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Tazorac For Sebaceous Hyperplasia

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Hi all, new here. Just wanted to share my experience and also raise a few questions that I couldn't find in the other threads.

I'm a 35-yo male, had problems with moderate acne my whole life and went through various prescriptions with minimal success. Every medication I've tried, OTC or Rx, makes my skin red. Finally, in my 30s, my acne is OK but I've developed Sebaceous Hyperplasia. I see a derm, although not as often as I should (not really affordable for me), and am on Tazorac gel 0.05% which I've been using nightly for 2 years. I guess it has been keeping the SH under control, because nothing new had really formed, but in the past week, as an experiment, I tried stopping the SH because my skin was feeling too red. Big mistake - I was off the SH for only a week and had a huge SH breakout as a result. Point being: if you're on Taz and are questioning whether it's doing anything– it is!

A couple questions I had for you guys. I'll ask my derm the next time I see her, too, but would love to know your experiences with these issues:

1) anyone know if using a greater amount of Taz makes it stronger, especially as a spot treatment?

2) I basically have one major problem area, and that's my T-zone. The pores are bigger, and this is where I have all my SH problems. It's also been where I've had most of my acne problems in the past, and before I was using tazorac, I was using Benzoil Peroxide in this area every day for basically 17 years. And now, this is where I mostly use the Tazorac, too. But I always wonder... is it just that this area is irriated from all the use of topicals for the past 20 years, and that if I stopped using products altogether, the skin in this area would normalize?

3) What do you guys use to get rid of redness in the skin due to topicals use? Moisturizer always seems to just make my skin worse (greasier/oilier/pimplier).

4) Any of you guys have any experience going gluten-free or dairy-free to control SH?


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Hello again. Here's a follow-up to my previous post for anyone who's searching for information.

Since I posted, I went to see my dermatologist, so I have a few answers. Also, my SH is much better right now than it was a few months ago. Read on...

1) Using Tazorac as a spot treatment has no added effect (according to my derm). Tazorac works by restructuring the skin over a long period of time. I saw a few other threads on here that mention seeing results from using Taz as a spot treatment for either acne or SH, and according to my derm and the clinical research, those results are either imagined or are a result of something besides the Taz.

2) My derm seems to think "no" on this one. I also have to mention that right now my skin looks great - the best it has in years - I'll elaborate below.

3) See below...

4) OK, this was pretty interesting. I went gluten-free for two months and my SH got quite a bit better. I went back on gluten a couple weeks ago and I noticed the diminished SH papules started to get slightly bigger again.

I do have to mention that I think my SH flareups have a lot to do with winter weather. Seems like a pretty regular cycle over the past few years - March is my worst month after a whole winter of unfriendly weather. July/August/September seem to be my best months. But you know, I also always tend to see my derm in early April (when I'm feeling the worst about my skin), and I get a microdermabrasion session from her as well as any update on prescriptions. The microderm is super helpful in diminishing the SH and revitalizing my skin after the shitty winter (I live in the Northeast US).

Also, this year, she started me on a sulfur cleanser. I hadn't tried one of these since I was 16 (and when I was 16, it didn't help my skin much and ruined my sheets and clothing), so I was skeptical. "But you have very different skin now," my doctor said. She was right.

I have to say that using a simple sulfur cleanser, which is cheap as far a RXs go, is probably the best thing that has happened to my skin in years. I currently have NO MORE ACNE - The first time since I was a teenager (remember I'm 35 now). My skin redness is also no longer an issue (has been an issue since I started using facial products in my teens as well). My skin dryness is not even an issue any longer (and I still don't use moisturizer... but we'll see what happens when winter comes around again).

And I'm still using the Tazorac at night to keep the SH at bay (which is not really an issue right now either). Anyway, I can safely say that I look and feel great - so I just wanted to share this info with you all in case it might help someone. For adults like me, I definitely recommend trying the sulfur cleanser first (and get a prescription for it, for god's sake... don't go through a sketchy website). Remember, like with any new regimen, there is a slight initial breakout and then and sulfur cleanser can take 6-7 weeks before you see the best results.

good luck!

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