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clarky2

What Happens Next, If Retinoids Don't Work?

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So my acne is usually mild to moderate, I don't get cysts, only blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples basically.

In July 2011, my dermatologist put me on Retin A 0.04%, along with Oracea (extended release doxycycline), and in about 2 months, I had nearly completely clear skin. I stopped Oracea after about 3 months, as instructed, and expected that the Retin A would keep me clear.

Unfortunately, this was not the case, and my skin got much worse, with huge pimples lasting weeks around my mouth. That gradually cleared up on its own, but I still had persistent breakouts all over my forehead, chin, and even part of my neck.

At a check up with the derm, he said that I should give the Retin A more time to work.

In March, I went back to the dermatologist with blotchy, very broken out skin, and he said I needed something stronger such as Tazorac or Differin, and he gave me a prescription for Differin 0.3%. This seemed to be better at first, but I am three months into Differin, and my face seems to look worse than ever. My forehead is literally covered in pimples and hyperpigmentation from previous pimples.

I am surprised that after eleven months on retinoids, my skin is nowhere near clear. I have tried to be patient, but it seems I need to find an alternative solution, and most likely a more powerful therapy/medication.

Has anyone been in the same position I am now in? If so, please give me some insight, or share with me what ultimately worked for you. Thanks!

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I'm not in the same position as you, but I can tell you that my skin cleared up and remained clear for over a year with aczone in the am and tazorac cream at night. Also took keflex aka cephalexin twice a day. Used emu oil to moisturize. When my skin was completely clear I was able to stop all topicals and pills and just a face wash, exfoliater, toner (witch hazel) and emu oil. My skin broke out and ive been dealing wit getting it back to 100% and I'm almost there. Using a 1% salicylic acid gel along with emu oil.

You may want to ask your derm about tazorac as I relieve it's the strongest topical. The cream worked wonders for my skin. Also you may wanna go back on the oracea since it seemed to work.

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So my acne is usually mild to moderate, I don't get cysts, only blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples basically.

In July 2011, my dermatologist put me on Retin A 0.04%, along with Oracea (extended release doxycycline), and in about 2 months, I had nearly completely clear skin. I stopped Oracea after about 3 months, as instructed, and expected that the Retin A would keep me clear.

Unfortunately, this was not the case, and my skin got much worse, with huge pimples lasting weeks around my mouth. That gradually cleared up on its own, but I still had persistent breakouts all over my forehead, chin, and even part of my neck.

At a check up with the derm, he said that I should give the Retin A more time to work.

In March, I went back to the dermatologist with blotchy, very broken out skin, and he said I needed something stronger such as Tazorac or Differin, and he gave me a prescription for Differin 0.3%. This seemed to be better at first, but I am three months into Differin, and my face seems to look worse than ever. My forehead is literally covered in pimples and hyperpigmentation from previous pimples.

I am surprised that after eleven months on retinoids, my skin is nowhere near clear. I have tried to be patient, but it seems I need to find an alternative solution, and most likely a more powerful therapy/medication.

Has anyone been in the same position I am now in? If so, please give me some insight, or share with me what ultimately worked for you. Thanks!

Well, you can try glycolics...they are less irritating and 'supposedly' work faster at exfoliating than retinoids...and I THINK 11 months is a long time but 'I THINK' (not a doctor here lol) the reason why you are not seeing any progress considering its been 11 months maybe due to the fact you are switching up your retinoids...as each retinoid works differently and activates different nuclear receptors in your skin...so if you used retin a which activates certain receptors then switch to differin which activates a whole different set of receptors its basically like starting all over again; therefore its not like you are continuing from where you left of as your skin has to get used to each retinoid...for some people it takes 6 months...but the first time I took it with hyper-pigmentation mainly no acne I was clear in 10 weeks..but with acne after 13 weeks the skin is still not even toned even in areas where I have no acne because the skin is so oily it has a lot of work to do..it maybe your skin needs a lot of work...but you can try the glycolics smile.png check out this link..the doctor here prefers glycolics, it may work for you, hopefully.. Take care and stay strong. ---->

Edited by hannabanana

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I didn't read your post fully but, I would say that most retinoids are argued to be harsh and drying. You're not alone. Differin broke me out like MAD. "Glycolics," meaning glycolic acid (I'm assuming the plural referring to various concentrations and in either mask, peel, serum, cleanser or toner), I would not recommend. I base this off personal experience. I like mandelic acid or lactic acid. Of course, this recommendation is useless without context.

There are many, many options if retinoids don't work. You could easily close your eyes, turn 3 times and place your finger randomly on a page of Acne.org to choose your next skincare routine.

Just keep looking into your skin type, consider your diet and genetic predisposition, consider your age, and consider an exfoliating and anti-bacterial regimen (the last one my personal advice).

Good luck. :)

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I'm not in the same position as you, but I can tell you that my skin cleared up and remained clear for over a year with aczone in the am and tazorac cream at night. Also took keflex aka cephalexin twice a day. Used emu oil to moisturize. When my skin was completely clear I was able to stop all topicals and pills and just a face wash, exfoliater, toner (witch hazel) and emu oil. My skin broke out and ive been dealing wit getting it back to 100% and I'm almost there. Using a 1% salicylic acid gel along with emu oil.

You may want to ask your derm about tazorac as I relieve it's the strongest topical. The cream worked wonders for my skin. Also you may wanna go back on the oracea since it seemed to work.

All of this is pretty much what i went and am going through. Try tazorac. It really helps with scars and pimples. Just causes some dryness. I used this at night only and Clyndamicin lotion in the am and pm.

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