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golfgirl

my love/hate relationship w/ retin-a

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Hey everyone.

I've been on retin-a micro (.1 and .04) for six weeks as well as using finacea and taking two antibiotics. I saw some results, but this weekend my skin started looking much worse. I'm getting so tired of it. I'm 18 years old, and I just want to enjoy my senior year. My skin basically has many whiteheads and about to emerge whiteheads mostly on my cheeks and chin. I'd say it's light-moderate. I can cover it all with makeup, but you can see all the raised bumps :/ Plus, I would love to not have to put makeup on everyday and worry about my face. So, I'm thinking about going on accutane to stop it for good. I'm just trying to decide...any advice about retin-a and accutane would be awesome.

Edited by golfgirl
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It takes typically 3 months before you see real results of retin-a. Right now you are undergoing the IB. Accutane has many side effects and typically can help for a period of a few years but many folks have to go back on it again. I would suggest you wait out the retin-a for at least 6 more weeks before doing anything so drastic as accutane. At your age, much of your acne could be hormonally related, which means accutane would likely be a waste.

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It takes typically 3 months before you see real results of retin-a. Right now you are undergoing the IB. Accutane has many side effects and typically can help for a period of a few years but many folks have to go back on it again. I would suggest you wait out the retin-a for at least 6 more weeks before doing anything so drastic as accutane. At your age, much of your acne could be hormonally related, which means accutane would likely be a waste.

Thanks for the reply MilGirl! I am going to stick with the retin-a. It's funny because in the past day, my face has started clearing a bit and even fading some red marks. I just hope it continues to go uphill from here.

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Ok, so even though i'm already 6 weeks in, i've decided to track my progress on here, since I see how helpful it has been for everyone else. i don't know if anyone will even read this, but it'll help me see how i'm doing.

So, last weekend I had a major breakout of whiteheads, but it started calming down today. I've started using a bit of neosporin to dab on popped whiteheads after I take hot showers. It keeps the bacteria from spreading to other pores and helps speed up the healing process. One that popped on sunday night was flat and just a tiny red dot on monday, and disappeared today. I still have a bunch of red marks to deal with, but they're easy to cover with makeup.

What annoys me most are the whiteheads! The retin-a has gotten a lot out already, since my forehead was covered in under the skin whiteheads and is now smooth. My main problem areas are my chin and on my right cheek next to my mouth. I'm hoping it'll only take the 2-3 months...maybe sooner? a girl can wish ; )

if you're reading this, any stories or advice are greatly appreciated! good luck w/ your skin too :)

Edited by golfgirl
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hey guys!! sooooo i just completed 7 weeks on retin-a. My skin is looking even better than it did last week : ) Of course I still have some more whiteheads under my skin that need to come out, but hopefully they'll all be out soon.

skin update...

forehead: clear! maybe 3 more whiteheads under my skin? no red marks either : )

left cheek: little patch of bumps near my ear, 2 active whiteheads, and i feel a bump coming...

right cheek: patch of red marks is fading, 3 bumps near my ear

chin: 2 healing whiteheads, a bunch still under my skin, some red marks too

you know what really helped? i just got back from florida, and getting a little bit of sun on my face helped dry out some of the whiteheads and made some red marks fade faster. I skipped using retin-a for 3 nights because of the trip, but i'm back on it now. I just didn't want my face to burn. I made sure to use spf 55 sunscreen, so my skin was protected. I'll update you later : )

Edited by golfgirl
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ok so i completed 8 weeks as of yesterday...and my skin keeps getting better. My forehead only has one pimple thats healing nicely, and my cheeks just have some red marks that are fading pretty well. Those marks have faded a good amount in the past week. However, my chin still has a bunch of whiteheads, both coming and going. Another problem area for some reason is next to my left ear, where there are red marks and one pimple. Obviously I have seen a lot of improvement over the past 8 weeks, and I hope I'll be all clear when I hit my 3 month mark, which is March 15th. Wish me luck!!!

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yay! I'm officially done 2 months! and 9 weeks completed tomorrow! So basically, my red marks have been fading even more and a lot of my whiteheads have healed.

forehead: clear! no bumps under skin either : )

left cheek: a few red marks

right cheek: some red marks, one tiny healing whitehead

chin: (grrrr) group of 4 whiteheads coming out, one healing bump, not too many more bumps under my skin, some red marks too : (

soooo i am very happy with how my forehead is. it used to be covered in little bumps under my skin, but now its completely smooth : ) As for my cheeks, the red marks are easy to cover, but i hope they are gone soon. My chin seems to almost be done clearing out everything under my skin.

good luck everyone on retin-a! and i would be happy to answer any questions : )

Edited by golfgirl
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Thanks for posting-- this made me feel better. I am in my 7th week of RetinA (.025% cream + clindamycin) and the whiteheads/clogged pores are really hard to bear. I'm trying to hang in there!

I also use Neosporin for it's antibiotic properties and to speed healing for lesions! I was wondering if anyone else did that :)

Edited by janee
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Thanks for posting-- this made me feel better. I am in my 7th week of RetinA (.025% cream + clindamycin) and the whiteheads/clogged pores are really hard to bear. I'm trying to hang in there!

I also use Neosporin for it's antibiotic properties and to speed healing for lesions! I was wondering if anyone else did that :)

Good, I'm glad to help my fellow retin-a users! And yes, neosporin sounds random but it works really well. Good luck with retin-a and stick with it!

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Hello there! I just completed 10 weeks as of today. I could not be more happy with the results so far. I can't believe that i have only one pimple! Of course there were some really rough weeks to get through, but trust me it's worth it. I almost decided to switch to accutane when I was 6 weeks into retin-a, but after listening to some other retin-a users on acne.org, i decided to stick with retin-a. And i'm so glad I did : )

here's the update:

forehead-- completely clear and smooth : )

right cheek-- completely clear, just some red marks

left cheek-- one pimple near my ear, a couple red marks

chin-- clear! some red marks, maybe 3 tiny whiteheads still under my skin

This is a major improvement for me. I feel like in a couple weeks when the red marks fade and the last couple whiteheads under my skin clear out, I can actually go out with no makeup on. : )

Good luck to you all and let me know if you have any questions or need support!

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Ok, so i've completed 10 1/2 weeks...just wanted to quickly update you. I currently have one pimple on my left cheek. I still have red marks on my face, but they are fading and they're easy to cover. Let's just hope they fade and I don't get many more whiteheads! See ya later...

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yay! 11 weeks are now completed : ) Honestly all I have are 2 tiny whiteheads that are barely noticeable. My bump on my left cheek went away, as did those couple whiteheads on my chin. There seems to be very few whiteheads under my skin anymore, so this probably means the retin-a is very close to purging everything out of my skin : ) I have some red marks on my cheeks and chin, but they are continuing to fade. I hope they are gone soon, cause then I can finally reach my goal of going out of my house without makeup.

So, long story short...stick with retin-a!!! I'll keep you guys updated :)

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heyy...so i completed 12 weeks as of today!

skin update...

forehead-- CLEAR. no whiteheads. no bumps. no red marks. woot woot :)

left cheek -- 2 red marks, but completely smooth

right cheek -- one tiny active whitehead, maybe 3 more under my skin, some small red marks

chin -- minimal red marks, maybe 2 more whiteheads under my skin

so, it's looking like I have about 5 more whiteheads under my skin, which is good because my 3-month mark is next week. those red marks have been fading more, but i wish they would go away so i can go out without makeup for once. anyway, i'm very happy with the progress i have made w/ retin-a. dealing with a whitehead or two here or there is nothing compared to how my face was before. one complaint i have is that my face has been a little oily since starting with the retin-a and the antibiotics and finacea. but hey, i'd rather have to deal with a little oil by using blotting papers than dealing with a face full of bumps!

i just can't wait to see how my skin looks in the next couple weeks!! good luck to all my retin-a people!! you better stick with it :)

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ok, so 12 weeks and 2 days done. i had a derm appointment today, and he is taking me off one of my two antibiotics since i'm not breaking out anymore, and i only have a few more whiteheads to come out through the retin-a. i really hope that i don't start breaking out again because of not taking one of my antibiotics! i'll update you all later :)

Edited by golfgirl
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So, i've hit the famous 3-month mark! And i just have two tiny bumps (barely noticeable) that look like they'll turn into little whiteheads. And my red marks are faded even more. Honestly, I've only been getting one or two whiteheads a week these past couple weeks, when before my face was covered in them. I'm so glad I stuck it out through the 3 months...and i'm sure my skin will improve even more after 4 months due to the last few whiteheads clearing out from under my skin and the continuing fading of my red marks.

Let me know if you have any questions about retin-a...i'd be more than happy to help!!!

Good luck w/ your skin everyone :)

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as of today, i've completed 14 weeks : )

I am very happy with the results so far. I have one bump on my chin, but i'm completely smooth everywhere else. My red marks are continuing to fade...gosh they take forever. Anyway, I hope they fade soon! good luck everyone!!

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Is retin-a tretinoin cream?

Im very pleased to hear of your fantastic results. I just passed the 2 month period and my skin is worse than orignially but i have hope for the future.

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Is retin-a tretinoin cream?

Im very pleased to hear of your fantastic results. I just passed the 2 month period and my skin is worse than orignially but i have hope for the future.

yep! retin-a is a tretinoin cream. what are you using on your face? and don't worry, i went through the same thing about 1 1/2 to 2 months in. my skin definitely got worse before it got better, since the retin-a basically brought out all the whiteheads i would have gotten in the next year haha. just stick with it!! good luck :) let me know if you have any more questions or need to vent! haha

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15 weeks...

I'm as clear as I have ever been since the beginning of my teenage years. I am so happy with my skin. My red marks have been fading, and today I just wore a thin layer of powder to even out the color, but I didn't have to cover anything with concealer :) And my face is so smooth and soft, I can't believe it. Honestly, retin-a is a life saver :)

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16 weeks completed :) (as of yesterday, oops)

I haven't gotten any new whiteheads at all! I'm so happy. Red marks are continuing to improve...but slowly haha. good luck everyone!!

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17 weeks done :)

so i got one small whitehead on friday...but it went away on sunday and today i just have a small red mark. but other than that, my skin is fantastic! red marks continue to fade please...haha. good luck everyone :)

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hey there, so as of tomorrow it will be 19 weeks...which is 4 1/2 months. sorry i kinda forgot about posting...but my skin is doing very well. Except, this week I got a couple whiteheads / bumps..but they went away. Only one of those whiteheads gave me trouble, the other 2-3 were really tiny. So the one that gave me trouble lasted for about 3 days and then i was able to drain it (eww i know, but its necessary) and now its flat and gone. Just a red-mark is left. But honestly that was my first major whitehead in a long time. And i've been using this gel lotion that my derm gave me to help fade my red-marks...its been working pretty well. Just hoping my skin continues to stay clear and the red marks are gone soon! byeee

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hey there,

i just finished my 6th week of retin-a treatment and was glad to see you had a blog beginning at that mark.

i am hoping that it starts to improve from this point on, but i have continued to breakout since i first started to use the product.

my skin before retin-a was NOT bad at all and it looks like a TRAIN-WRECK right now. i am a 25-y/o female dealing with acne on-and-off since i was 13-years old!

anyway, like i said - i just hit the six-week mark a few days ago. any special advice/tips you may want to offer me? i'm really frustrated right now and feel like the only reason i even have any acne is because the retin-a made it worse! :doubt:

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hey there,

i just finished my 6th week of retin-a treatment and was glad to see you had a blog beginning at that mark.

i am hoping that it starts to improve from this point on, but i have continued to breakout since i first started to use the product.

my skin before retin-a was NOT bad at all and it looks like a TRAIN-WRECK right now. i am a 25-y/o female dealing with acne on-and-off since i was 13-years old!

anyway, like i said - i just hit the six-week mark a few days ago. any special advice/tips you may want to offer me? i'm really frustrated right now and feel like the only reason i even have any acne is because the retin-a made it worse! :doubt:

hey ilovejordanstaal,

i know exactly how you feel...my skin was awful around the 6th week. you just have to believe it will get better and stick with the retin-a. the full results don't show themselves until at least the 3rd month...and i continued to get better after the 3rd month as well. of course, i'm still getting whiteheads here and there occasionally, but my skin was majorly improved by the retin-a. if you're not on any antibiotics, i would recommend that you get on them..and also i'm using finacea in the morning, which treats the pimples and prevents as well. Finacea works really well with the retin-a. Make sure you have a good moisturizer (i like neutrogena's combination skin one) and makeup will be your best friend haha. Just make sure to get a good brand so it won't make your skin break out, and wash it all off when you get home to let your face rest. I love este lauder's double wear concealer and their powder foundation compact..such a lifesaver. Also, if your skin gets a little oily from the retin-a, clean and clear has these awesome oil sheets. Hmm thats all i can think of right now, but don't hesitate to ask any questions. good luck and i hope retin-a works out for you! : )

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