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My Mino, Duac, Tretinoin, and Pick-Free Journey

This thread will be a one-month log of my progress in the battle against acne. I see my doctor in one month, and if things aren't mostly cleared up by then I will ask for a dermatology referral. Here's the log (but first, some background information ;) ).


I've been on minocycline, a topical BP/clindamycin and a topical retinoid off-and-on for over three years now. As a competitive swimmer, I'm in the pool at least once a day, but usually have more than one practice. As a result, I found that the regimen I was on was too irritating to my skin and didn't follow it religiously.

I'm a compulsive picker and perfectionist and understand that this is quite detrimental to my appearance.

For the past four months or so I have taken minocycline twice daily and for the past three months I've used tretinoin cream daily.


Obviously, the main goal is to clear up most of my acne. I don't anticipate any sort of initial breakout as I've been on minocycline and tretinoin cream religiously for a number of months now, so I feel a one-month timeframe (before my appointment) will give me a good-enough idea as to whether my regimen is working or not.

My second purpose is to cold-turkey picking behavior with Habit Reversal 'therapy'. This will be the most challenging part of my regimen.

I'm new here but joined so I could post this log online, in public. I'd appreciate encouragement and need some 'constructive criticism' if you catch me doing something wrong (ie picking).


  1. Minocycline, 100mg caps
  2. Duac Topical Gel (clindamycin 1%; benzoyl peroxide 5%)
  3. Tretinoin cream 0.025%
  4. Neutrogena non-comedogenic moisturizer used as needed

My Regimen


  • Shower
  • Minocycline, 100mg
  • Duac


  • Gentle face washing
  • Minocycline, 100mg
  • Tretinoin

The Log

I'll post here daily with an update on facial appearance and progress, as well as picking incidents which I need you all to chastise me for! ;)

The journey begins: September 1, 2009

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Day 1

Today went well! So far I'm keeping with the regimen (I know, I know, a whole day! :P ) and haven't picked at all. Still working on the whole habit reversal thing; I'm trying to clench my fist instead of picking. I see a couple that I really would like to have a go at, but I won't!

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Day Two:

Yesterday (day 2) went well for the most part. Face looks okay, and redness is already decreasing since there aren't any new picked spots. I did pick a few on my back, though, which accomplished nothing but redness and swelling. I hate knowing that there are unpopped whiteheads on my face, but I'm learning to adjust :)

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Day Three:

Amazing. My redness is reduced by at least 50%. I guess this really shows what picking can do (and what refraining does not) to your face. Still a number of pustules and just as big as yesterday, but a tiny bit less inflamed today.

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Day Four:

Face continuing to slowly improve. I accidentally rubbed off the top of two pustules next to each other on my cheek when gently washing my face, but they were basically 'open' already so I gently cleaned the area out to keep all the pus from getting all over and infecting the rest of my face. Other than that, everything's going fine.

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