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Ziana and Doxycycline(Please Help Me!!!)

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Hi all,

I'm 25 y/o, male. I have acne since I was a teenager. Back then, I didn't consider any medical treatment (for lack of knowledge ofcourse, hey it's a pimple, pop it and it'll go away). Things were pretty calm for the last 2 or so years, I had acne but it was not so severe. So this spring(in Jan'10) i got 2-3 pimples and i said, to hell with it, I'm going to a derm.

The derm appointment was not more than 5 mins. He said, "you have acne", and prescribed me an adapalene 0.3% gel(The one available here is not differin,it's manufactured by a local pharma company). So, i started using it and within a few days my skin started peeling. And guess what, I didn't know about photosensitive properties of retinoids and I took a trip to the beaches!!! So, I got a lot of sunburn. When I got back, I stumbled onto a wiki about retinoids and knew about the various properties of them. So I decided to keep off adapalene for 2 weeks. In the meanwhile, my skin peeled and I applied Vitamin-E moisturizer cream to keep it okay. While applying the Vitamin-E moisturizer, I got 2-3 new pimples. After 2 weeks, my peeling subdued and my skin got back its natural color(light brown). Then I decided to give adapalene another shot. IT WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I THINK. within a few days I got a severe Initial Breakout, large whiteheads were everywhere, especially on my chin. But I read about IB in acne.org and thought I should continue adapalene.

I read Dan's regimen and bought the Neutrogena BP gel, which did work for a few days(BP in the morning, adapalene at night). But i still had those whiteheads. So I decided to stop the adapalene(after 1.5-2 months), and switched to BP moring and night. My pimples seemed to dry up. Then the unexpected happened. My BP ran out and I couldn't find BP in any major store in the city!!!(I'm from south asia btw).

So, broken hearted, I went to another doc, my family physician on June. He took a look at my adapalene prescription and prescribed me a clindamycin+tretinoin gel (same as ziana, but not ziana) and azithromycin. Guess what, my whiteheads became pimples and I think I got a second IB. Some has gone down by now but has left some pretty nasty brown scar(PIH) on both cheeks. I again went to the doctor after 4 weeks and this time he prescribed me 100mg doxycycline and told me to continue the gel. Yesterday I thought my total active acne on face was 3-4 along with about 10 whiteheads. But today again 2-3 pimples showed up. I FEEL SO HELPLESS.

I'm now in the 5th week of clinda/tretinoin(ziana equiv) and on 1st week of doxy.

My current regimen is:


Wash with neutrogena oil-free acne wash(2% salicylic acid)


Wash with neutrogena oil-free acne wash(2% salicylic acid)

Apply clinda+treinoin gel and take 1 doxy capsule.

I'm currently trying to follow a good diet, no fast-food or cold drinks, no milks/milk products. Acne has been in my family, from my dad's side. I have SUPER-OILY skin.But in my mom's family, no one had acne!!!None of my aunts,cousins, or uncles!!!!I'm from south asia and it's pretty hot and humid these days. But I'll move to canada in august so......

So here are my questions:

1. I know there is no improvement till 12th week. But how long will this IB stay? I have enough marks on my face already. Am I doing anything wrong?

2. Ppl claim that their face "cleared up completely" at the 12th week time. I don't understand what it means. Does it mean no pimples on the face+all marks gone or does it mean about all lesions gone but still marks are there?

3. Is the 12 week time a generic guideline? How many weeks should I expect?16?20? more?

4. Why should retinoids be used on WHOLE FACE? I've read labgirl's post but i don't see the point. Maybe someone can explain it clearly?

5. If any of you had success with ziana+doxy, please share it here, I've read some posts and seems it didn't work out that well.

Last one is a mindless rambling:

6. I've seen claims that about 80-90% people have acne in some point of their lives. This couldn't be more wrong. If we take those people who had maybe one acne in their entire lifetime, you're freakin kiddin me. I guess the fact is, about 2-3% people has to LIVE WITH THE CURSE of acne, you know, from scars and pih and continuous acne for 15-20 years. I go out and don't see a single people with acne as bad as me. None of my friends have'em, and I've never seen them have more than 1/2-1 pimple on the face. So why the bullshit with the 80-90%?

I know its a long post. Thanks for reading it. Please suggest me something....:(

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