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10Th Week Of Retin A...need Advice!

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This is a long post but I would greatly appreciate feedback!! :)

First post ever and in need of some advice! I am on the 2nd day into my 10th week of Tretinoin gel 0.01%. 10 weeks ago I was having a pretty bad breakout(never had very bad acne, but this was horrible &all over) Anyways, they were mostly Papules on my cheeks, few Pustules.(but there were some) and a lot of skin colored bumps (not deep ones, weren't painful. They just would never go away nor would they turn into anything) mostly on my forehead and also on cheeks. Nothing really on my chin. About twice a month I would get a nodule that would be deep and hurt, but they would go away within a couple days. So I went to my doctor and he put me on retin A 0.01%. About 6 weeks in I was noticing my skin was looking a lot better. But didn't last longer than a week or two and from then on my skin has been horrible. At the moment, I have a huge breakout of tiny whiteheads and tiny Papules(I think) on my chin and mostly pustules/Papules(although, they have dramatically gone down from a couple weeks ago) on my cheeks. The same skin colored bumps are on my forehead. (they are gone from my cheeks) I also have a few little whiteheads under my nose/above my lips. Which I never got before. I will also get these deep pimples (not huge ones) on my cheeks, (maybe two at a time, every other week) that will start as a deep under the surface pimple then after a couple days it will feel as if it is "full" and be able to be popped..sometimes just touching them will make them burst. My question is, why have I not heard of anyone using Tretinoin/retin a gel 0.01%? I usually hear about .1 or .05%. Should I go up in dosage or what? I have extreme dryness &horrible redness, although right now I am doing okay on the dryness, but I would rather have dryness than acne. Should I be seeing more results by now or is this typical to be going so back and forth and then just pretty much stop seeing results for a few weeks? Thank you so much x

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I'm on 0.05 cream, so I can only address part of your post.

But, I'm on my 5th month about (I never kept track of the weeks) and I started on 0.025 for about 3/4 months. I had a break out just 2 weeks ago, this week my skin looks ah-mAH-zing. So, yes, I think it's normal for your skin to be having the ups and downs still. I've read a lot of logs on here and it seems like most people have the most success after 6 months or so.

Also, it's my understanding that the gel delivery system is "stronger" than the cream. Which also means it can be more drying and irritating to the skin. With the gel is the next level 0.05? Because that's a big jump if it is, and you're already having dryness.

You can always ask your doctor for the next percent. I would just recommend easing into it, like using it only 1x/week in conjunction with the 0.01%. Then 2x/week and then every other night, and so on.

Remember, there's no rush with retinoids. Good luck!

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Thank you for the info, I am trying to remain positive!

Will increasing the percentage cause my skin to go through the process all over again, like starting from week one?

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Maybe. I can't answer that with 100% certainty since everyone's skin is so different.

When I started to go up to the 0.05 I did the process very, very slowly. I started mixing it 1:1 with my 0.025 cream, only 2x per week for a couple of weeks and then every other time. Then I continued using the "0.0375" and using the 0.05 2x week for a couple weeks. I'm still not up to using it every night. I had to write out a schedule that's taped to my mirror.

That's a little insight to the crazy in my head. It's color coded.

Anyways! There's a point.

My skin was pretty clear when I added in the 0.05, then I had some break outs and a lot more dryness. I can't completely contribute it to the step up, because it could just be the whole tretinoin ebb and flow, but I think it was.

Maybe you can ask the derm for the prescription and continue using the 0.01 for awhile longer and fill it if you feel that you're not getting the desired results. Then mix it or slowly add it in, the lesser strength will still be effective.

I'm confident that you'll find something that works for you, as long as you're patient. It's difficult, but one day you'll notice how great your skin looks.

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Okay, thank you! I agree that little by little adding in the higher dosage would be best. (as long as the lower dosage will continue to work) I shall ask my doctor for a prescription then :)

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