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Using Retinoids In Winter

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I had been happily using Retin-A Micro every night last fall (well, mostly happily but my skin was a bit too dry and peely) but when winter came, my doctor gave me Atralin, which is Retin-A but with more moisturizers in it. He said that I would only be able to use it every other night without irritation, but when I dropped to this schedule, my acne returned. I kind of had crappy skin all winter because if I used topicals enough to keep the acne away, my skin was horribly inflamed, and if I used them less to get rid of the irritation, I had acne. I had a follow-up yesterday and had 3 recent zits leave marks, and one current headless ouchy, but small, pimple, so now the doctor is saying that I have to take minocycline and only use the Atralin every other night. Antibiotics seem to be really hated here, and the side effects are scary, so I don't really want to do that.

I use a ton of moisturizer and only wash with very gentle stuff, no scrubbing. Any other ideas? Does anyone else suffer like this in the winter?

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