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Retin-A - Could it take longer than 3 months ?

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Welcome to this topic thread about retin-a. It is said that retin-a should work after 3 months of applying the product at night.

I have passed month 3 and what do you know... no improvements, still breaking out. Now lets ask, what do they mean about the 3 months... do they mean "You will be clear in 3 months?" or "it will start working in 3 months."

In personal experience, I am on month 5 and I have seen little to none improvments compared to day 1. Infact, maybe my acne has gotten worse because of scaring and more pimples in places where i never used to get that much.

If it started on month 3, the retin a makes my skin worse... (by a little).

Anyways, I dont want to make this long cause I do understand its a pain to read this lol. I am on month 5 I believe (I lost count because I lost hope but I know its more than 3 months) and I am still going to continue the treatment until my tube runs out. I have less than a quarter in my tube so I dont know how long it can last, maybe an extra month max.

I am going to see if maybe retin-a takes longer for some people or if you should just give up if it doesnt work after 3 months. This will save alot of time and maybe alot of scars.

Im 16 , male.


Morning Wash face with soap.

Night Wash face with soap

wait 15-20 min and apply retin a (0.01% gel).

Note: Results in this experiment are not scientificly proven nor will it be the same for everyone. What ever is mentioned in this may not happen or show in result to your progress. This is my log and dont be discouraged if my journey was horrible. I have seen many good reviews on retin-a.

My prediction: Retin-a will not work after another month. skin will neither improve or get worse, skin texture will have more scars and be more shiney. I will get 1 or 2 more major breakouts before my tube is over.

Feel free to offer advice, your thoughts, your story, tips, ideas, anything!

Edited by cool-n-confused
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So Im on month 5, my skin has not really improved if you compare day 1 to today. I must mention that on my first few weeks, I saw major improvments, skin was really clear, smooth like and I was very confident that this treatment will get me 100% clear. Initial breakout, I do not know if i got IB or not, first few weeks were good, then suddenly i got a breakout which was pretty bad. The thing is that every once in a while I do get these big breakouts. My theory is that, these breakouts are in cycles.

First comes breakout then comes a period of no pimples. The longer I am into this regimen, I believe that I may have noticed that the length of the no pimples period becomes longer. Thus, for example.... If lets say I got a breakout 3 days after my old breakout, the next breakout will be a week after that, then maybe a week and half etc.

This is is what I think is happening to me and therefore I dont know if my first breakout in this cycle is considered my initial break out... or if i just keep getting this initial breakout over and over agian. going in slowwer cycles.

Lets talk about my current state:

My face has more scars then i expected i would have. I have small bumps (pimples with no white head). 1 is red, 3 are dried and on my good cheek i have like 2 small pimples. On forhead above eyebrow i have like 3 bumps and they are not going away...

I recently had my breakout a week ago during spring break and i guess most of these pimples are from that breakout , maybe they are just healing.

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I used Finacea gel and took Minocycline for months before switching to Retin-A. I've been using RA for over 3 months and my face is still breaking out badly. No improvements. Nothing like being overly dry and having big pimples as well. I sympathize with you for sure.

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Use Retin-A with an over the counter Glycolic Acid cream or lotion. Alternate days of use you will see much better results with both.

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I dont know where to get glycolic acid.

Also i think that the retin a only kicks in on month 3 so maybe we have to expect still bad skin on month 3 so maybe month 6 or so will be cleard alot.

Anyways heres an


My skin so far has gotten 1 very large pimple since my last post which was crazy. I remember the pimple when it was just a bump i thought the retin-a would heal it . Instead it aged to a whitehead pimple and the whitehead was huge.... I went to school and my friend noticed it and was like "OMG what is that on ur face!" the guy is a douche but atleast hes honost i guess...lol. He even asked this other girl to piss me off "hey ....is that noticable on his (my) face?" lol so yea that means the pimple was pretty bad.

Either it was a bad pimple, or my skin has cleared a bit (making pimples stand out more...u know what i mean? like 1 new pimple on a perfect smooth skin will look more obvious then 1 new pimple on a person with acne). Anyways, I was determined that i had to pop that sucker.

I went home, went to the bathroom and used a pin to puncture a hole into the pimpole. I tried taking off the top layer of the skin so that the puss (gross) would come out. I even used pressure and took out a small bead type thing ( I call it a pimple seed ...my thought is that once the seed is gone, the pimple will heal, if u dont take out the seed then the pimple will reform...just my theory lol sorry for being gross but its the ugly truth). The bead is like a dried puss thing or somthing... do any of u know what im talkin about or is it only with me.

Once I removed all the bacteria, i washed with soap and let the clear liquid that comes out dry the pimples hole closing it. At night I ripped off the dried clear yellowish thing that forms and i took a shower. The next day, (today I tink) the pimple spot is looking way better. I mean i am so happy that i poped it! there is just some hyperpigmentation spot on it and a small bump. Now it is late in the day and the bump i believe is almost gone (I never knew my acne could heal that fast! retin-a?).

Overall, so far no major break outs, skin post-acne hyperpigmentation marks are fading. Skin looking way better.

Tomorow is month 6 so .... maybe its the month i get clear.

Stay tuned to find out.

please comment with ur thoughts! Anything is good , i love reading what u guys have to say.

Edited by cool-n-confused
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Were on Day 6 month 6 and no major improvements. Skin still breaking out but small pimples/whiteheads). On my good cheek, it is clearing but there is still a few or couple of pimples.

I personally dont think retin a will get me clear neither do i think that i will see dreastic results.

My skin is just getting worse....with scars.

I dont know what to do but after month 6 the only thing i can do is switch to accutane.

If my doctor lets me.

my skin looks 2x maybe 3x worse then b4 retin a.

il still keep u guys updated,

april 30th is my last day.

so far not lookin good for retin a.

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it's all trial and error.

retin a can take a few months to work, but it doesnt work for everyone and your dermatologist should know when it's been enough time where you would be seeing results.

it's important to be consistent and stick with a retinoid BUT you need to know when to say, this isn't working for me.

I used Differin for 4 months and my skin was just getting worse, though in the beginning I had periods of my skin looking fantastic. My dermatologist said I should have seen results after 2 months and probably should have switched to a new topical earlier.

If you hang in there and ultimately get clear that's awesome! But once you reach a point where your dermatologist says that the medicine should have been working by now...and you're still breaking out...you need to change it up.

Oddly enough even when I was getting bad cystic acne and using Differin in my last days I really wanted it to work, and really wanted to keep using it, even though I wasn't getting clear, it was the fact that I had spent 4 months following everything perfectly and it didnt work. For some reason I just didnt want to give it up. But I realized it wasnt working and switched.

As soon as I stopped using the combination of products I was originally prescribed my face started feeling less irritated. It's hard to start from day 1 on a new regimen after so many months on another one.

What has your dermatologist said about staying on Retin A?

What are these "soaps" you are using to cleanse your face?

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I see what you mean like yea I guess the professional would know if its not gonna work or not.

I dont have a dermatologist, I just went to my family doctor and he said he could prescribe me anything that a dermatologist could so theres no need for one. Thats what he told me but then agian he is a family doctor not a derm so hes not a skin expert.

The Soaps I use is dove in the shower. I don't know what dove like if its a special kind but I use the bar and just get a lather going in my hands and wash my face, then my face feels soo clean and dryish (good dryish i think llol) in the shower.

In my sink I use some kind of ponds soap which is noncomodegenic (or however u spell it) doesnt clog pores is what I'm saying. It is a soap that works so good on my face. It's like a foam soap so the lather gets really good with just small amounts. It doesnt even overdry my skin which is why i like it so much.

Anyways thanks for replying here n checking out the experiment.

Heres an update:

I am actually seeing improvements in my skin. Most of the dark marks left behind have faded a lot so maybe that is why. Still have pimples ofcourse, not extremly big ones but currently i have 2 white heads and like 3 small pimple bumps.

I will inform you if this improvment means that retin a is kicking in. I think it is but i dont want to jinx it lol.

Stay tuned

take care.

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Retin-A doesn't work on every kind of acne. It is supposed to work best on acne vulgaris. That's what I had and tretinoin (generic Retin-A) cleared me up in about 2.5 months. It is the only thing that really worked for me. I don't know what type of acne you have, but it sounds like Retin-A is not right for your type of acne and it's time for you to try something else.

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well here it is... almost the end of month 6.

Results..not very good.

developed 2 new scars in this month... horrible scars big deep ones . 1 is small deep the other is big and noticable .

I dont know what to do seriouslly...my life is ruined.

on the good side i have seen minor improvements. skin doesnt break out as much...pimples 'usually' heal fast ( i have 1 pimple there since the beggining of this week and its not going away with retin a. )

skin texture seems to be improving (even tho i did get more scars, the rest of the skin around it seems to be more smoothing out)

Left cheek is destroyed, filled with holes , it used to be my good cheek now its almost just as bad.

Hyperpigmentation is horrible...i looked in the mirror today and noticed how bad it was. Worse then ever and i dont know why... it could be because of my recent breakout but still ...this is month 6 , i should be clear.

maybe im not clear because im using retin a 0.01%

Anyways, im going to ask to go to the doctor (i need parent to come wit me lol) and il see what the guy has to say. I NEED to get cleared by December 2010.

What drugs do you guys reccomend? I do not want more scaring thats why i am so afraid of accutane but accutane seems to be the only 1 with the best success rate.

If I go to the doctor he will prolly subscribe me a higher dosage...do u think that wud help?

thats what i think he would subscribe.

Edited by cool-n-confused
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Week 1 of month 7. Conclusion: Works!

Good news, retin a seems to be kickin' in! Skin is clearing alot, on my right cheek ( my bad one) and the skin pigmentation is fading. I havnt had any major pimples on dis cheek for atlaest a week and half. Skin texture improving aswel. One of my rolling scars has started to smooth out and is now blending better with my skin. I am noticing improvment and i feel alot better.

Retin a shouldn't have caused scaring, maybe i have used too much of the chemicals on my face making it too harsh (even tho my skin did not dry up like BP, i thought maybe i could use alot of it and i would put quiete alot of the retin a on my skin.) Tip: Stick with applying pea size ammount, apply as little as possible even if u think its not working or that it would work better. If you use alot, then ur skin can scar like mine. This is what I think and I do not know for sure so do at ur own risk.

Anyways im almost done my first tube and im on month 7 here, month 12 i assume i will be 100% completely clear but hey not sure for sure lol. I am going to up my dosage percentage when i get a new tube of retin a. I am currently on 0.01%

So to conclude, yes retin a could take longer than 3 months to work or show improvment!

Edited by cool-n-confused
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glad to hear it is working for you.

7 months on one tube though, how often do you use it?

I use it every night. Is that bad? I thought that I used too much of it on my face sometimes... sometimes i use 2 pea size amounts to cover the whole cheek on each side.

My tube is 30g of 0.01% retin a gel.

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no, that sounds good actually, i'm starting retin-a micro again soon and was remembering it lasting only 3-4 months the last time i used it.

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