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livvy

My log: birth control + tretinoin [pics]

ok, ill start with some information about my acne. i have acne since i was 10. (now i am 17). for the first 2 years it showed only on my forehead and then it started moving down to my cheeks. the first time i went to a dermatologist i was 15 and he prescribed me BP 10% and the neutrogena acne free wash. he didnt really explain me how to use it and after a week of using it my skin was horribly peeling off and i was ashamed to go out. Around that period i discovered this website which represented my salvation. the following summer my skin was CLEAR, just by using BP 5% and the neutrogena cleaser. before school started i ran out of bp and decided that i didnt need it anymore. my acne slowly started to come back,leaving bad scars on my cheeks. i recently decided to go see a new dermatologist and she prescribed me tretinoin .05 and ortho tri cyclen lo.

week 2 this is my second week using both. im quite satisfied with the pill since it helps alleviate cramps during my period. tretinoin has made me break out incredibly on my chin. i have about 10 small zits and i never had acne on my chin. forehead and cheeks are doing fine. i decided to stop using the cream on my chin but i want to stick with it since it is working for the rest of my face. My chin though is looking bad =/ and the zits take forever to go away. also every day i get new small ones=/.

here is a pic of my scars [they are fading on their own] and one of my chin.

Edited by livvy

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day 10 i didnt use tretinoin last night. the pimples on my chin are drying up but i still have many red mars left :doubt: . i have a couple of pimples next to my hairline but that's not a big deal. BC is making my period extremely long (10 days).

MORNING:

- Neutrogena pore cleanser

- clean and clear continuous control Acne Cleanser

- Neutrogena Moisture Oil Free Formula, Sensitive Skin

DAY:

- ortho tri cyclen lo

NIGHT:

- Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

- clean and clear continuous control Acne Cleanser

- tretinoin

sometimes i also use

- vitamin e on red marks

- St. Ives Apricot Scrub

- ice

- Queen Helene Masque Mint Julep

- Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 (when im going out)

i was thinking about buying apple cider vinegar for my scars :think:

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day 12

no pimples and happy :) only a few red marks left. i feel like the less you think about your pimples the faster they heal. Also when im happy i never break out =]

my period is finally over ( it lasted 11 days ...)

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day 14

face is clean except for a pimple on my cheek which is very red and getting bigger =/ im spot treating it with tea tree oil, lets hope =[

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day 14

i woke up with a big pimple on my chin :cry: and today i have to go to a concert! this sukss

ive tried to pop it but it didnt pop and now its all red :cry:

i keep applying tea tree oil hoping that will work =[ =[ =[

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im also taking ortho tri cyclen lo and seem to really like it (and im only on day 9), but havent heard about many other people taking it and liking it, it makes me a little nervous.

but how long did it take until it started helping your acne. id say mine is already, but im just afraid of waking up tmw morning and being covered in zits :snooty:

but its a little bit of a sigh of relief to see someone else taking it and not hating it :D

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im also taking ortho tri cyclen lo and seem to really like it (and im only on day 9), but havent heard about many other people taking it and liking it, it makes me a little nervous.

but how long did it take until it started helping your acne. id say mine is already, but im just afraid of waking up tmw morning and being covered in zits :snooty:

but its a little bit of a sigh of relief to see someone else taking it and not hating it :D

I actually DO like it. It's very light and doesn't give me any problem. After the first packet i saw a big improvement. im basically clean except for my chin (but thats because of tretinoin). i got the generic version of OTC lo for this month called Ic Tri-sprintec but it is not as effective so i'll stick to otc for the next month.

Tretinoin is giving me problems :( its been almost 2 months that ive been applying it 2x week but i still break out on my chin (even if i try to avoid the area). will the IB ever stop since im not applying it to my chin? will my chin get used to it?i just cant apply it on there because it makes my chin look horrible (and i never got acne on my chin before). any help? :( :(

right now i have 2 new pimples on my chin (i applied the cream last night) and 2 others that are fading.

i want to stop using it but i also want it to work. :(

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i have decided to use tretinoin no more than once a week and to avoid the chin area.

Since it is summer and i rarely break out im starting to treat my scars

the kind of acne i have does not leave scars as long as you avoid picking and popping (which i stupidly do). my scars are therefore only red/brown marks less than 1 year old

this is what i do topically:

morning

use apple cider vinegar diluted with water (1:3)

night

use apple cider vinegar diluted with water (1:2)

once a week

use vitamin E at night instead of ACV

dilute ACV with green tea (1:1)

today is day 2. no major improvements on scars but my skin is not oily anymore :o

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You're probably going to keep breaking out if you only use the tretinoin once or twice per week :( . Retinoids are not a spot treatment. They break you out at first, and you'll usually only see results after about three months of consistent use. To be successful with a retinoid, you need to gradually increase the number of days you use it until you're using it almost every day, all over your face (you only need to be applying a pea sized amount over your whole face).

This post explains in great detail what happens to your skin when you use a retinoid. I definitely recommend reading it if you're going to continue using tretinoin.

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You're probably going to keep breaking out if you only use the tretinoin once or twice per week :( . Retinoids are not a spot treatment. They break you out at first, and you'll usually only see results after about three months of consistent use. To be successful with a retinoid, you need to gradually increase the number of days you use it until you're using it almost every day, all over your face (you only need to be applying a pea sized amount over your whole face).

This post explains in great detail what happens to your skin when you use a retinoid. I definitely recommend reading it if you're going to continue using tretinoin.

i know :( but my acne has never been so bad. i occasionally get spots and tretinoin really makes my acne look worse. it left ugly scars on my chin that wont go away :cry: . i can live with 3-4 spots on my face; i can see my acne slowly decreasing as im growing up. i wonder if its worth it to keep breaking out horribly for about 3 months and then -maybe- get clear.

do you think it will not work if i only use it on forehead and cheeks?

:( this sucks.

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i know but my acne has never been so bad. i occasionally get spots and tretinoin really makes my acne look worse. it left ugly scars on my chin that wont go away . i can live with 3-4 spots on my face; i can see my acne slowly decreasing as im growing up. i wonder if its worth it to keep breaking out horribly for about 3 months and then -maybe- get clear.

do you think it will not work if i only use it on forehead and cheeks?

this sucks.

My acne wasn't too bad in high school, just slightly annoying (blackheads, clogged pores, occasional small pustules). I didn't feel that the retinoid was worth the initial breakout (IB), so I decided not to use it. Now, though, I'm sick of my skin looking bumpy from clogged pores and blackheads. Now in college, I don't get embarrassed as easily as I did in high school (I only care what my boyfriend thinks, and he thinks I'm pretty even with the IB ;)), so this time around I'm ok with an IB, and I'm willing to stick it out for the necessary three months. I'm almost 5 weeks in now, and the places where I'm not broken out from the IB are already smoother, and I have less blackheads. My face is also slightly lighter now, which makes it the same tone as my neck (it looked kind of darker than my neck before which really bugged me). I can totally understand why you wouldn't want to deal with this in high school, though. It's tough to go through the whole day, hoping your skin isn't just looking worse and worse as you deal with the IB and initial flakiness.

Even if you don't have active acne, retinoids can still improve the appearance of your skin, which is why many adults without acne use them as well. HOWEVER, if you have acne, they can make you look worse before you look better. So, if the initial breakout makes using a retinoid not worth it to you, you're probably better off just eliminating the retinoid from your regimen rather than just using it where it isn't breaking you out.

I'll explain why in more detail. When you use tretinoin regularly (at least 5-6 days/week), it will prevent most of your future breakouts, and the pimples you do get are generally smaller (as in the pimples are literally smaller in diameter). My doctor says that retinoids do not have much effect on pre-period cystic/ inflamed breakouts, though (that's where spiro and/or BC help). Tretinoin also fills in light wrinkles, fine lines, and light scarring. Retinoids do this by thinning out the top layers of skin (which is also why it makes you more susceptible to sunburn).

It might make your skin tone look uneven if you do not apply it to your whole face, since the places you apply it generally will be lighter, since retinoids also make your skin cells shed much faster (5-6 days for cell turnover instead of the normal 30 days). This is why, when used regularly, retinoids can also make red marks fade faster than they would normally... so even though you get an initial breakout, the left over red marks will fade faster if you stick with the retinoid rather than give up.

What's really helped me a lot is seeing an esthetician. They can drain pustules (which is great for me because otherwise I pick, which is a big NO NO when you're on a retinoid since your skin is more sensitive). I haven't just gotten small pustules, but big inflamed ones. Yuck. I can 't stand to walk around with these huge active spots, but I also don't want to pick and risk scarring... which is why it's been so helpful to just have her safely drain them for me as they pop up. Most estheticians let you come in as needed to drain stuff that's bothering you. They won't touch cysts, though. You gotta get those injected by your derm if you want those gone faster.

Estheticians also can do light chemical peels (I like the mandelic acid ones), which reduce the appearance of red marks (the lighter peels don't have as much of an effect as the more concentrated ones, however you also don't get any downtime... heavier peels leave you reddish and flaky for a few days). They can do micro-dermabrasion as well (which is kind of like having your face sand papered lol), which removes dead skin (great when you're using a retinoid), makes your skin look smoother, and also helps a little with red marks.

Many dermatologists have licensed medical estheticians in their offices, since estheticians can greatly increase the effectiveness of many skin treatment regimens.

have you tried any type of BC for your hormonal acne in the past?

i hope this regiment works for you (: your skin looks glowy in the last pics.

im interested in the Paula's Choice carbon mask, where did you buy it?

I have used several types of BC before to improve my skin (ortho tri cyclen, seasonale, one other I forget the name of), however I couldn't stand the side effects (I had baaaad mood swings lol). I had less cysts and inflamed acne before my period while using BC, however they didn't improve my skin tone or reduce my blackheads/ whiteheads, and I still got smaller pustules. I didn't start using BC until my 20s when I started getting the bigger spots, and it's been about a year since I've stopped using BC. I feel much better now... but many other people don't have bad side effects on BC.

Right now I'm taking 100mg/day of spironolactone to control my pre-period flame ups (no bad side effects so far for me with this, maybe because I have a hormone imbalance which is what causes my pre-period acne.. spiro is an androgen blocker), and the tretinoin is to smooth out my skin and control blackheads.

I get all of my Paula's Choice items from her website (http://www.paulaschoice.com/). You can buy samples if you want to try it first.

Sorry for the overly detailed wall of text here lol... I really hope you're able to find something that clears you up without stressing you out.... of course, it'd be even better if you just grow out of your acne, though! I hope you're one of the lucky ones that is clear into your 20s!

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wow

REALLY THANK YOU. That was extremely helpful!

My face is also slightly lighter now, which makes it the same tone as my neck (it looked kind of darker than my neck before which really bugged me).

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you are so freaking cute with and without acne..your beuty really comes out though! I am using trentinoin and it isn't really doing much for me except drying out my skin. Does your skin dry out on it??

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