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Mild/Moderate Teenage Acne...don't want to use Retin-A?

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I'm a 16-year-old high school Junior who first started getting acne in 6th grade. I tried all types of store-bought things that I finally built up a resistance to the harshness and went to a dermatologist in April of 2010. I was told to start doxycycline at night, wash with Dove Sensitive Skin Soap, then Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, moisturize, and use Retin-A, in the morning I was supposed to use the bar soap and the Cetaphil, as well as use Duac.

I'm here because I have serious questions over my dermatologist's advice. Retin-A single-handedly destroyed my skin after use for about 5 months last year. I stopped it in February 2011 and the redness has finally begun to fade. Today, at my 6-month follow up, my dermatologist said to stop the doxycycline antibiotic and start using the Retin-A again. I understand that it takes time to work, but I just can't live with the side effects of Retin-A. The redness was a nightmare and it showed up in every picture I took last year. I also understand that its supposed to be terrible for a few months and then improve it, but I cannot go to school with my skin looking like that. Quitting it and having a teensy bit of acne was worth it not to have a red, greasy, peeling face.

Currently, it is summer and I am stress-free, I'm pretty acne free and have been trying natural things like lime juice and honey. I've been doing the bar soap and the Cetaphil and the doxycycline and the Duac. I started using moisturizer with SPF. My skin looks the best it has looked since 5th grade and I only have the occasional hormonal/stress breakout. Many of my friends have found that quitting all these harsh medicines has resulted in the teenage acne curse going away.

My question is, should I take her advice and try Retin-A again even though it destroyed my skin? I feel like what I am doing now is working just fine to control acne, but the derm wants to stop acne completely and she says Retin-A will do that for me. I thought about slowing how much I use down to 3 times a week and seeing if it makes it less horrible.

My other question is, should I try going off everything for a few weeks and seeing if anything changes? I would love to stop the chemicals and keep using natural things like lime juice which seems to be pretty effective.

Either way, I am stopping the antibiotic. The decisions are... stick with what I am doing now minus the antibiotic, stop everything but the soap and cleanser, or start the retin-a, but take it slowly.

Any advice? I'm just confused about what to do. :boohoo:

Edited by laureliscool

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