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Briana Jones

Should I Increase My Tretinoin Cream Strength To 0.1%?

Hi, this is my first time posting on acne.org! I get clusters of whiteheads and pimples on my chin a lot! I also get a lot of clogged pores/whiteheads on my forehead whereas the rest of my face (nose and cheeks) are almost flawless. I was prescribed tretinoin cream 0.05% in May of 2010 and stayed on that for about a year. I slathered it on at first, not knowing that I only needed a pea sized amount to get the job done. I peeled and had red skin for awhile, but after about 3 months my skin cleared up beautifully! I continued to use the cream and my skin stayed fairly clear up until about the beginning of my second semester in college, or January 2011. I was starting to get more breakouts again around my problem areas and stopped using the tretinoin cream because i thought it stopped working. After being off of it for awhile, I broke out really bad late summer around July. I tried the ACV treatment, organic raw skin cleaners, even something called Ozonated olive oil, I mean EVERYTHING! It was horrible! My chin was disgusting and my forehead was FULL of small little whiteheads everywhere. I cried because someone had pointed out how horrible my skin looked at a football game on campus. It was dreadful. I started on the 0.05% cream again and my skin cleared up slowly but surely, but never got completely clear like it did that first time I used it. I would still break out and never had the nice skin I wanted again. I couldn't afford more of the cream, so my breakouts started once again about a month ago. I had read online that tretinoin cream might not be as good as the gel for acne-prone individuals because it's more likely to clog pores so I decided to switch to the 0.05% gel. I have been on this gel nightly for a good 3 weeks now and my breakouts are getting bad again. I have a LOT of little clogged pores all over the right/left sides of my chin and my forehead. I figure this might be the initial breakout once again but i'm really afraid that the tretinoin is just not working and my skin is just going to get worse and never improve! I don't get any dry skin, redness, irritation, or anything of the sort anymore and I use a 10% benzoyl peroxide wash in the morning. I don't know why there is no irritation? Does this mean that I should increase the strength to 0.1% so I can see results or will this just worsen my skin? Please and thank you for the answers and support! Ugh, I'm tempted to try out birth control too just to see if that helps my skin at all. Is chin acne hormonal at all? I posted pictures of what my skin looks like at the moment. Not great quality (crappy webcam) but, there are a lot of inflamed pustules on my chin as well. post-178878-0-13524700-1340615455_thumb.post-178878-0-54160600-1340615466_thumb.post-178878-0-04920900-1340615489_thumb.post-178878-0-22986700-1340615496_thumb.





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Hey! I don't have a lot of advice for you. Just some sympathy!

I was using 2% BHA and 10% AHA for years and it wasn't cutting it so I started using 0.025 retin-A cream. I didn't have an IB and my skin cleared up super fast, but I had lots of PIH. I took a mini break from the retin-a (2 weeks), did a TCA peel and it got rid of all the PIH. My skin looked amazing! For like 3 days. When I started up the retin-a, I got those types of closed comedones all over my forehead. Naturally, I freaked out on them and picked. Sooooooo I have the PIH again. Ha.

Anyways, it's been about 2 weeks since they showed up and they really are getting better, slowly. I added a weekly mandelic/salicylic acid peel and also a 10% glycolic acid face wash (only a couple of times a week), so that could be helping too.

I think that you should probably stick it out with the 0.05 for awhile longer. The 0.1 is pretty strong and I think most derms try to have it be a gradual approach.

I read on here that people have had success with boosting their tretinoin with AHA (either used separately in the AM or right before the tretinoin), perhaps you could give that a try.

Good luck! =]

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Post Inflammatory Pigmentation, the dark brown/red mark that's left after a pimple heals. Sorry, totally unrelated to your post. I was just being a big cry baby.

AHA is a chemical (or naturally derived) exfoliant - Lactic, Glycolic and Mandelic are all different kinds of AHAs. They work by removing the dead skin cells so that other products such as tretinoin and moisturizers work more effectively.

There's also BHA (salicylic acid) which is an exfoliant that is oil soluble, so it goes into the pore. Maybe you could use that in the mornings and then retin-A at night?

There's a lot of very helpful information in the blackheads/closed comedones forum. I hope I didn't throw too much, but not helpful enough information at you.

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I second the recommendation for BHA/salicylic acid in the morning, tretinoin at night.

Tretinoin communicates with the deepest layers of your skin and thins out your skin to help you purge, but is NOT exfoliative. Exfoliation is different. You still need to use something that will help unclog the surface as stuff is being pushed up. A 2% salicylic acid LEAVE-ON CREAM (a cleanser isn't on your skin long enough to do any good), can help with this. You may also want to try mixing sugar with your favorite cleanser and gently exfoliating your skin 3 times a week.

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Thanks guys! I just bought a 2% salicylic acid cream from neutrogena ...its the 3 in 1 stress relief hydration cream with 2% salicylic acid. I also got their facial foam wash with .05% salicylic acid. I hope this works!

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