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Well, I've had acne for about 2 years now. I had gotten rid of it when I turned 18 or so(used to have it in highschool), but I went on a deployment to the desert and all of a sudden I broke out like crazy at 22. It's probably about moderate. I tend to get it in my temples, which is weird because as a kid I'd get it on my cheeks. I'm not sure if it was the stress, or that I was going to the gym more often, or what it was... I tried about everything I could. I ate a retardedly clean diet, exercised, lemon juice, no caffeine, no dairy, etc. Nothing worked. I finally decided to stop trying all of these crazy routines on my own and went to a dermatologist(which believe me I know I'm fortunate to be able to do that). He prescribed me retin A and 30 days of doxycycline. I've been on this now for almost 5 weeks.

Which brings me to this post. This is driving me crazy :/ The redness only lasted about half a week but the breakouts are ridiculous. It gets better for a few days, and then I break out with 3 or 4 deep pimples(I'm not even sure if they're cysts or not)... just generally inflamed and really taking forever to come to a head. Afterwards, they leave these annoying red marks, which is 90% of what makes things look so bad.

But anyway, I guess I just wanted to post for my sanity. This has basically been the worse summer ever. I know its probably my fault because of how I deal with it but it makes me so subconscious that I barely want to leave my house, and then I think exercising(which I love btw) is making it worse so I feel even hesitant to do that... I'd heard people had good results so thats whats keeping me going. I'll post updates too for any other RA users. Anyway, thanks for listening!

Good luck all :surprised:

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i am at same stage as you, sometimes i think its drying up but then more juicy once appear, & then there are loads of red marks all over my cheeks & under jaw. it looks horrible, but maybe a little less active. hopefully the red marks will fade.

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Yeah. well, supposedly we are at that phase where it gets worse. The packaging says that at about week 6 you should start to see "consistent results" which sort of falls in line with what my dermatologist said("don't expect to see results for AT LEAST 6 weeks"). For the red marks, I was told that should clear itself up in about 5 months :| To be honest, in the past month the ones I started with seem to be more than halfway gone. But yeahh then again I keep getting new ones. I guess the alternative is about the same though. Here's to hoping it works out for us \o/

So to update: it's been exactly 5 weeks now. Thankfully nothing new in terms of acne has come up since I wrote the last post, but today 2 of the persistent ones came to a head so I had to get rid of them, along with another really inflamed one that had been there for 2 weeks(and i never get inflammation LIKE THAT... not sure if its the RA). ;/ Luckily put some hydrocortisone and all of the inflammation went away on the 2. the other one.. eh.. hoping some sleep will take care of it. I start a summer semester tomorrow so it pretty much sucks to have more marks but what can you do? I was also hoping to start a routine at the gym but not used to things being this bad so I'll probably just stick to my routine at home :| Another thing is I have been getting these red marks on my cheeks from the skin drying up... I think thats actually from the benzoyle peroxide since I just started diligently using it and I wasn't getting those on just RA(derm told me to put BP in the morning and RA at night). Maybe i'm allergic or something :| Funny thing is my skin is more sensitive to the BP than the Retin A. I see the dermatologist in 2 days, I'm not sure whether I should go on accutane since i've already gotten bloodwork done and all of that. To be honest I just want to be cured of this crap. Anyway, will keep you guys updated.

Edited by robiii

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Keep with it!! :) My derm recommended the same regimen for my moderate acne. RAM and doxycycline. It took almost 4 months (not exactly 6 weeks) to finally see results. The first 2 months I suffered from a red, flakey, horrible broken out face. But I continued to consistently use it, because I like to give new acne regimens a good couple months before giving up on them. Don't get discouraged, because my skin looks a lot better. However, I've been on it for almost 7 months now and it hasn't done anything for my acne scar/red marks which are almost 3 years old. Also, be careful with the BP. Retin A makes your skin a lot more sensitive, and I don't like the sound of combining something as harsh as BP with another harsh topical treatment. BP/acne.org regimen is what intially destroyed my face and left me with tons of red marks on my cheeks. I would also hold out on accutane. That stuff should be your last resort. Give this a couple more months (but I would talk to your derm about stopping BP) and you should see results. I've tried everything and RAM is the only thing that has remotely helped. And I know how discouraging it is to look in the mirror every morning with a face full of acne, and how self conscious you feel in public. However, as much as it sucks, I always think that it could be A LOT worse (like having a terminal illness). After all, if someone is judging me because of my acne (now past acne!! :) ), then I don't really care to know them and don't regard their superficial opinion.

Edited by lexii

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Thanks for the comment Lexii : ) It really helped me earlier this week when things were looking bad. Also I agree with you, and besides that most people aren't so judgmental as sometimes you feel... I mean, if you saw somebody with some acne would you think less of them? Although I was pretty aware of things looking like crap until about Wednesday, I had to be around a lot of new people in class and it turned out to be a good week so I guess its just a mental thing. Also mostly when you stay a lot of time home(esp when you live by yourself) thinking about it it becomes worse than it seems.

Soo to fill you guys in. I've decided to keep trying with the Retin A and another course of 30 days of Doxycycline since it helps keep the inflammation down as the Retin A is becoming more effective(thats my main problem with acne in the first place... it used to look horrible because of the inflammation even though it was in fact mild). If over the next month this turns out to be a fluke and I start to get consistent breakouts again, then we agreed to take out the accutane(derm thought it would be a good idea after getting the blood tests done). He also gave me some Sodium Sulfasomething and Sulfur but... ehh... it kind of smells and after burning my face with BP I'm not really into throwing more chemicals on since RA is doing well.

This week things have really started to turn around I think! Since the last post I literally only got one pimple(the one I violently picked at... you can tell where it is I'm sure lol), and maybe a few white heads that healed up. Another thing is I was stressed as hell all mid week and barely slept and I didn't break out like I usually would. Its kind of embarrassing to post a picture of something like this on a forum but here is an update(and no, I'm not high... its just 3AM and I'm not in a mood to post a more flattering pic :P):

post-154020-1310802080_thumb.jpg

post-154020-1310802080_thumb.jpg

Edited by robiii

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grr... well, after it starting to clear up for a week I suddenly got 4 zits and they are REALLY inflamed(to the point of 2 of them actually being painful)... all along my tempes wtf :think: Aside from that I think the general inflammation is causing the rest of the marks to look a ton more noticable. It could be that taking a week off of doxycycline(which I've been back on now for 5 days) is starting to adjust since I know the primary function of that besides the whole bacteria thing is to fight inflammation so skin can heal. Speaking of that, had to walk a mile and a half or so outside today and it was about 90 degrees... and WOW even w SPF my skin is sensitive as hell now... so I guess the doxy is being absorbed lol. Ah well, its been 6 weeks today -- 4 more weeks of trying the thing Retin A thing out to wait for "consistent" results before I decide to try something else. Will keep you all posted.

Edited by robiii

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Well, ugh.. I think I had some sort of second IB(I don't know, every week or so I get a really horrible breakout and then it chills out for a while. After that last post, I got another 4 zits or so. They were all really nasty looking... the first 4 went down significantly in the last 3 days but of course its still there and its going to leave marks. Aside from that, my skin is getting disgustingly oily. I know theres a heat wave going on here but its just ridiculous.. my skin was never that bad before RA. Anyway, I'm just trying to hold on because I've heard from many that it takes at least 2 months :/ The big burn I got from BP has healed but it left a big spot that I'm hoping will go away soon. Stay away from BP people, its worse than even RA on your skin if its sensitive.

So anyway, 7th week almost halfway through so I'm just trying to hold my head up... its looking about the same as good/bad as when I started. I have less of the really superficial hyperpigmentation because of the week between breakout that I wouldn't get any pimples which didn't happen when off of RA but in return I have a bunch of new spots every time I break out and the breakouts, although less frequent, are much more severe. Just trying not to let it phase me so much and staying hopeful :whistle:

Edited by robiii

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Guest Timehealsall

do you get pus filled pimples?

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I'm not sure what you mean by pus. I get the normal white stuff you always get. If you ever pop a pimple you're not really supposed to squeeze it if you see blood... anyway talking about these kind of details grosses me out a bit :P If you're concerned about whats coming out of your zits you need to just ask a dermatologist.

Edited by robiii

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No thankfully not. I just get red bumps that get inflammation around them and they get white when they want to leave(and then leave a mark either way).

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Guest Timehealsall
Thanks for the comment Lexii : ) It really helped me earlier this week when things were looking bad. Also I agree with you, and besides that most people aren't so judgmental as sometimes you feel... I mean, if you saw somebody with some acne would you think less of them? Although I was pretty aware of things looking like crap until about Wednesday, I had to be around a lot of new people in class and it turned out to be a good week so I guess its just a mental thing. Also mostly when you stay a lot of time home(esp when you live by yourself) thinking about it it becomes worse than it seems.

Soo to fill you guys in. I've decided to keep trying with the Retin A and another course of 30 days of Doxycycline since it helps keep the inflammation down as the Retin A is becoming more effective(thats my main problem with acne in the first place... it used to look horrible because of the inflammation even though it was in fact mild). If over the next month this turns out to be a fluke and I start to get consistent breakouts again, then we agreed to take out the accutane(derm thought it would be a good idea after getting the blood tests done). He also gave me some Sodium Sulfasomething and Sulfur but... ehh... it kind of smells and after burning my face with BP I'm not really into throwing more chemicals on since RA is doing well.

This week things have really started to turn around I think! Since the last post I literally only got one pimple(the one I violently picked at... you can tell where it is I'm sure lol), and maybe a few white heads that healed up. Another thing is I was stressed as hell all mid week and barely slept and I didn't break out like I usually would. Its kind of embarrassing to post a picture of something like this on a forum but here is an update(and no, I'm not high... its just 3AM and I'm not in a mood to post a more flattering pic :P):

damn man, accutane for such mild acne? take a low dose if you go that route man

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Why do you ask this? I get quite afew of those. 6 weeks on retin a 7 face looks vile still. i have been embarrassed to go in public for the last 11 weeks. when will red marks fade & new ones stop forming? when they say 6 weeks for consistent results, does this mean if your skin hasnt improved its not going to?

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meh, the packaging is really vague. I read it as allow 6 to 12 weeks to allow the results to be more consistent. According to one of the derms I spoke with, the red marks should fade over a long period of time(aka ~6 months ish). Also, have you been noticing that you've been breaking out any less? I think I have been less frequently(the pic I showed a week ago was during a REALLY good week after it got some time to heal) but I can't be sure yet because when I have been breaking out its been a lot worse than it used to be. Also @ Timehealsall: yes. I am not trying to play a game of what does and doesnt work for anymore years. I notice some people at the board do that and if you have access to other medication that would be more likely to cure a problem I see it as a waste of time. This thing kills my confidence and that is really affecting every aspect of my life to be honest and I rather try everything and then after I've exhausted all of my options then just learn to make the best of that because the way I'm living is miserable and not working for me.

Edited by robiii

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Guest Timehealsall
meh, the packaging is really vague. I read it as allow 6 to 12 weeks to allow the results to be more consistent. According to one of the derms I spoke with, the red marks should fade over a long period of time(aka ~6 months ish). Also, have you been noticing that you've been breaking out any less? I think I have been less frequently(the pic I showed a week ago was during a REALLY good week after it got some time to heal) but I can't be sure yet because when I have been breaking out its been a lot worse than it used to be. Also @ Timehealsall: yes. I am not trying to play a game of what does and doesnt work for anymore years. I notice some people at the board do that and if you have access to other medication that would be more likely to cure a problem I see it as a waste of time. This thing kills my confidence and that is really affecting every aspect of my life to be honest and I rather try everything and then after I've exhausted all of my options then just learn to make the best of that because the way I'm living is miserable and not working for me.

you have a terrific point robi.

Its just, i have read some horror stories from accutane users (i.e. every single zit leaving a scar after taking accutane). i am just saying that it might not be worth it (for both of us that is, cuz i might go that route)

Why do you ask this? I get quite afew of those. 6 weeks on retin a 7 face looks vile still. i have been embarrassed to go in public for the last 11 weeks. when will red marks fade & new ones stop forming? when they say 6 weeks for consistent results, does this mean if your skin hasnt improved its not going to?

i ask this because i was wondering if that type of acne (pus filled) vs the red bumps are more prone to leaving scars or scarred pores/enlarged pores. Have you experienced any?

It just pisses me off how every fucking red bump i get eventually turns into a pustule

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[

Im not sure on the scar front, i a lot of indents plus large pore & certain ones have turned into scars so it looks like a have a hole in my cheek.

I dont think im getting less spots at all yet. but my skin is dry & irritated somewhat, & i feel it is making me more wrinkly,despite the fact its supposed to help with that. it does help the spots scab over quicker though, but still have endless whiteheads & sore spots

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Keep with it!! :) My derm recommended the same regimen for my moderate acne. RAM and doxycycline. It took almost 4 months (not exactly 6 weeks) to finally see results. The first 2 months I suffered from a red, flakey, horrible broken out face. But I continued to consistently use it, because I like to give new acne regimens a good couple months before giving up on them. Don't get discouraged, because my skin looks a lot better. However, I've been on it for almost 7 months now and it hasn't done anything for my acne scar/red marks which are almost 3 years old. Also, be careful with the BP. Retin A makes your skin a lot more sensitive, and I don't like the sound of combining something as harsh as BP with another harsh topical treatment. BP/acne.org regimen is what intially destroyed my face and left me with tons of red marks on my cheeks. I would also hold out on accutane. That stuff should be your last resort. Give this a couple more months (but I would talk to your derm about stopping BP) and you should see results. I've tried everything and RAM is the only thing that has remotely helped. And I know how discouraging it is to look in the mirror every morning with a face full of acne, and how self conscious you feel in public. However, as much as it sucks, I always think that it could be A LOT worse (like having a terminal illness). After all, if someone is judging me because of my acne (now past acne!! :) ), then I don't really care to know them and don't regard their superficial opinion.

it took you 4 months to see results?? ok that gives me hope because i've been using retin A for 3 months now and skin just seems to keep breaking out like crazy with no end in sight so thanks for giving me some hope!!

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[

Im not sure on the scar front, i a lot of indents plus large pore & certain ones have turned into scars so it looks like a have a hole in my cheek.

I dont think im getting less spots at all yet. but my skin is dry & irritated somewhat, & i feel it is making me more wrinkly,despite the fact its supposed to help with that. it does help the spots scab over quicker though, but still have endless whiteheads & sore spots

Hey well.. I think it really does help with scabbing over faster.. I've noticed that too. I have a bad habit of peeling them but it feels like dry skin :| the good thing though is that it keeps peeling and slowly gets lighter. Before Retin A, it would just get super inflamed and leave an instant scar(/followed by more breakouts around the area). I've also been trying to pick them less so I guess that might be helping. Also, yeah I keep getting the spots too.. I guess thats just what happens. But as somebody thoughtfully mentioned earlier, it can take up to 4 months so we're not even halfway there yet.

On a positive note, I haven't gotten another breakout since the barrage of the 8 zits... maybe 1 or 2 but aside from last week being so good thats pretty damn good. The marks went from terrible at the beginning of this week to... well, very slightly better lol. So lets stay optimistic here :D

Edited by robiii

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Accutane was the only thing that worked for me.

yeahh lol I'm keeping in mind if the sporadic breakouts don't stop after 3 months thats the alternative for me. But glad to hear it worked for you thanks :surprised:

Edited by robiii

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Guest Timehealsall
[

Im not sure on the scar front, i a lot of indents plus large pore & certain ones have turned into scars so it looks like a have a hole in my cheek.

I dont think im getting less spots at all yet. but my skin is dry & irritated somewhat, & i feel it is making me more wrinkly,despite the fact its supposed to help with that. it does help the spots scab over quicker though, but still have endless whiteheads & sore spots

Is it because you picked at them? Do only pus zits leave scars or even red bumps?

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You're welcome, flower child! I also want to note that RA doesn't make your skin invincible either. So that's a downside. I thought that as long as I used it consistently, other things wouldn't irritate my skin and break it out. However, I started using some different foundation and tried a couple different facial masks and a toner, and I guess my skin didn't like it and now I'm recovering from a breakout. So, I don't recommend changing up your skin care routine. The best results I've gotten with RA have been with a very simple skin care routine. I use the dove sensitive soap bar (though I'm looking for something else that doesn't test on animals), a light moisturizer at night, and then RA. And that's it. Junk food and a bad diet still breaks me out too, even when using RA. So it's definitely not a miracle product. But it definitely works well when you use it as part of a system.

Also, I see you're still going through ups and downs with RA, Robiii. But like you've said about what I said, haha, it's only been 2 months and it'll probably take longer than that. It can only get better with each passing month, so don't give up. But you seem like you have an awesome outlook on your acne recovery, so I don't see ya giving up. I think in a couple more months you'll see a big difference because I saw your picture and your acne looks a lot better than mine did when I started on RA. You have really good looking skin, so I think you'll have even better results than I've gotten so far. And I saw that your skin didn't do well with the BP. Have you discontinued use since then?

And Timehealsall: I think that if the zit is really red, it'll be more dark/long lasting the post-acne mark will be. The acne that leaves marks, for me, usually doesn't have pus, it's generally the acne that is sort of just a red bump. Also, I find that acne on my cheeks scars a lot more than on my forehead or chin (I think it has something to do with the skin texture). There are tons more factors to scarring, too (like ethnicity-people with more melanin are more prone to scarring...such as me, because of my hispanic origin). I'm sorry that you're dealing with the marks. I'm still struggling with scarring too (red marks and indentions), and RA hasn't helped at all :(. I think it'll just take time...lots and lots of time (cuz I've had this scarring for almost 3 years now), just like your name says!

Fedupofadultacne: I couldn't agree more with your name. Although RA is helping, I'm still a slave to my acne! I'm about to be 22 (and I've had acne since I was 14), and I still have to worry about my acne. I don't see an end in sight. I really can't imagine a life where I'm not worrying about acne or remembering to take my Doxycycline or putting on RA or blotting my oily face every couple hours. I envy those who don't have to think twice about their skin. In regards to your dry skin: that's really common when using RA. I struggled with flakey, dry skin for the first 3 months. You may need to start cutting back on the amount of RA you use and start building back up again. I remember the first week, I went RA crazy and went straight for applying 2 pumps every night. My face took a toll for that. So for the first 3 weeks after that, I applied one pump every other day. Then the second month I used 1.5 pumps every day, and then the third month 2 pumps. And exfoliate lighty every day, that'll help with the flakiness. You can also use moisturizer before/after you put on your RA (you may need to experiment a bit with putting it on before/after. I'm fine with putting moisturizer on before RA, but I know that applying it before doesn't help some people. )

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Also, I see you're still going through ups and downs with RA, Robiii. But like you've said about what I said, haha, it's only been 2 months and it'll probably take longer than that. It can only get better with each passing month, so don't give up. But you seem like you have an awesome outlook on your acne recovery, so I don't see ya giving up. I think in a couple more months you'll see a big difference because I saw your picture and your acne looks a lot better than mine did when I started on RA. You have really good looking skin, so I think you'll have even better results than I've gotten so far. And I saw that your skin didn't do well with the BP. Have you discontinued use since then?

Haha.. I've definitely discontinued use of BP... getting second degree burns on your face is not fun >_> Anyway thanks for the comment about good looking skin, but I think that was the lighting... cell phone camera doesn't get the marks in certain lighting(tried to work on that this time :P). The Doxy's also helped immensely with any inflammation so who knows : ) I also know how you feel about being careful... its such a pain. I guess this is some people's 20s lol.. but eh, outlook is more convenient for 30s haha. Amyway, hopefully the worst part(breaking out constantly!) is over, and its just time now. By the way, have you tried scarzone? I heard that works(I'm actually using that on the BP mark), although I think it'd be a pain to apply it on everything and rub it for 2 minutes but maybe for the worst stuff. I had a few family members who always used to tell me cocoa butter works for scars so who knows, if it works for them?

So,for the update: I've literally had only 1 or 2 pimples since the last monster breakout! Soo things are looking good. This is saying a lot because I've started hitting the gym for the first time in 2 and a half months(which usually aggravates the hell out of everything) and drinking coffee to help me get through summer classes and some personal projects(haha yeahh i've been bad) -- but I haven't gotten anything yet for it... I think the texture is getting back to normal, maybe even on its way to being better(my pores were really weird the first few weeks)? Also the red marks have definitely calmed down since they're all older than a week for once. The scar I got from the BP doesn't look as bad... or, at least its not an open gash in my face anymore :P Also the acne seems to heal faster.. stuff I got last week is all gone minus all of the red marks that will stick around for god knows how long :D Anyway... I attached some pics of it(better lighting than last time hopefully).

I think the fact that the breakouts have stopped has brought a huge peace of mind. It was hard to be productive when I was worried about things getting worse all the time breaking out every day(and then I'm a little OCD about getting something done every day so it just felt terrible even though its summer). Anyway I guess I can deal with the marks... at least they'll be gone one day... ideally. So well, knock on wood hopefully this will keep working and these marks can finally start going away before new ones come up : ) Thanks for the comments and good luck everyone! Will keep you all posted.

Edited by robiii

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Guest Timehealsall

how long were you on bp for before discontinuing/

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