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My regimen log - Tazorac

I wanted to start this log so that I can track my progress and maybe get input from others.

First, my acne history: I always had acne as a teen (I'm 23 now). I went to several dermatologist between 13-19 and was on all different topical medications, different birth control pills, and even antibiotics. Some worked on and off but never anything very noticable. I would always give up after a few months and go back to over the counter face wash etc because the prescriptions were so expensive.

My acne hadn't been too bad over the last 2-3 years. I would still have 2-3 pimples just about all the time but nothing aweful. I was actually really lucky that my skin cleaned up right before my wedding a few months ago.

Now to the problem: On the last two days of my honeymoon, I started to develop a few deep cysts on my chin. Over the following two weeks 3 or 4 cysts turned into 6-8 cysts and lots of white and black heads too. I figured this outbreak was due to the changing weather (it was just starting to get cold out), hormonal cycles, wedding stress finally coming to the surface, and maybe even the water since I was out of town. Whatever caused it....it wasn't going away.

The cysts started to really hurt. My face was so tender that my husband couldn't come near me. If I bumped my face on a tshirt or with my hand, I would cry. It was aweful. The redness covered ok wih makeup but my face looked visibly bumpy.

Now the solution: On week 4 of this aweful breakout, I went to the dermatologist because nothing over the counter was helping. She prescribed Tazorac 0.05% cream and Solodyn 65mg antibiotic. Her instructions were to take the antibiotic once a day about an hour after a meal. She said not to take it directly with food because it would be less effective on a full stomach but not too take it too long after a meal because it can make you nausous on an empty stomach. I was to wash my face with Neutrogena Cream Cleanser in the morning and apply CeraVe moisturizer. At night wash again with Neutrogena Clenser and then apply a SMALL amount of Taz mixed half and half with the CerVe moisurizer. I was supposed to started with applying the Taz every other night.

Week 1: For the first couple of days, I really didn't notice anything. I was only applying the Taz every other night so I just had the same acne that I had before. I had two groups of cysts on my chin; one on the right side and one on the left. I had several zits on my upper lip and in my smile lines, and then a handful on my forehead and between my eyebrows. Once I got past the 3rd application of Taz, the side effects started. My face felt tight and was dry and flaky. EVERYTHING made my face burn. I also noticed that the Taz was pretty greasy. I stuck with it anyways.

Week 2: Oh dear....week two was a nightmare. My acne got MUCH worse. I developed even more cysts on both sides of my chin and some on my jawline. The pimples I had seemed to be a brighter red color and the medication was causing all of the whiteheads to come to the surface (yuck!). I made the very bad mistake of popping a few of them to get makeup to lay better over them. Ooops! This only caused even more white heads in the areas near the ones I popped. My face still felt really tight and was faking off several times a day. I went out of town to see family this week and I just wanted to hide. Even with makeup on, my face still looked bumpy (especailly my chin) and I was REALLY oily. I called my derm and she swtiched me to Cetaphil moisturizer. I liked this stuff much better than CeraVe. The CeraVe didn't seem to be soaking into my skin so it wasn't helping the dryness and it looked like an oil spill on top of my skin. The Cetaphil is still greasy but it defanitely helps with the dryness and doesn't look as oily with makeup on. Still absolutely no going out anywhere without makeup and even then, I can only go out for more than 4-5 hours at a time because my face starts to peel in the cold air (highs here are in the 40's now). Still stuck with it.

Week 3: At the end of week two, I increased the Taz to every night. I also added Neutrogena On The Spot BP ointment in the morning (I would just mix a little in with my morning moisturizer). With the Cetaphil moisturizer, this week was automatically better because I was a little less oily. The initial breakout almost completely stopped. I only got 2 or 3 new pimples and they didn't get nearly as big or red to start and they were healing much more quickly than before. Really my chin was the only place where I still had active breakouts (still some red spot in other areas that were healing). The right side of my chin was almost smooth even though I still had some red spot and the left side only had 4 or 5 small pimples left all in various stages of healing. The areas that are clear are REALLY smooth. The Taz makes my skin look smooth and glowing. I also figured out that if I use oil blotting sheets right before putting on my makeup, it goes on much better. I still get oily every two hours or so but the oil sheets help. I'm also still peeling. I apply the Taz at night and the next morning I'm peeling a little but nothing that doesn't just wash away with gentle cleanser. But on days that I apply makeup, about 6 or 7pm, the areas around my mouth and chin peel like crazy. It takes warm water and a gentle rub with a wash cloth to get all of it off. This makes it hard to leave the house for more than 5 or 6 hours because laughing and talking making the peeling around my mouth worse. It also makes it impossible to go to evening parties because the peeling is worse then. I'm really hoping that my acne keeps going away and I can go all day without peeling by Christmas!

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