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GNR87

Hoping Differin Makes a Difference

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Began Differin (Adapalene) 0.1% Cream bi-nightly March 11, 2010.

History

This is my last resort before Accutane. I'm a near 22 year old male that has had acne since around 13. At the moment it's mostly mild, with very rare cysts, and mainly non-inflamed acne. Lots and lots of comedones and blackheads.

This wouldn't be so bad if the damn red marks would go away in a timely manner, but such is not the case. Just an ordinary pimple takes about a week to flatten out, but leaves a very visible red mark for I'd say minimum 3 months. A cyst (thankfully rare, maybe 5 a year) leaves a large red/purple mark for a year or more. So while my acne is mild, I'd say it appears more moderate, especially in unflattering light.

I've tried many treatments over the years, and of course have been avoiding Accutane my entire life. The past 3 years my regimen has been simply wash with cetaphil morning and night.

Why Differin?

After extensive research using google (and many scholarly articles and studies available through my university) I actually have faith that topical retinoids stand a chance at healing acne. I like the science behind them, and unlike Benzoyl Peroxide, they are actually intrinsically good for the skin.

The Plan

So I've basically planned out my own treatment and let my dermatologist know. He basically just wants me to use Accutane, but I want to be damned sure that I've tried everything else first. I plan to use the differin cream every 2nd night for a minimum of 3 weeks to get used to it. After that, I will go nightly for as long as the tube lasts. When that runs out, I plan to switch to Differin gel 0.3% and maintain that for years (indeffinatly if I have to). If by August (6 months from now) I don't see a decent change in my face (at least 50% better) then I will take Accutane.

Most non Accutane logs are pretty dissapointing because it seems things go well for a little while, and then eventualy the logger goes on Accutane. I'm hoping that if I follow the directions exactly, and remain dilligent in using it every single night, then it should work.

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Week 1

Well it's been about a week and 2 days.. 5 nights all together using Differin.

The first few days were going great, no irritation in the morning. Just some mild flakes, that seemed to come off pretty easy. For those of you not familiar with Retinoids, they work partially by dramatically increasing the rate at which the skin cells multiply. This causes the top layers of the epidermis to shed off, and its supposed to actually permanently (while using them) thin the epidermis a few layers.

Anyways it was fine the first few times, but after my shower today my face was stinging a bit, red, flaking, and looked like shit honestly. I used a bit more last night than I had been in the past, so maybe tomorrow night I will use less. On a positive note, the blackheads seem to be raised a bit. If I gently rub off the dead skin, some of the plugs actually come with it, leaving a hole which hopefully will close up.

I'd be stupid to think that I could avoid the initial bad period of treatment, so I will of course stick this out for a while if it continues.

If there are any other Differin users, I'd like to know the effect of the sun since spring is getting pretty close.

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Week 6

Okay, so obviously I'm not good at posting regularly, but for Differin, there is probably no point haha.. So as most might expect, not much has changed in only 6 weeks of using Differin, (only 3 weeks using it every night)

The Good:

The best part about the treatment so far is there has been almost no irritation. Some days I'd wake up with flaky skin, but it would go away throughout the day with no exfoliating or any doing on my part. For the first 3 weeks I used it every 2nd night, and I think working up this way helped.

The most noticeable difference so far is a helping of blackheads on my nose, and the fading of some red marks on my cheeks. The difference isn't amazing, but its worth the little bit of effort that applying cream every night takes. Also, I shouldn't expect anything at only 6 weeks.

The Bad:

The only bad part of Differin so far is the fact that I can't tan. The weather is getting very nice, and usually the sun has been my only refuge from insecurity over my skin. I hate wearing sunscreen as with somewhat oily skin it feels gross, makes me shinier, and often makes me break out. It seems too that everytime I apply suncreen, the sun goes away and I'm left feeling gross the rest of the day for nothing. Anyways, I know it is necessary when using a retinoid.

Conclusion

I guess at 6 weeks, I'm halfway to 12 weeks which is the length of time used in most studies. So things should improve even more over the next 6 weeks. I have a meeting with my derm next month, so we'll see what he thinks too. I've been thinking about moving up to Differin XP 0.3% for the summer months, then back to the 0.1 cream for the winter as it gets drier. Maybe that will produce even better results.

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Week 6

Okay, so obviously I'm not good at posting regularly, but for Differin, there is probably no point haha.. So as most might expect, not much has changed in only 6 weeks of using Differin, (only 3 weeks using it every night)

The Good:

The best part about the treatment so far is there has been almost no irritation. Some days I'd wake up with flaky skin, but it would go away throughout the day with no exfoliating or any doing on my part. For the first 3 weeks I used it every 2nd night, and I think working up this way helped.

The most noticeable difference so far is a helping of blackheads on my nose, and the fading of some red marks on my cheeks. The difference isn't amazing, but its worth the little bit of effort that applying cream every night takes. Also, I shouldn't expect anything at only 6 weeks.

The Bad:

The only bad part of Differin so far is the fact that I can't tan. The weather is getting very nice, and usually the sun has been my only refuge from insecurity over my skin. I hate wearing sunscreen as with somewhat oily skin it feels gross, makes me shinier, and often makes me break out. It seems too that everytime I apply suncreen, the sun goes away and I'm left feeling gross the rest of the day for nothing. Anyways, I know it is necessary when using a retinoid.

Conclusion

I guess at 6 weeks, I'm halfway to 12 weeks which is the length of time used in most studies. So things should improve even more over the next 6 weeks. I have a meeting with my derm next month, so we'll see what he thinks too. I've been thinking about moving up to Differin XP 0.3% for the summer months, then back to the 0.1 cream for the winter as it gets drier. Maybe that will produce even better results.

hey man im same age as you bout to start differin and duac!

please update your situation :D

how you getting on? any tips? have you picked any spots that came to the surface? red marks going away?

what moisturiser you using whilst on diff?

thank bud

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Yes, what moisturizer are you using? :D

I'm using differin, as well (along with Minocycline and Sulfur Face Wash)

I'm on day 57.. so idk what week that puts me at about week 8.

I added Minocycline and the sulfur wash 1 week ago and I've seen good results.

But those mainly cleared up my white heads, which you said you hardly get..

so,

aside from the moisturizer question

Has the non-inflamed (small bumps I presume) gone away?

(bc mine have not :think: )

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Would Differin make a difference by itself? I always hear talk about it being used in conjunction with something else. "Duac" a lot of the times, whatever that is. My dermatologist only gave me Differin and BP face wash.

Also, would Differin help with the texture of the skin? I currently have that "orange peel" kind of skin :|

Thanksss

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Wow no replies in over 2 months, then I get 3 in a day lol....

Okay well tommorow will be Week 11 using Differin..

Jack the Lad: As far as things are going, I was fairly happy until I took some pics yesterday to compare with ones i took about 10 days into treatment (March 21). I'll post them so you guys can see, cause I think they're probably worth more than what I say.

The Good

No irritation is definatly nice, because at least I don't feel like I'm suffering on differin as compared to if I was doing nothing... When I used BP, I'd be beat red after a shower, and my face would burn for a half hour and it sucked shit. Since starting differin, I felt like the redness was improving, but I got a fairly bad sunburn about a week and a half ago, and I feel that set me back.

The Bad

Well as mentioned, I got a pretty bad sunburn and I think it was related to the use of differin. I should have used sunscreen, but I really didn't think I was exposed that much, and it wasn't really all that sunny a day. The main disappointing thing is I still seem to be getting small red bumps on my forehead, so I dunno if that's something that differin is going to fix, but time will tell.

Sapphire Lily and Ms Lily

I actually don't use any moisturizer, as I've never had any luck with any. I've tried lots, but they all seem to make me even more shiny looking, and just uncomfortable.. I don't find the differin all that drying (it's the cream formulation, maybe that makes a difference).

The small bumps have not gone away which is most disappointing

As far as Differin being useful by itself, it depends on the current acne situation... If you have comedonal acne AS WELL as big pimples and cysts, then you'll probably need an antibiotic of some sort. But if you don't get larger pimples or cysts, then differin is supposed to take care of it, and an antibiotic would be unnecessary.

And yeah as you'll see in the pictures I also have very bad "orange peel" skin, and I don't think their has been any improvement so far. Differin, like other retinoids is supposed to over time improve the skin, but I think it really takes a minimum of 6 months... And that's for Retin-a and Taz, so I'd say for Differin probably more like a year. Even then, from what I've read the improvement probably isn't miraculous.. It's pretty sad, I feel like most 40 and 50 year olds have better skin then I do, haha god only knows what I'll look like at that age... But I'm kinda holding on to the hope that they'll have some cool new technology to make skin perfect by then :D

Anyways Pics to follow :|

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Okay so here are the pics..

The first one was taken March 21st (About 10 days into Differin) And the second and third was taken yesterday (May 25th).. So that's about 2 full months.

I tried to make them as consistent as possible, but there is still a lighting and angle difference... I think the lighting in the second pic is a bit more flattering than the first which makes it kinda bias, but I'll post em anyway and try to get better ones another time.

In order to make them as accurate as possible I took them in Natural light with no flash and using MACRO lens setting. For those of you that don't know, Macro is this evil setting on your camera that allows you to take really close up shots. I recommend never to use it as it's depressing as hell to look at, but like I said I want these to be accurate representations of improvement (or lack there of)

Judging from the pics, I would say there has been Minimal, if any improvement which is rather disappointing as I kinda thought there would be better by this time.

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post-117839-1274945603_thumb.jpg

post-117839-1274945618_thumb.jpg

post-117839-1274945631_thumb.jpg

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interesting, thanks for the quick update!

well looks like you dont have any clogged pores as such? just general redness even though it isnt that bad!

im debating whether to use duac with my differin or not since i dont get inflammed pimples, when i saw the derm i did cause i had picked them.. so maybe thats why he prescribed it with diff? i have o idea..

so confusing

have you thought about the gel formulation?

intersting that you dont use a moisturiser!

if i looked like your last one on macro id be happy chappy lol

Edited by .JacktheLad.

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I have been on differin for years and I love it. I use it along with proactive. At night I just lather on the BP from the proactive pack and during the day I use differin in my problem layers and it works great. I don't use a moisturizer because everything breaks me out but I have found that the toner in the proactive kit really helps to shed the dry skin off before I apply my makeup! Differin is good for spot treatment too! :surprised:

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I have been on differin for years and I love it. I use it along with proactive. At night I just lather on the BP from the proactive pack and during the day I use differin in my problem layers and it works great. I don't use a moisturizer because everything breaks me out but I have found that the toner in the proactive kit really helps to shed the dry skin off before I apply my makeup! Differin is good for spot treatment too! :surprised:

angel baby that sounds good, yeh im very very dubious about using a moisturiser. going to look for neutrogena oil free one.

do you use the cream or gel? thanks hun x

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Jack The Lad

Yeah if you have no inflamed pimples, I'd suggest just using the differin.

I believe that Benzoyl Peroxide is harmful to the skin as it works by generating free radicals. These free radicals kill acne bacteria, but I suspect they do other damage as well... You've probably heard of "antioxidants" and how they're good for you (found in red wine, dark berries, etc)... Well they're good for you because they fight oxidization which creates "free radicals", and benzoyl perOXIDE causes free radicals! Haha not to mention even if it cleared your skin of acne, chances are it would be perma red anyway... At least thats been my experience.

Non inflamed acne and clogged pores is not so much of a bacteria problem, but the fact that the skin cells inside the pore don't shed properly... Differin and other retinoids "communicate" with these cells and say "hurry up and die, and shed now". So the pores clean out quicker, and at the same time your top layer of skin gets thinner which releases clogged pores, and makes it less likely for acne to form. That's the theory anyway.

So anyways, basically I'd say for you the BP is not worth it.

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Jack The Lad

Yeah if you have no inflamed pimples, I'd suggest just using the differin.

I believe that Benzoyl Peroxide is harmful to the skin as it works by generating free radicals. These free radicals kill acne bacteria, but I suspect they do other damage as well... You've probably heard of "antioxidants" and how they're good for you (found in red wine, dark berries, etc)... Well they're good for you because they fight oxidization which creates "free radicals", and benzoyl perOXIDE causes free radicals! Haha not to mention even if it cleared your skin of acne, chances are it would be perma red anyway... At least thats been my experience.

Non inflamed acne and clogged pores is not so much of a bacteria problem, but the fact that the skin cells inside the pore don't shed properly... Differin and other retinoids "communicate" with these cells and say "hurry up and die, and shed now". So the pores clean out quicker, and at the same time your top layer of skin gets thinner which releases clogged pores, and makes it less likely for acne to form. That's the theory anyway.

So anyways, basically I'd say for you the BP is not worth it.

cheers man, well i will use the duac only on inflamed pimples as it sounds rather harsh tbh. i think your right, ive used it before and it ruins the texture of my skin, pores get bigger etc.

sounds interesting about communicating with the cells etc. why do our cells not work properly in the first place? seems a bit odd to me :(

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