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Hi! I just saw a recommendation for the site on YouTube, so I thought, why not?

Now I'm going to rant about my condition, since that's all we care about here, haha.

I've had blackheads and shine all over my face since I was 14; I'm 19 now. They all grow into zits (mostly on the chin and T-zone), and it does get worse around my period.

I used to have a regular regimen of using a gentle salicylic acid scrub with a washcloth in the morning, followed by hand soap, and just hand soap with a washcloth before I went to bed.

It worked okay in a maintenance sort of way, but took a long time every day tongue.png and I was never really clear. I've witnessed the miracle of Accutane on other people and thought about giving that a shot.

So I moseyed on over to the dermatologist's office and he said that to get my insurance company to cover Accutane, we have to try something else first, and fail. He prescribed Solodyn XR (minocycline) nightly, applying Benzaclin (benzoyl peroxide 5% and clindamycin phosphate 1% gel) every morning after washing my face, and Retin-A Micro (tretinoin gel 0.04%) every night after washing.

I experienced strong irritation and flaking after jumping into the regimen less than a week ago. I called a nurse at the office and she said the hand soap and aloe vera gel with menthol I'd been using were irritants (I'd stayed away from moisturizers before because those I had always made me break out). So I just barely started Cetaphil Dermacontrol for oily skin and Wal-Mart's generic "beauty lotion" (non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested, SPF 15). My skin is still flaky and gross, but it feels quite a bit better and is not so red anymore. I also took a break with the medications, and I'm going to start them up more slowly and gently once the dryness stabilizes.

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Welcome! Sounds like you are on the right path. I have been on the Retin-A, BP with CP and Minocycline and they can be quite irritating. Minocycline works great but can only be used for about 3 months "safely." Retin-A will actually make your skin purge, multiple times, over a period of 3 months. I actually have been on Differin ( a 3rd generation retinoid) for nealy 2 years now and works great.

I may have misunderstood you when you said you use hand soap on your face? That is a definite no-no. Hand soap is extremely irritating ESPECIALLY when just starting up on BP and Retin-A. I actually think that Cetaphil "for oily-skin" is a bit aggressive. I prefer the Cetaphil for normal skin even though I do have a very oily face.

I also think it is a great idea that you are starting the BP and retin-A slowly as it does take time for skin to adjust.

Good luck!

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