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DemiPuppy

A journey into space with Retin A Micro...

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My Day 4 of Retin A Micro

29 year old female. Been dealing with acne for about 15 years. Stupid health insurance will no longer cover the Benzaclin that I have been on for years. So I haven't used it in about 3 weeks - Just enough time to let the face fester. Wonderful. Found a tube of Retin A Micro .04% in the beauty drawer that is overflowing with products. Worth a shot as it is Tier 2 in the drug formulary. Here is my journey.

Washing face in AM & PM with Clinique Mild Cleanser, followed by Clinique Mild Toner and applying Bare Vitamins Rev-Upper. At night putting on the RAM. And moisturize in the areas that need it with Arbonne FC5 Oil Absorbing Day Lotion with SPF 20. Using Clinique Clarifying Foundation and Powder. Wow - I guess I never realized how much Clinique I buy....

So today I feel lousy. I am in a bad mood because my face is filled with ugliness. I awoke yesterday to a huge nasty cyst on the side of my nose that hurts SO super bad - I can barely put on powder or yawn. I hate it and want it to go away along with all the rest of the stuff on my face. I did the RAM for the 1st 2 nights in a row. Yesterday woke up with dryness so I skipped it last night and just applied the moisturizer. This morning - again with the slight dryness but will put the Retin A Micro on tonight and the moisturizer as well. We shall see how I do. Trying to stay positive.

P.S. A picture of my cute doggy, her name is Demi, she is a 2 year old Boston Terrier.

post-112225-1253730186_thumb.jpg

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Awww your dog is adorable!

I know how you feel about the "ugliness", it's so hard. My cystic acne along my chin and jawline were so painful, it hurt to open my mouth to eat. I stopped going to the gym the past 2 months, where before I was super active. It's so embarrasing and awful, I feel your pain, I really do. The RAM I have been on for about 40 days now, I think I've been through the initial breakout. I hope it works for you!!

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Day 5

Woke up today with no new active anything. Which is good. The thing on my nose shall be called "Betty". Betty still hurts me pretty bad. But not as bad if that makes any sense - she is totally hard and I don't think will ever come to a head but is a pretty big bump.

Used the Retin A Micro last night. Forgot to put on the moisturizing lotion. oh well. Face is a bit dry only near Betty and on my chin. Picked a red spot last night on my upper left cheek and a hard white ball thing came out. The spot is all red and mad at me today for pushing it out... but it had to goooo. Can't decide at the moment whether to do the RAM again tonight or to put it on every other night til my face gets used to it. I have a wedding to attend this weekend and don't want a zitty face but then don't want it all flaky either. Decisions, Decisions.

Another Demi photo:

post-112225-1253799169_thumb.jpg

post-112225-1253799169_thumb.jpg

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Well I went all the way and started using RAM .1% every night. Yes it was flaky and dry as hell the first few weeks, but I moisturized alot. I said screw it, if I do it every few nights the longer it will take to work. Now the dryness is gone completely and I still use it nightly

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Jaka - Thanks!! I'll put it tonight and every night!! I'm gonna go balls to the wall too!! Bring it on Retin A!! BTW, what kinda Moisturizer do you use??

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Jaka - Thanks!! I'll put it tonight and every night!! I'm gonna go balls to the wall too!! Bring it on Retin A!! BTW, what kinda Moisturizer do you use??

I started using DDF oil free SPF 15 moisturizer.... it's very good for acne prone and sensitive skin like me! The brand DDF is sold at Sephora or available online... they also have an oil free moisturizer with no SPF, to use at night. It's great!

Good luck, I hope the RAM works for you too!

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The retin-a will be more effective if you use it nightly... but if you get red/irritated, it's a good idea to take a break for a night. Flakiness is normal, though :)

Good luck!

Oh, also, jojoba oil is a popular moisturizer around here (since it also helps with flakes). It can be used alone, or a you can add a couple drops of it to your moisturizer.

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Day 9

Face is going well. I finally realized that I have had sensitive skin and just never knew it. This whole I time I have been using products for acne skin instead of sensitive skin - since I switched I really notice a difference in it. You learn things new about yourself everyday. Betty is still here, I have a feeling she will be visiting me for awhile. Not too much to report. Have a new pimple forming on my chin. Using the Retin A every night since I wrote last on here. Working good, skin isn't too dry. Keeping it under control with the Arbonne. Really want to invest in the DDF. I see that our Ulta stores carry it - I think I will wait til I get a 20% off coupon from them!!

Got a new haircut and highlights done in Friday. I got lots of compliments on it - that makes me feel good. :) Wedding was beautiful - has a great time with friends!!

post-112225-1254151403_thumb.jpg

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Aweeee! Thanks Jaka! I am quite fond of her too.

Day 11

Face is a mess but my hair & makeup looks jazzy! ;) Anyways, I now have about 4 new red spots near my right lower cheek/upper jawline. Along with 2 more on the chin, 2 on forehead, 1 near right ear and of course, Betty. Good news is that she doesn't hurt anymore! Face is all dry because I didn't moisturize last night - I put in a 13 hour work day and came home exhausted, just washed my face, put on the RAM and called it a night. Went to look for the DDF at the Ulta store the other day - that store doesn't carry it but another one does - so I will have the trip to the other Ulta store to get it. Hoping that all this yucky clears up kinda fast and nothing more really comes up - going to visit our families out of state and go to another wedding in 2 weeks. Here's to wishful thinking!

Obligatory Demi pic: post-112225-1254318354_thumb.jpg

post-112225-1254318354_thumb.jpg

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Good luck finding the DDF, it really is a good moisturizer for us acne prone people. I am now on week 7 of RAM, and see lots of positive results now. I hope you do soon as well!

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My Day 4 of Retin A Micro

29 year old female. Been dealing with acne for about 15 years. Stupid health insurance will no longer cover the Benzaclin that I have been on for years. So I haven't used it in about 3 weeks - Just enough time to let the face fester. Wonderful. Found a tube of Retin A Micro .04% in the beauty drawer that is overflowing with products. Worth a shot as it is Tier 2 in the drug formulary. Here is my journey.

Washing face in AM & PM with Clinique Mild Cleanser, followed by Clinique Mild Toner and applying Bare Vitamins Rev-Upper. At night putting on the RAM. And moisturize in the areas that need it with Arbonne FC5 Oil Absorbing Day Lotion with SPF 20. Using Clinique Clarifying Foundation and Powder. Wow - I guess I never realized how much Clinique I buy....

So today I feel lousy. I am in a bad mood because my face is filled with ugliness. I awoke yesterday to a huge nasty cyst on the side of my nose that hurts SO super bad - I can barely put on powder or yawn. I hate it and want it to go away along with all the rest of the stuff on my face. I did the RAM for the 1st 2 nights in a row. Yesterday woke up with dryness so I skipped it last night and just applied the moisturizer. This morning - again with the slight dryness but will put the Retin A Micro on tonight and the moisturizer as well. We shall see how I do. Trying to stay positive.

P.S. A picture of my cute doggy, her name is Demi, she is a 2 year old Boston Terrier.

post-112225-1253730186_thumb.jpg

Hey DemiPuppy! I see that you stated you were on benzaclin before and i am assuming that was helping you stay clear? If so were you using it as a topical all over or just as a spot treatment? I was prescribed benzaclin and was told to use it as a spot treatment and have been for about a year now. It will always dry up and leave a white flaky paste so dont see how you would use it as a topical all over, but was just curious if you were how did you prevent the white pasty flakiness. I use it on my chin close to mouth which is where i get flare ups and when i open mouth to eat or whatever it will start to show the white paste and flake. It works well at reducing pimple life and keeping it away but the drying effect sucks.

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Hey Jay -

I used the Benzaclin as an all over topical. Never noticed the white pasty flakiness that you are describing. How old is it? It is only good for 3 months after it has been constituted - I am thinking that maybe you have had it for awhile and that is why it is getting like that. Or I am thinking that the Pharmacy didn't compound it correctly or at all. I worked in a Pharmacy in College - to compound Benzaclin - you need to mix the Clindamycin powder with distilled water and add to the Benzoyl Peroxide gel and mix. I am thinking that your Pharmacy possibly missed a step.

Maybe you should try Duac instead - it is an identical equivalent but doesn't need to be mixed like the Benzaclin. Also comes in a easy to open tube. Maybe you won't get all flakey. I used it in the past and liked it as well. :)

Hope that it gets better for ya!!

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Hey Jay -

I used the Benzaclin as an all over topical. Never noticed the white pasty flakiness that you are describing. How old is it? It is only good for 3 months after it has been constituted - I am thinking that maybe you have had it for awhile and that is why it is getting like that. Or I am thinking that the Pharmacy didn't compound it correctly or at all. I worked in a Pharmacy in College - to compound Benzaclin - you need to mix the Clindamycin powder with distilled water and add to the Benzoyl Peroxide gel and mix. I am thinking that your Pharmacy possibly missed a step.

Maybe you should try Duac instead - it is an identical equivalent but doesn't need to be mixed like the Benzaclin. Also comes in a easy to open tube. Maybe you won't get all flakey. I used it in the past and liked it as well. :)

Hope that it gets better for ya!!

Hey thanks for your reply! Ya i am getting a new jar of it tomorrow and on it says use within 3 months but then there is an expiration on it that says 04/2010? Next year? So i was going off that, it does have a nasty strong stinch too it, but when i do use it as a spot treatment it still works, but ya once i start stretching my mouth as when i am eating or talking a white paste will start to show up which is more noticable than the pimple itself :S Did you like the Duac better? I might as about that when i visit my doc next.

Oh and also after you applied it, did you use a moisturizer after that too to combat the dryness?

Edited by JayQ

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4/10 is the date that the Pharmacy can no longer distribute it to you. You should only be using the Benzaclin for 3 months after the date that you pick it up and it has all been mixed together- that is the date to pay attention to with this medicine. To remember, I used to take a sharpie and write the date of 3 months out so I could remember. I did like Duac but I was only able to get one tube and then after that my insurance no longer would cover it. Also, I would just make sure that when you pick it up tomorrow to say something like - You mixed this up for me right? Just to double check! Hope that this solves the flaky problem for you.

I only used a moisturizer on an as needed basis - Benzaclin didn't make my face dry like this RAM is. So mostly in the winter months I would apply it on over the Benzaclin if it got dry for some reason or another.

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Day 13

Feeling kinda down today. I am super stressed about a bunch of stuff and this face is not helping me feel better. This thing on my chin is freaking huge. It has erupted to a bunch of nastiness. It is so red and just down right icky. I know that part of my face right now is due to hormones. But my chin, I swear you can see it from California. Today is another 13 hour work day for me. Ugh. I hate work. Husband and I haven't been seeing eye to eye on a bunch of things this past week and I hate that - and i swear me feeling down about my face being gross is part of me being grouchy and us fighting. I need my face back to feel good about myself and us.

For some reason I am noticing my t-zone becoming more oily... I don't know why - I haven't changed any products... I just feel down right ugly right about now... At least Demi makes me feel good, she doesn't care what I look like and can't wait to see her later.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

Sleepy Demi:

post-112225-1254515232_thumb.jpg

post-112225-1254515232_thumb.jpg

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Day 13

Feeling kinda down today. I am super stressed about a bunch of stuff and this face is not helping me feel better. This thing on my chin is freaking huge. It has erupted to a bunch of nastiness. It is so red and just down right icky. I know that part of my face right now is due to hormones. But my chin, I swear you can see it from California. Today is another 13 hour work day for me. Ugh. I hate work. Husband and I haven't been seeing eye to eye on a bunch of things this past week and I hate that - and i swear me feeling down about my face being gross is part of me being grouchy and us fighting. I need my face back to feel good about myself and us.

For some reason I am noticing my t-zone becoming more oily... I don't know why - I haven't changed any products... I just feel down right ugly right about now... At least Demi makes me feel good, she doesn't care what I look like and can't wait to see her later.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

Sleepy Demi:

post-112225-1254515232_thumb.jpg

Awww hang in there, I understand 100% what you are feeling. I was just married in November, and my face erupted in July. Ever since then, I stopped going out, even with my husband because I was so ashamed. This led to fights too, my acne made me truly grouchy. It affected my life so terribly, and my marriage. Know that the retin a is working, things are getting better and I'm getting out again, I even went for a job interview today (I had stopped doing that, because I was too ashamed). Just know that I understand how you feel, I truly do. And don't hesitate to vent as much as you need to. Just stick with the retin a, I hope it works for you, I really do!

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Day 16 - hooray past the 2 week mark!!

Thanks Jaka for the kind words! :) I really am glad that things are getting better for you, I truly believe that I will be there someday as well. I hope you get the job!!

Face wise things are on the upside. The things on my cheeks are going away. Now just are red marks that need to fade away. Nice thing is the foundation & powder almost completely hides them. The one on my chin is getting better but is still gross. It is the only really bad one on my face at the moment! :dance: Have 2 new ones coming up on chin jawline but I don't think they will turn into anything. Betty is almost gone - she has decreased size, doesn't hurt and is no longer red - but I can still feel her when I touch there. Nothing else to report - which is really good. I think that the RAM is working a tiny bit of its magic on me. Chin and Upper Lip area is not dry when I remember to moisturize! Also I have stopped putting the Bare Vitamins Rev-er Upper on at night. I am only doing it in the A.M. I figure I don't need that AND the Retin A Micro on at nighttime. I figure it would only irritate my skin even more. So far so good. Think that I made a good decision on that. :)

Had a big talk with the hubster last night - I think things will be better. Needed to get a lot off my chest. That is all for now!!

Swimming Demi from the summer:

post-112225-1254749802_thumb.jpg

post-112225-1254749802_thumb.jpg

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Day 19

Not much to report. No news is good news right?? Face has NO ( :D ) new blemishes!! Hooray!! Still is pretty yucky on my chin though - But it's on it way out!! This Retin A stuff rocks....at least right it does. Now it just has to start working on all the left over red marks from the past things I had on my face. I am sure in another 3 weeks or so my face will explode with blemishes from being hormonal.

I am thinking of switching my Birth Control Pill to one of the ones that I have seen on here in the future. I am currently on Levora. I see that Diane-35 seems to be popular and also Alesse. I wonder if my insurance will cover either of those... I will have to check it out. I cannot do the Yasmin I tried that last year and it was the worst month of my life. Gave me tons of anxiety (which I have never had ever!!) and my legs ached constantly. Horrible for me. But I'm not due for my annual til like March. I will have time to research things by then.

Just hoping that my face stays clear of new blemishes. *crossing fingers* We leave to visit family next Thursday -- We are excited. I will make sure to take some new Demi pics when we are there to share. Hubby and I are gonna go to a Sabres game while we are there! :)

Buying a new sewing machine today. I am excited to start working on some new projects!!

Demi munching on an ice cube:

post-112225-1255011916_thumb.jpg

post-112225-1255011916_thumb.jpg

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Awww :wub: I love Demi!

So I got the job, yay! I started on Tuesday. That's the good news. The bad news is I had a new cyst develop, I got so mad. My skin was pretty good and it wasn't even PMS time, I don't know where it came from. I had to start a new job with a monster on my face, I was hoping the cysts were done. I've heard it takes 3 full months to see success with RAM and I'm only 2 months in.

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Awww :wub: I love Demi!

So I got the job, yay! I started on Tuesday. That's the good news. The bad news is I had a new cyst develop, I got so mad. My skin was pretty good and it wasn't even PMS time, I don't know where it came from. I had to start a new job with a monster on my face, I was hoping the cysts were done. I've heard it takes 3 full months to see success with RAM and I'm only 2 months in.

Hooorrrayyyy!!! Congrats on the job! Awesome news!! I'm sorry about the cyst - I woke up to new cyst one in the works today too, of course on my lower chin/jawline - so I feel your pain. They are the worst! :( We get so excited about having things to look forward to and then this happens to us!! What gives! You only have 1 month or so to go --- your in the homestretch!! Just a little bit longer for ya! Keep your head up at your new job - I am sure things will go great!! :surprised:

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Day 24

Well it is official my face is a disaster and I leave to go visit tomorrow. :( Not only are blemishes all over the place but the cooler weather has made my face dry so I am flaking on top of that. I so need to get my behind to ULTA to get that DDF moisturizer. I am gonna be so embarrassed of my face at the wedding on Saturday night. I am hoping a miracle comes and takes these things off my face. I believe I read that between weeks 3-4 is the 1st IB. I am right in the thick of it with day 24 today.....But I am almost 1/3 of way there. I figure at Christmas time my face should be looking good. Which will be awesome because we take alot of pictures around the holidays.

Yesterday was a bad day as well... I left the house on accident (cause I was in such a rush) and forgot to put on makeup! And my face is not exactly looking the best right now. I had to go to work with no makeup... alls I had with me was powder and mascara. I stuck it out though. I was proud of myself for not going to the store on lunch to buy some foundation....

Also... have a question... When I get out of the shower in the AM, my face stings and burns. Maybe irritation? It has started doing it for the past 3 days or so. Basically since it started to get cool outside. Is my face just dry or is the RAM doing this? What do you all recommend for me to do? Skip a night of RAM or just moisturize more?

Demi this past weekend sitting on the blankie I sewed for her with my new sewing machine!!! ;)

post-112225-1255525676_thumb.jpg

post-112225-1255525676_thumb.jpg

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Sorry to hear that Demipuppy :( I know how you feel... I am from Canada and live in the US, and I had to go home for a visit right around my first IB... it was SOOOOO embarrasing to see my friends and family with lots of red gross cysts all over my face. I tried to cover them up as best I can but it's hard to hide them. I was literally in tears every day. It makes you not want to go out, do anything. Right now I must be in my second IB, since I'm on around week 8.... It's not as bad as the first IB, but still crappy. And now I'm getting painful zits along my jawline.... Damn hormones!

I think the dry, cooler weather combined with Retin a is making your skin sting.... That happens to me too. I think moisturizer should help that!

I really hope you have a good weekend, try to anyway! I know it's hard.... This weekend I have friends visiting from Canada so I wish my skin was clear for that.

OH and I love the blankie you made for Demi! She is a lucky puppy :D

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Day 32

I'm back from vacation! Wedding was nice, Buffalo was cold, Hockey was awesome. It's been awhile. I am officially past the 1 month mark but not seeing much of a difference yet. Face is still exploding with nastiness. Near my right ear and right side of face and still a cluster bunch on my chin. I'll try to keep the faith. Mom said my face isn't that bad --- I think she was just being nice. She knows how stressed out I've been about it. Trying to be diligent with the moisturizer - I find it hard to wash my face, tone, RAM and then have to wait 20 minutes to put the lotion on. I usually just want to go right to bed. I am still dry on the chin where all the explosion has been taking place and in the corners of my nose. Pretty oily everywhere else - powder does the trick nicely in this case.

Friends are flying into town tomorrow. Life has been so super busy with working 55+ hours a week, trying to hang on to a social life and visiting etc... Hopefully in another month my face will be a bit better and in 2 months it will be perfect. Here to wishful thinking!

Jaka - Did you live in Ontario somewhere? I have been to Niagara Falls & Toronto tons of times, LOVE it there and Montreal a few times as well. :)

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Thanks for posting your experience, i find it very helpful. I am currently in my 7th week of using retin-a and I'm not seeing the result i had expected. No new breakout this week but i do feel one coming and it's right around the area where I usually get breakouts. I'm really frustrated that the marks left behind from the first IB still visible. Is it me or do you still have marks/scars from the first IB as well?

I hope with time, we both will see the results we wanted.

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