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Hi there!

I have a few questions about Retin A. I was put on Differin 0.1 % cream about 2 years ago, and used it every night pretty much for the past 2 years. I used the Clindamycin lotion in the morning along with it. I stopped it a few months ago because I thought maybe I was at an age where my acne had finally calmed down and I could go without topicals. I was veryy wrong. I have recently broken out worse than I ever have before in my life, even worse than before the Differin.

So this time around, my doctor started me on Retin A .025% cream. No clindamycin or oral antibiotics along with it. I have a few questions in regards to this.

1) Will my acne react faster to the Retin A than it did the first time to the Differin? I've read in several places that if you previously used a retinoid and start up again, it takes less time for your acne to start clearing up the second time around. I've also read that Retin A gives slightly faster results than Differin. It might by misinformation, but anyone have any experience with that?

2) How important is it to be on a topical or oral antibiotic while on a retinoid? My doctor told me that the Clindamycin would only irritate my skin more and that I should just use the Retin A, but after reading so much about inital breakouts, how true is that? I should also add, I get regular facials with extractions, so will that be enough to calm my skin down until I get past the IB phase? Or should I ask my doctor for an antibiotic?

3) Lastly, when I was on Differin it did wonders, but I was suprised that I would still break out quite often - nothing serious, very mild. I've heard the best things about Retin A, so I was wondering if people who have tried both can vouch for the fact that Retin A helps control breakouts slightly better? Or in general, what are your experiences with the two?

Any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated!

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I think you should use retin-a micro gel, instead of the cream. I read that the micro gel is better for acne. I have only used retin-a micro for 2 months but I can see results. I still break out but the zits I get now are much smaller and there are less of them too. I didn't really have an initial breakout, I just continued to breakout like normal except in addition to that my face was very red and peeling. Exfoliating gloves takes care of the peeling and makeup takes care of the redness lol. Everyone is different though and I have heard about people experiencing a bad initial breakout with retin-a. I think extractions would help but if you're concerned then I think you should just go ahead and ask for the antibiotic, if it's just for the first few months then you might as well. I was going to take an antibiotic but my derm recommended something else (spironolactone) and I decided not to take it, now I wish I had pushed for it but whatever I'll just try to be more patient. Sorry I can't help with your other questions. Good luck!

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OKAY agh i'm perfect to respond to this question! I tried a combo of differin + clindamycin when I was around 17 years old for about a year. So, I noticed I did breakout slightly at first and did regulate my acne for sure but, not completely. So, a few years down the line and many other medications later I came to retin-A and doxycycline (at 20 yrs old).

1) i'm not entirely sure on that one.. my skin still took 3 to 4 months to be over the purging process even though I had been on a retinoid before. Well, i dunno about faster but, WAY better results in my opinion.

2) So, the doxy was supposedly meant to keep inflammation down but, seriously I did not notice a difference. But, for some it helps lots. That one really varies. So you could ask your derm to be on it for 3 or so months and you can just jump off of it if your not noticing a difference. And I have tried clindamycen while on retin-a and it made me sooo red and irritated. Listen to your derm sounds like he/ she knows whats up. facials + retin-a i would strongly advise against. retin-a is the most powerful topical treatment and if the wrong things are done to your skin you could end up with serious serious scarring. or just talk to your derm about it bc I dunno which specific facials your talking about.

3)I vote retin-a all the way. differin just did not really get the job done. Although retin-a has it's initial downfalls with sun sensitivity and your skin being alot more sensitive in general it is 100% better though. so yup :) these are pics of me after 8 months...

at my worst


I think the last time my skin was this good was when i was pre-pubescent LOL

oh yeah and get the micro instead of the cream!

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Wow, cactuscalypso! Your skin looks amazing. Congratulations! That is really inspiring.

Little Lotte, I didn't use an antibiotic when I went on tazorac and I really wish I did. I am not sure it would have prevented it - but I think it would have been better. I found my non-inflamatory acne went from little bumps to sore infected masses almost overnight. I have read people are usually put on doxy. I am not a huge fan of taking antibiotics because they mess with your stomach, but I would really recommend at least a topical antibiotic. I found even a gentle BP wash helped. Good luck!

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