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sus

Looking for feedback / encouragement / advice on pushing forward with Altralin (Tretinoin)

Brief history: I've been on Accutane 2x, then Dan's Regimen which worked mostly consistently but I ran into issues when I was dealing with perioral dermatitis (on Oracea for that). Derm told me to stop the BP and put me on the Atralin version of Tretinoin.

I've been on Atralin for 12 weeks now, and I think my skin is the worst it has been since I was a teenager before my first round of Accutane.

I have tiny bumps on my forehead, down by my temples, blackheads on my nose, tiny bumps all on my cheeks, and my chin continues to get these irritated postules (assuming that's the perioral dermatitis but it's so hard to distinguish what is the acne, what is the PD).

The only thing I don't actually have - for the most part - is the big inflamed cystic type acne.

In general my skin just feels terribly textured - when I wash all I feel is bumps *everywhere*.

Just when I think it can't get worse, it does. The bumps start forming into real zits, or it spreads to a part of my face which used to be clear.

Based on what i've heard, this sounds par for the course for Tretinoin - it brings everything for the surface.

What I'm wondering though, is will this actually end? I've read many reviews and commentary on this medication saying stick out the 3-4 months, suddenly you'll see a clearing. I was hoping that at week 12 I'd see improvement but I seem to be at my worse. It's so hard to continue on with something that is so discouraging.

I'm really fed up, but the only reason I'm going to stick it out another 4-6 weeks is because if I stop now I may always wonder if perhaps this med could have worked for me if I had stuck it out. The fact that it's not working yet aside, I really prefer it 10x to BP because it doesn't stain, it doesn't irritate my skin barely at all, it doesn't make me peel, it doesn't dominate my mornings and evenings with the specifics of applying. Life is so much simpler since switching from BP to this. You know, aside for the knock-me-on-my-butt bouts of depression that comes up every time I glance in the mirror... :)

I've heard reviews of people who say this med doesn't work but they have stopped before the allotted time -- what I'm curious is if anyone has experience with this medication that has been on it for 5-6+ months and *didn't* see worth it results?

Really interested in hearing from others going through this same process or who have been through it and can offer some advice.

Edited by sus

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I know exactly what you are feeling. I have been on tretinoin cream 0.05 for almost 3 months and my face is the worst ever in my life. I have never had acne like this. Always mild but this shit has screwed it up to the max. I take duac in morning and tretinoin at night. Srsly I wish I never took that tretinoin shit.

I guess we should just keep going since our faces are screwed now and no point stopping

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Nice to know it's not just me.

Yesterday marked 13 full weeks for me.

Funny how just when I think "well, at least it's not getting worse"... it starts slowly getting worse, or creeping up in new places.

I'm going to the derm on Friday for the first time since I started this back in July (I should have gone earlier but I don't live in the same town as my derm)... Will report back what she has to say about this.

Part of me wants her to agree that this is normal and just stick it out. I can deal with all this crap if at least I knew eventually it'd improve. I think my biggest fear is her saying it's not going to work and I'm back at square one with some other medication.

Not feeling too optimistic about my visit though, as she was not helpful last time (all too common story, it seems). She gave me no instruction on how Tretinoin works or that it might take a really long time... if it were up to her I would have bailed several times already.

What has kept me going on this so long is a collection of excerpts I've gathered from other reviews describing similar issues.

I am on my sixth month of using Tretinoin, and it has completely cleared my skin. I have not had a single pimple for 2 months. My skin is absolutely glowing. It has changed my life. Just be patient and give the product 4 months because the initial breakout/drying/redness can be frustrating, but I am telling you the end result is fantastic.
Edited by sus

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Nice to know it's not just me.

Yesterday marked 13 full weeks for me.

Funny how just when I think "well, at least it's not getting worse"... it starts slowly getting worse, or creeping up in new places.

I'm going to the derm on Friday for the first time since I started this back in July (I should have gone earlier but I don't live in the same town as my derm)... Will report back what she has to say about this.

Part of me wants her to agree that this is normal and just stick it out. I can deal with all this crap if at least I knew eventually it'd improve. I think my biggest fear is her saying it's not going to work and I'm back at square one with some other medication.

Not feeling too optimistic about my visit though, as she was not helpful last time (all too common story, it seems). She gave me no instruction on how Tretinoin works or that it might take a really long time... if it were up to her I would have bailed several times already.

What has kept me going on this so long is a collection of excerpts I've gathered from other reviews describing similar issues.

I am on my sixth month of using Tretinoin, and it has completely cleared my skin. I have not had a single pimple for 2 months. My skin is absolutely glowing. It has changed my life. Just be patient and give the product 4 months because the initial breakout/drying/redness can be frustrating, but I am telling you the end result is fantastic.

-Made Me Break Out Everytime I Used It For The First 2-3 Months

-After 3-4 Months, Skin Is Amazing! :)

After using Retin-A for 7 months, I am extremely happy with the results. It took 3 months to see a noticeable difference in my skin, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

I think the reason most ppl dont stick with retin-a is b/c it takes a long time to work - but I also think its a very good permanant solution. Problem is must use religiously for months

After a week the purging stage began and my skin was MUCH worse than before. This lasted for 3 months! I basically didn't go out most of that time, except with close friends.

You MUST be patient on this med, it may take months to work but when it does it is SO worth it

On the flip side, there are some points that make me discouraged that I haven't seen results yet because they describe results b/n 8-12 weeks. It makes me wonder if maybe this med just won't ever work for me?

Tretinoin-based prescription medications such as Atralin tend to be very effective in combating acne, according to the AAD. However, the manufacturer warns that it can take up to three months to see results from Atralin treatment.

After using Retin-A for 7 months, I am extremely happy with the results. It took 3 (12 weeks) months to see a noticeable difference in my skin, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

I waited a full 3 (12 weeks) months before reviewing. I read everyone elses reviews and knew the initial breakout would be bad and it was. I took time off work, cried almost daily, hated the way I looked and wouldn't go out for about 8 weeks.

After 8 and up to 12 weeks my skin became better and better. I now get the tiniest little pimples here and there, nothing to even worry about, they aren't even red.

So, we'll see. Like I said, can't quit now.

Haha thanks for posting it up! Yeh I know exactly what you are trying to say and its good to see all those people saying wait it out. Thanks for posting that up! Giving me inspiration to continue with it!!! I feel exactly like u in that I want to quit but then I am stuck with a screwed up face! Especially it will feel like 3 months wasted and no progress. Just worse Acne.

Keep us updated on what the derm said! Just don't feel you are alone lol. Take care

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Derm says Atralin isn't working. Gave me tazorac until I get a local derm where she thinks ill probably start accutane again. That would be months down the road by the time I get an appt.

Got my worst breakout ever past few days (3.5 months).

So many people say this is normal with Tretinoin, she says it's not working. I don't know what / who to believe anymore.

I'm afraid tazorac is going to make my already painful face more painful. Plus it's another chunk of months to even know if it's helping.

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Derm says Atralin isn't working. Gave me tazorac until I get a local derm where she thinks ill probably start accutane again. That would be months down the road by the time I get an appt.

Got my worst breakout ever past few days (3.5 months).

So many people say this is normal with Tretinoin, she says it's not working. I don't know what / who to believe anymore.

I'm afraid tazorac is going to make my already painful face more painful. Plus it's another chunk of months to even know if it's helping.

Mate, I am so sorry to hear about that. Maybe give it a week or more??? It would suck that after 3.5 months that there is no success. I feel like you in that I have been using it for 3 months almost but I will give it another week tops in which if no luck I would use Duac twice a day.

What is tazorac? Is it a tretinoin based product? once again I am sorry to hear that he said it is not working. I would give it one more week and see what happens. I am fairly sure you won't get another IB.

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