. I just hope that by the time summer hits I don't have to wear as much makeup. Later!

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So I just got back from the Dermatologist and I'm SO glad I went. I knew that I needed to get this monstrous cyst on my cheek checked out.

He ran his fingers over my cheek and literally said "YUCK!" The cyst was so deep and big underneath my skin that he thought it was probably two cysts clumped together. He injected the sucker TWICE with cortisone. He also gave me a prescription for the antibiotic KEFLEX, 7 days, 2 pills a day. So I'll be on that in addition to the Duac and Ziana.

I guess my cyst really freaked him out. :)

This just goes to prove that if you have cysts or nodules you have severe acne. And nothing beats the Derm and prescription medication. I'm kicking myself thinking about all of the money I've wasted on products like Murad and Proactiv, when I should have just been at the freaking doctor's office.

Alright, going to get my prescription filled. And it's supposed to be in the 80's in NYC this weekend! Take care!

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BEGINNING OF WEEK 5...

So I'm definitely having some sort of initial breakout.

I have two, big actives on my left cheek and two whiteheads growing on my right cheek. All have emerged this weekend. Yay, more hyperpigmentation.

The GOOD NEWS is, the huge cyst that I had injected on Friday is GONE GONE GONE! I mean that thing was big. And the cortisone shot made it completely disappear. Who knows what sort of scar or damage that thing would have done. The oral antibiotic may have helped some too.

I'm feeling some tightness and peeling at the corners of my mouth too.

That's the update for now. Gonna go put on Ziana and head to bed!

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My skin's a mess.

I'm just happy my bf is going out of town for a week so he doesn't have to see this disaster up close and personal.

I truly believe it's worse than when I started. Hope this IB passes quickly.

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Update!

So today when I got home from work I did something I hadn't done in a long time. I had a MAJOR popping session. This breakout, IB, whatever it is has been triggering a lot of whiteheads. So I washed with Purpose and steamed my face for about 3 minutes. I usually steam my face a few times a week anyway. Then I gently squeezed anything that had a visible head. Yuck. After I did that I slathered on a Proactiv Sulfur Mask for about 20 minutes. I haven't been using the Sulfur Mask since I got on the prescription meds, but I've ALWAYS liked it. After the sulfur mask I used my Zeno on a few active pimples. I have found that it dries up pimples really quickly, especially when used overnight. However, I'm not going to put any on with the Ziana at night. So I'm hoping things flatten out a bit.

Here's a summary of what's going on with my face...

- tons of hyperpigmentation EVERYWHERE

- a cluster of active zits on my upper right cheek near corner of my eye

- Two painful, hard bumps on chin (cysts?)

- one huge pimple on left cheek, now healing I hope

That's it for now...

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hey ny1982! i'm actually in a really similar situation to you.. i'm 25/f too and am still breaking out. so frustrating!! i also get the cystic kind ... or at least ones that get really inflammed and may/may not come to a head. if you read my log (in this same section) i have some ideas on what i think seems to help. maybe it'll help you? i actually find that the duac is really awesome for bringing zits to a head, esp. if you use it after you use your zeno. also, you may want to ask your derm for samples of aczone.. it seems to help with the inflammatory kind, at least a little (which in my opinion, if someone works even 10 or 20% of the time to keep monsters from forming on my face, is worth a shot : ) ).

anyway, i hope this is helpful! good luck & have a good weekend!

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Hey Tennis!

Thanks for the advice. It is a frustrating thing indeed. I actually went to the dermatologist this morning..I wish I had seen your post earlier! :) But here's an update...

I decided to go back to the derm to see if I could get an extension on my oral antibiotic. As you all have read from the last few posts, I've been dealing with some sort of initial breakout, and I think the oral antibiotics can/are helping with that.

He said that he wasn't going to refill my prescription for Keflex because he only gave me that to deal with the huge cyst on my cheek. He said a cyst that deep and big needed to be treated with an antibiotic reserved for staph infections. Geez! I had no idea that cyst was that bad, as you couldn't even see it, it was just under my skin.

But he did give me a prescription for DORYX. I haven't been on this one and I hope it works out ok. I am severely allergic to minocycline, which is what I was on in college and broke me out in hives and made me puke.

The derm also injected a few inflamed pimples on my face with cortisone.

Sigh.

So now I'm adding DORYX once a day to my regimen.

Now that it's May, I'm on month six of constant breakouts. Why, why, why? I'm sick of wearing makeup, and concealer, being oily, being afraid to show my real face to my boyfriend and friends, spending money, EVERYTHING!

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TUESDAY OF WEEK SIX...

My skin is actually doing OKAY right now.

My left cheek is clear of active pimples (KNOCK ON WOOD!)

My right cheek has about 5-6 healing pimples.

TONS of brownish, slooooowwly fading hyperpigmentation. I'm pretty much a Dalmatian dog.

Skin feels soft and smooth.

I'm on Day 4 of the Doryx and it seems to be doing okay. Makes my tummy hurt a little bit, but after I eat something it's fine. I'm a little worried because I am really really really really allergic to minocycline. I told the derm this but he still insisted on prescribing doxycycline. Aren't these two in the same antibiotic family? Only time will tell.

I'm thinking about stopping all of my supplements except the fish oil and going back to a good old Women's One-A-Day multivitamin. I'm just not sure they're doing anything and they are so expensive. I haven't been taking my zinc for about two weeks.

That's my update for now! I'm hoping for significant clearing in May!

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NO CYSTS!

Right now, I have no cysts on my face. Kinda unbelievable considering I've been getting 2-3 a week for the past six months. A small pimple popped up on my chin last night, looks and feels like it's going to turn into a whitehead. And I have two tiny tiny tiny pimples, one on each cheek that are nothing! My PIH is pretty much the same-I can't wait til it goes away!

It's hard to know for sure if it's just the Ziana/Duac finally starting to work (I think weeks 7,8,,9 are supposed to be significant clearing weeks) or the Doryx working it's antibiotic magic. Regardless, I'm feeling positive and hoping for the best, which is clear skin!

Will update again soon!

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IN THE MIDDLE OF WEEK SEVEN...

I really hope I don't jinx this but my skin is really improving. I still have a lot of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but as far as actives I only have one healing one. I think the Doryx has really helped speed up the clearing process, and for that I am grateful. Just hope I can keep this up. I literally have not skipped a single morning or night of my regimen. Consistency is key! My bf and I went out last night, which involved drinking and cigarettes ( I know, I know, really bad) so I'm hoping no skin reactions to that. We'll see. Overall, my regimen has been great and things are looking up! :)

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Sigh.

Yesterday I noticed a small bump on my right cheek. I was SO hoping it wouldn't become inflamed, but this morning I woke up and it was kinda painful and red. Grrrr. So my clear streak has been broken. I've spot treated it with a bit of sulfur mask right now and I'm hoping my Doxy will nip it in the bud.

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BEGINNING OF WEEK NINE!

Hello everyone! Haven't been updating that much because my skin has been doing pretty well. I'm pretty smooth and clear except for my pesky hyperpigmentation. I really think the antibiotic is helping ALOT. I have a derm appt at the end of the week so I'm going to ask to stay on it for another month. The dark PIH on my face...it's really causing me a lot of anxiety about going to the beach or swimming this summer. I am so scared to not wear makeup!! Ok, stay tuned...

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