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aurelia

10 Weeks on Retin A (Pics Inside) A tad worried

Well, I stopped the regimen 10weeks ago and hopped onto Retin A Micro and I take antibiotics too. I use the Retin A at night then use the Dan's BP in the day time if I see a break out. I cleanse my face 2 times a day and also tone with ACV about 3 times a week. My face isn't sensitive at all. I also am sure to use a good sunblock

I've noticed that my breakouts are fewer and they seem to come and go quickly but I am still getting a few pimples here and there and a few bouts of cystic Acne too.

Here is a link to my old gallary and a few pics of me today. I'm so tired of looking at myself and analyzing my face that I can't even tell if it is improving.

old Gallary pics:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php..._album&album=16

Taken today

Front Shot

http://pages.ivillage.com/cl-ivillage_sist...pg.w300h323.jpg

user posted image

user posted image

Can anyone tell a difference. Is the Retin A just a waste of my time. I hear that lactic peels are good but I am afraid that I will actually do more damage to my face than good. As you can tell, I am African American and my spots are dark,

Is the lactic peel easy to use? is there a place to get them inexpensively?

Thanks

Aurelia

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Hard to say since the lighting is so different.... But it looks like there is less acne now, but the acne that you do have looks a bit worse than when you were on the regimen. Still looks better than before you went on the Regimen though.

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don't give up on the retin-a.. it's supposed to make you look younger and should soften your scars.. i'm personally using avage and i'm noticing that my scars are softening with each application... it's slow but's it's doing something.. i think you should give yourself 3-6months before you give up..

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Aurelia. I use Retin A and I found over the last few years it has greatly decreased my scaring. I would keep it up unless you find it is making your skin too flakey. It's a good product. It's good to see the regimen has worked for you. Don't give up on it! Persistence pays smile.gif

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My thoughts exactly!! Kinda like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. ohmy.gif. Yes, and ANYTHING would look better than me pre-regimen. I guess I am thinking if I need to keep the Retin A going or stop it and hop back on the Regimen.

Thanks for looking and for your thoughts.

Aurelia

Hard to say since the lighting is so different.... But it looks like there is less acne now, but the acne that you do have looks a bit worse than when you were on the regimen. Still looks better than before you went on the Regimen though.

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Really? 3 - 6 months? How long have you been using it? thanks for your input...All I have is time so I can stick with it...I guess I just wanted to see what others thoughts.

Aurelia

don't give up on the retin-a.. it's supposed to make you look younger and should soften your scars.. i'm personally using avage and i'm noticing that my scars are softening with each application... it's slow but's it's doing something.. i think you should give yourself 3-6months before you give up..

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WOW how long have you been using Retin A? I have a script for a years worth and will continue using it like clock-work and hoping I get totally clear one of these days.

Thanks

Aurelia.  I use Retin A and I found over the last few years it has greatly decreased my scaring.  I would keep it up unless you find it is making your skin too flakey.  It's a good product.  It's good to see the regimen has worked for you.  Don't give up on it!  Persistence pays smile.gif

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If you want faster results - you need a different retinoid, get your doctor to switch you to Tazorac or Avage ( which is what I'm using.) Unlike Retin-A, once you get used to Avage, you will get a nice rosy glow and the peeling won't be as noticeable (but you will peel nevertheless). There have been studies that Tazoretene is a better and faster retinoid than tretinoin. Retin-A for me, was too harsh -- I could tell my skin was in a constant state of flux.

My strategy is to do Avage therapy for 6 months - 1year. By that time I'm hoping Avage will shrink my scars/pores so it's barely noticeable -- then I will be ready to do a more invasive procedure like a deep peel to get smooth skin.

I tried copper-peptides for 4 months. It did do something for me but for some reason I felt the efficacy tailed off somewhere in the 3 month range. I am not so sure about copper peptieds anymore. I am more confident with Tazaoretene because it is the only drug that will significantly change the biology of your skin. Here's some passages I got from an anti-aging skin faq that talks about tretinoin.. very enlightening.

----------------------

4. What are Retin-A (tretinoin) and retinoids?

Currently, the most-studied topical anti-aging treatment is prescription

tretinoin (with brands Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Renova, Avita, or generic).

Tretinoin is also called vitamin A acid or retinoic acid; but it is a

different chemical from regular vitamin A - one form of which is called

retinol. A prescription is required for tretinoin because it produces

significant changes in the structure of the skin. Tretinoin was developed

many years ago and is often prescribed for acne because it reduces sebum

build-up in pores; but a large number of peer-reviewed medical studies done

since the early 1980s also show that tretinoin can also improve fine lines,

skin texture, and uneven pigmentation. Tretinoin may also improve the

appearance of large pores and some scars. It is has been shown conclusively

that tretinoin acts to improve collagen in the dermis, thicken the epidermis,

and smooth the skin surface. The effects are modest with most people, but a

few people achieve significant improvement. For medical studies, see for

example "Treatment of Photodamage with Topical Tretinoin: an Overview",

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 36(3 Pt 2), S27-36, 1997 Mar;

"Short- and Long-Term Histologic Effects of Topical Tretinoin on

Photodamaged Skin," International Journal of Dermatology, 37(4), 286-292, 1998

Apr; "Treatment of Photoaged Skin With Topical Tretinoin," Skin Pharmacology,

6 Suppl 1(), 78-82, 1993; and "Topical Tretinoin Improves the Appearance of

Photo Damaged Skin," Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 35(1), 1-9, 1994

(abstracts available free online using the medical index Medline at the

National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and at many other medical

websites).

Tretinoin and related chemicals, called retinoids, are some of the most

important discoveries in dermatology. In addition to tretinoin, other

retinoids are available for treating various skin conditions including

adapalene (brand-name Differin) and tazarotene (brand-names Avage and

Tazorac). Adapalene is used for acne, and tazarotene was originally

used mainly for psoriasis and acne. Currently, there are no published medical

studies on adapalene as a treatment for photoaging, but tazarotene has

been shown to be effective for this, though it may cause more irritation than

the tretinoin. See for example, "Tazarotene Cream for the Treatment of

Facial Photodamage," Archives of Dermatology, 137(12), 1597-1604, 2001; and

"Efficacy of 0.1% Tazarotene Cream for the Treatment of Photodamage: A

12-Month Multicenter, Randomized Trial," Archives of Dermatology, 138(11),

1486-1493, 2002 Nov (abstracts available on Medline). Results indicate that

improvement with 0.1% tazarotene is comparable to 0.05% and 0.1% tretinoin.

Tazarotene may work better than tretinoin for some people. Tazarotene is not

yet available as a generic in the USA, and the brand-name products Avage and

Tazorac are more expensive than generic tretinoin. Other studies may be

done to compare the effectiveness of tazarotene to tretinoin for photoaging.

You can do a combined search on both words using Medline to check for these

studies.

Ortho Pharmaceuticals has published before-and-after photos from the tretinoin

medical studies online and in magazine ads that show significant improvement

in fine lines and discoloration for some of the test subjects. However, these

probably show the best results; most people will have less improvement. In

the clinical trials, which lasted from six months to one year, approximately

65% of the test subjects had some noticeable improvement in fine lines and

discolorations, and 51% had improvement in skin texture. While the

improvement was modest with most test subjects, nearly all showed

improvement to their skin under microscopic examination. Net reviews of

tretinoin are almost all positive, though people with sensitive skin often

complain of peeling and irritation when using the higher concentrations. The

results of the medical studies and anecdotal evidence from doctors over the

years show definitively that tretinoin is an effective topical treatment for

moderate photoaging. However, it is not a wrinkle cure, and it cannot stop or

reverse the aging process.

Initially, there was some controversy about tretinoin. It's effects were

wildly exaggerated in the media, sometimes with help from doctors. Then the

initial manufacturer got into trouble with the FDA in the USA for

promoting tretinoin as a prescription wrinkle treatment before it had been

approved for that use. Also, many people experienced irritation with some

forms of tretinoin. Because of all this, you don't read nearly as much in

the media today about tretinoin. Another problem is that now only one brand

of tretinoin cream called Renova can legally be advertised in the USA as a

treatment for photoaging, though all forms contain the same active chemical.

(This is an unfortunate consequence of FDA regulations.) However, doctors

can also legally prescribe any other brand of tretinoin for general skin

improvement, though this is called an "off-label" use if you don't have acne.

Most of the studies showing skin improvement with tretinoin have been done

with a 0.05%-concentration formula. However, many people find that regular

0.05% tretinoin cream initially causes peeling and redness. They often give

up on tretinoin because of this. To avoid this possibility, it is best to

start out with a tube of 0.025% cream. Initially, apply only a tiny amount to

your face at night and check for peeling and redness the next day. You can

use moisturizer during the day if necessary. Work your way up gradually

to no more than a pea-size amount nightly for the whole face. Apply it

evenly by first dabbing your forehead, cheeks, and nose. You can also

apply a small amount to any other areas that have received a lot of sun

exposure such as your ears, neck, chest, back, arms and hands. (Apply it

only lightly to the ears or you will get a lot of peeling.) You can apply it

to the fine lines around your eyes, but be careful not to get any in your eyes

or it could irritate them (flush them with water if you do.) It is very

important not to use tretinoin during the day because exposure to light,

especially sunlight, will decrease its potency. You should apply it at least

a half-hour before sleeping so it is fully absorbed and won't rub off on your

pillow. Don't apply other products to your face at the same time, since they

could inactivate the tretinoin.

The regular tretinoin creams are appropriate for most people because they are

very light, and don't contain oil. However, if you find the 0.025% cream too

irritating, you can try Ortho's 0.02% or 0.05% Renova brand products, which

are thicker, emollient creams for dry or sensitive skin. If you have no

problems with the regular .025% cream, your doctor can next prescribe the

0.05% cream. People with more skin oil may be able to use the 0.1% cream or

0.1% Retin-A Micro, which is a special time-release formula usually used for

acne. There is also a 0.025% gel that is more potent than the creams.

The gel does not spread as easily as the creams, and it contains a significant

amount of ethyl alcohol (or ethanol), which can be irritating. The gel

usually works better than the creams to treat acne and clogged pores.

A very potent 0.05% alcohol-based liquid is also available, but most people

find it too irritating, and it is easy to accidently spill it.

Remember, you must be patient with tretinoin. While microscopic changes start

immediately, it takes about three to six months before you will see any

visible improvement in the mirror. After six months, typically you will start

to see that deep wrinkles are reduced slightly in depth, fine lines around

your eyes are less noticeable, and your skin will feel smoother and firmer

when you wash your face. Maximum results are achieved after 12-24 months of

nightly use (depending on concentration), and after that you only need to

apply it two or three days per week for maintenance. If you stop using

tretinoin, the skin will gradually regress. You may want to take before-and-

after, close-up photographs of your face to check your progress. People who

don't do this often greatly underestimate their results, because the

effects of tretinoin are gradual and generally modest. The gradual nature of

its effect may be one reason why tretinoin is not used by more people. Even

if you are one of those people who does not see significant improvement in the

mirror, tretinoin will improve your skin on a cellular level, and can slow

down the development of lines, wrinkles, and discolorations in the future.

Doctors have found that some people achieve better results using tretinoin

and cosmetic acids on alternate nights (discussed below).

With a prescription, you can buy a 45 gram tube of generic tretinoin (0.025%

gel or 0.025%, 0.05%, 0.1% cream) at pharmacies for between $50 and $75. This

is obviously very expensive, but a 45 gram tube will last at least three

months. Only a pea-sized amount is used for the whole face. 20 gram tubes

cost between $25 and $40. Some generics and foreign brands may be available

in 60 gram tubes. Usually, the larger tubes are a better value per gram.

Note that the other effective retinoid, tazarotene, currently costs about $60

for a 30 gram tube. Prices on tretinoin vary widely at pharmacies, so call

around for quotes when you get your prescription. Mail-order pharmacies may

be less expensive. (Check the consumer websites for recommended mail-order

pharmacies.) The Avita brand and generics cost less, but some pharmacies

may only carry one concentration in a generic. The Ortho Retin-A, Renova,

and Retin-A Micro brands are more expensive. If you are on a low budget, get

a prescription for a large tube of the highest-concentration 0.1% generic

cream and use only a water-drop-sized amount for your face. You can spread it

easier by moistening your face first with a little water. You can make the

tube last a whole year this way.

All tretinoin made by major pharmaceutical companies should have a potency

expiration date stamped on the box or the end of the tube. Be sure the

expiration date is at least six months away since one large tube may last you

this long. Obviously, if you buy a few tubes at one time, you will want

an expiration date a couple of years in the future. Tretinoin cream has a

shelf-life of about three years from the date of manufacture, and the gel

about two years. Keep the tube capped, since exposure to air and light can

inactivate tretinoin and cause some of the other ingredients to evaporate.

Also store the tube at temperatures under 80 F, or it will degrade faster.

Unless you have tretinoin prescribed for acne, insurance companies usually

won't pay for a doctor's visit or a prescription. You can obviously pay for

a skincare consultation with your regular doctor or a dermatologist, but you

can save money by simply having your doctor give you a prescription at your

next insurance-covered visit.

If you have extra money, also ask your doctor for a prescription for a small

30 gram tube of 0.05% or 0.1% tazarotene cream or gel (Avage brand cream or

Tazorac brand cream or gel), and compare it to tretinoin on different sides of

your face. It costs about $60. Some people may get slightly better results

with tazarotene. The Avage brand is FDA-approved for treating facial

photoaging, while Tazaroc is approved for treating acne and other skin

conditions; but the active ingredient tazarotene is the same in both brands.

Avage and Tazaorac cream have nearly identical ingredients, so you can check

the pharmacies to see which one costs less per gram. Tazorac also comes in a

gel, while Avage is currently only available as a cream. Avage and Tazorac

cream are emollient-type creams containing mineral oil, similar to Renova,

made for people with dry or sensitive skin. People with more skin oil or

acne should use Tazorac brand gel. Unlike tretinoin gel, Tazorac brand gel

only has a small amount of alcohol and spreads easier. Doctors can legally

prescribe either brand of tazarotene for treating photoaging. With any form,

you should initially use tazarotene very lightly since it may cause

irritation and peeling. If you get the higher concentration 0.1% product,

start by applying only about a water-drop-sized amount to your face at first.

Tazarotene seems to absorb slowly, so be sure to apply it at least a half-

hour before sleeping or it could rub off on your pillow. Some internists and

general practitioners may not yet be familiar with tazarotene as a treatment

for photoaging, so you may want to show them copies of the medical paper

abstracts on tazarotene listed above. You can also print out consumer

medical information on both Avage and Tazorac from the Net.

If you go to a dermatologist, be sure to also ask for free tretinoin and

tazarotene samples; they often have small tubes to give away to patients.

Since tretinoin is now considered a routine skincare product, your regular

doctor may also be willing to call in a prescription to your pharmacy without

an exam. Some clinics can also schedule a lower-cost consultation with a

nurse practitioner or physician-assistant who can give you a prescription for

tretinoin. Always be sure to ask that the prescription specify the maximum

number of refills, so you can simply go back to the pharmacy when you need a

new tube. When you run out of refills, often you can get the doctor's office

or clinic to call the pharmacy to authorize more without having to pay for

another visit.

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Hi, I only see 1 fresh pimple, so whatever you're doing seems to be working! I did want to add the fact that once you have a pimple, BP can't help it. It's only useful to prevent them. It can help things so you don't get one right next to it though, which is common due to the bacteria spreading.

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