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First off, I can't explain how happy I am that I came across this site...

I started getting acne when I was about 12-13, and it was never what you would call severe. It's been a pretty consistent thing in my life since then, but cleared up pretty well here and there for about a few months at a time, and in the summer if I was getting enough sun, it would be alright.
That is until I got the Mirena IUD inserted about 4 months ago...
I would usually just get a few new pimples a week (I am also a picker ), and they would clear up within a week.


The onset of this breaking out didn't start until after a couple of weeks that I had gotten the IUD inserted (that I can recall anyways, I figured it was just a regular monthly breakout, until it didn't stop/got worse...), and I have tried everything from Proactiv (that wqas working for me for a while), to trying some natural remedies (that also helped at one point), and nothing..

I finally made an appointment with my GP and she gave me a couple samples of Tactupump (the newer Tactuo/Epiduo in the US).
The breakouts are worse around my jawline/ears, and only progressively getting worse around my chin/mouth, so she recommended focusing on those spots more.

I'm on day 5, and I just started to get the dreaded burning that I've been reading about last night. awful.
I was literally in tears. I'm not so sure if it was so much the pain, but feeling just so depressed about it all, thinking about all the peeling, drying, redness, and purging.

WHICH brings me to a couple of questions:
one of the reasons I had a little bit of a freakout aswell was thinking about scarring.
I'm a picker (I can't help it), and so far, I haven't really had any real noticable scarring from the acne/picking, but my skin tone is also all over the place, and I have alot of freckles on my face.
Since this flare up, I'm terrified of scarring.
Is there anything I could do to prevent it? and would the Tactuo cause scarring, or would the scarring happen just from the acne itself?
also, what does the general timeline look like for this stuff? and it is dependant on how bad your acne is to begin with?
I have a couple whiteheads now, that seem to be turning yellow, and it's taking EVERYTHING in me not to pick them.. but I'm doing alright so far!

Any advice/tips would be WONDERFUL.
I'm just starting to feel like I didn't realize what I was getting myself into BUT I'm going to stick to it as I figure I've already started.

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Please please PLEASE stick it out! I was the same for the first two weeks...oooooh the peeling, the burning, the itching! My face was a mess, and for the first week particularly, my entire face felt like it had this burnt 'crust' over the top that I couldn't even put mineral powder foundation over as it would just peel off. So I had an awful couple of weeks having to go to work looking like a burns victim.

Make sure you follow the dosage exactly, one pea-sized amount should spread over the whole face. Leave to dry for an hour or so and apply a good moisturiser (avoiding the eyes). I started using Cetaphil but found it really greasy and it didn't really soak in or help much. Someone reccommended CeraVe and it is honestly brilliant! Its the Moisturising Lotion, and I apply it like a topical (small pea-sized amount over the whole face), let it soak, then apply a couple more layers.

If your skin is unbearably irritated, try weaning off the treatment a little, like using the Epiduo every other day, or every 3 days, or two-on, two-off...you'll know your own best routine from your skin's reactions. Personally I just wanted my skin to adapt as quickly as possible so I was applying every day, with one day off a week.

By the end of week 1, my skin was extremely irritated, but my acne had almost completely cleared!

By the end of week 2, the irritation had died down, slight return of the acne, skin adapted to Epiduo.

By the end of week 3, I had been using CeraVe for a couple of days, skin felt soft and much less irritated but quite flaky (one major flaking episode that lasted 3 days). Initial breakout followed the flaking, skin looked as bad as it did when I started. Devastated!

Currently at the end of week 4, my skin is so so soft, the texture is amazing, especially my cheeks where I had no acne but was still applying the Epiduo. A few spots on my jawline (my problem area) but mainly just red marks left from last week's breakout. Slightly itchy but think it's because I'm now applying every night with no breaks, but the colour is much better, and I haven't seen any serious flaking since I incorporated the CeraVe instead of the Cetaphil.

It definitely seems to be a bit of a rollercoaster journey, but I'm feeling positive that as of today, I'm now seeing improvement!

Good luck!

(Just FYI, I'm also a picker , hence red-marks-galore. I'm also taking 300mg Tetracycline once per day - apparently it helps with the initial breakout healing process.)

Edited by Nicoleblk9
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Thank you!!
I'm doing the best I can! I'm still using the cetaphil cleanser (now even without a facecloth because my face started to get so sensitive), and I ditched the cetaphil moisturizer because I found I had to repetitively put it on every hour or so, and it buuuurned, so that wasn't making me too happy..
And I'm in the same boat! haha I've been using it every night, and just putting moisturizer on my chinc (the only real noticeable place of the dreaded desert dryness), so I just go to bed after so I'm not thinking about the raging burning that's going on. (I've also been taking ibuprofen and it seems to help calm down the pain a bit. I'm stubborn as hell, so I'm kind of just trooping through it )

WELP, I'm on about day 8/9 (I know, I may be obsessing over it a little bit), and I'm still getting the whiteheads which I'm only assuming is the purging of my skin, and the glorious mess that was hiding underneath of it.
As gnarly as it is, I'm kind of happy that they ARE coming through so fast and big, because (this is my optimism) that's just everything coming out, at an (almost scary) increasingly fast rate.
I went to a friend who works in cosmetics and she recommended Avene for the dryness as it is specifically designed for people who are using acne treatments, and it is almost heaven sent (granted I only started using it yesterday/last night ).
She also recommended a toner (Neutrogena alcohol-free toner) which I'm going to use aswell.
As far as picking, it's been difficult, BUT I'm doing my best not to, but when they start looking like they should probably just stop looking so gross and get OFF my face, I can't really help it )

At this point I'm just trying to stay optimistic and tough it out and pray that I come out with some awesome skin after this whole ordeal.

I've also noticed some really small (probably only really noticeable to me, because I'm right up in there) and I'm wondering if they're going to come through, or kind of just, disappear.
same goes for the pesky blackheads I have on my chin, cheeks and forehead.

I'm trying really hard not to get my expectations TOO high, but at this point I think just as long as my face stops getting the patches of red/white, bumpy, unsightly acne, I'll be happy..

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I'm using Epiduo as well. 45 days in or something like that. I've stopped counting days. Like Nicole says it's up and downs. It's now a linear process. Two steps forward and one step back.

The first 2-3 weeks it's normal to experience an initial purge / breakout as your skin is pushing all the bad stuff out.

You should see great improvement by month 2 or 3. The problem with a retinoid like Epiduo (adaplene) is that it takes time to work its magic.

Therefore patience is the key to success.

Edited by elfantasma
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Couldn't agree more, patience is definitely the key!

I'm not experiencing any irritation what so ever now from using the Epiduo every day, it's quite strange as I'm so used to having dry skin. I was starting to think it may just not be working any more, but others have reported the same thing so I'm happy to continue.

Slightly disappointed this week as progress seems to have stalled a little, although my jawline area is staying clear - no new comedones and I'm now 11.5 weeks without getting a cyst! I do have two stubborn pimples that have popped up beside my nose, they are quite deep under the skin and a little sore and red, and they just won't come to a head! Thinking of dabbing some 10% BP on there just to try and speed things along.

How are you getting on Katzillah? In terms of the blackheads, I never had a single one before Epiduo...my problem was closed comedones, cysts, and my endless desire to stand in front of the mirror for hours on end picking my face to pieces thinking I could get them out. Yuk. However, now I'm getting quite a few, and they're quite large too. I've noticed they tend to replace a closed comedone, so must just be the clogs coming to the surface. I wouldn't say my closed comedones just "disappeared", they definitely surfaced in one way or another, particularly in week 3.

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Hey!

WELL, I've made it to my two-week (I know, I've come SO far ) mark without completely calling it quits and going into hibernation for the next 2-3 months!

And I'm still so unsure about the results I've gotten so far! haha

I know I'm only at two weeks, and there's not really supposed to be THAT huge of a difference, but I've definitely noticed some improvements, especially in my problem areas.

The worst places for me were right around my ears, (go figure, I do a feel check and feel a nice one under there that I'm sure is going to be a doozy) and it's definitely cleared up a LOT more around there compared to what it was before. As for my chin (a spot that wasn't necessarily a problem, aside from the small raised bumps you could see, and blackheads) it still looks like a war zone. But for the most part, it's healing red spots, aaaand dryness.

Concerning the blackheads; I've always had blackheads, I'm only assuming due to having huge pores (not even a thing I ever thought about until about a year ago). The ones on my chin look about the same, but I've started noticing more of them on my cheeks that I've never really seen before . I'm not overly worried about that though, because I'm only assuming (and hoping!) that that's due to the Tactupump working it's magic and getting those suckers out of there!
Actually, I had a couple blackheads that were really close together right above my eyebrow the other day and I think it was while I was washing my face, or putting toner on, they kind of just started falling out , so I helped them along and they left a couple little holes, and are now just healing up!

The burning at night after I apply the Tactupump is still pretty bad, but only lasts about 30-45 minutes, and I wait a bit before putting moisturizer on. And the only reason why I haven't just completely tossed it out a window and damned it all to hell, is because I figure the burning just means it's working! (and I'm stubborn as all hell ).

all-in-all, my face is still looking pretty haggard, BUT I am (I'm hoping!) seeing results in the way that stuff IS coming out, and it IS doing something. At this point I'm just really scared that it's going to be such drastic back and forth that I'm so happy with it now, but next week it might look even worst than last week .
I'll do my best to keep updated! And I would love to hear about everyone else's progress and stories!

Kat!

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Just hang in there. The first month is the worst (for me it was anyway). Your skin takes time to get use to a new medication and as you know your skin is purging which could be seen as an initial breakout.

I'm at day 51 and things are improving.

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Update!
Day.. 19.

The good:
-Well, I had an interview on Friday that I was debating even going to because my face was a natural disaster, BUT, of course I went, AND got hired! (yay!)
-I'm starting to notice more of the blackheads on my cheeks that I can tell are starting to come out and hopefully (soon) rid themselves from my face.
-New spots are coming and going much more quickly still (still trying so, SO hard not to pick, but it's starting to get the better of me , it's a work in progress)
-Religiously lotioning (with the Avene moisturizer) seems to be helping the dryness/flaking for a decent amount of time.
-The burning after application doesn't seem to be lasting as long, and I want to throw myself off of a tall building a little less each time.

The not-so-good:
- The dryness.. omg.. now that I'm actually needing to leave my apartment for extended periods of time and interact with people on a regular basis is slowing becoming the death of me. The dryness is so bad that I constantly need to be putting lotion on (it's only really bad around my mouth area), which starts to make it red, whiiiiich starts to make me look like i've been sucking on a piece of cloth, or drooling all over myself all day.. not such a good look . And putting makeup to cover the spots that ARE in that area is a joke (not a very funny one) because it starts to flake that much faster, and once I've put makeup on it, putting lotion on it just makes it look even more hideous, aaaand then I just quit.
- Albeit the burning has definitely lessened, and/or become more tolerable now after applying the tactupump, it's still pretty bad.. All I want to do after it is crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep.. but even that hurts.
- I know that I'm going to have the breakouts/purging for the first little while, but it's becoming SO un-motivating when it looks fine at night, and somewhat in the morning, and by the time I get home there's at least a couple more spots, and my face looks like a disaster zone.
- The dryness is now spreading to the spot in between my eyebrows and just under them, so it's making it difficult for me to even put on concealer around my eyes.

All-in-all, I'm trying REALLY hard to not just give up, especially since I've already come this far, but all I can think about is "omg they're staring at my face" "how dry is it looking NOW?" "where is the nearest corner so I can just go and hide?", and when I start the actual customer service and dealing with customers, I'm afraid that it's only going to make me crap out at my (new!) job
WHEN is this god forsaken dryness going to calm down!??!
I've even considered switching to applying tactupump every other day in hopes that that will help a bit, but I'm scared to cut back already and then it stops doing it's job/takes even LONGER.

help!


Kat!

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I have literally been through every single point that you've mentioned - it's kinda weird to have been through something so similar!

I went to an interview yesterday, and my skin has been a little worse this week as I caved and started poking about at these blackheads, plus I'm down to only having 2-3 closed comedones that I couldn't resist trying to pick out. I didn't get hired unfortunately, but I felt pretty confident as my skin looked fairly clear and was behaving itself with regards to dry patches! Congratulations on the new job, hope all goes well for you!

At 19 days in, you're at a similar position to I was around that time. I found the dryness was exceptionally bad around week 3, and then followed the main purge for me, my face was literally a disaster - looked worse than when I started treatment. However, it cleared up pretty quickly and into around week 5, my skin actually started to feel naturally moisturised. In week 3, the dryness was so so bad around my mouth (the creases between mouth and chin), above my top lip (so it looks like a dry-skin goatee!), and also between my eyebrows at the top of my nose.

Make-up application is impossible some days, I've just been dabbing some concealer on any active spots and hyperpigmentation as and when I can to make it look slightly better. I have found that applying a light foundation/tinted moisturiser, as bad as it looks for going cakey and balling up around the flakes, seems to have a smoothing effect (I presume from clogging all the flakiness together) that acts as a good canvas for putting mineral powder foundation on top of.

I would suggest switching to every other day, or maybe use for 2 days and have 1 off, or whatever will work for you until you overcome the dryness. I'm going through phases with mine, today my skin feels moisturised and soft, but 2 days ago it was peeling and flaking terribly. I put it down to being away for the weekend and it was really sunny, but as I'm in England and it's so so cold, I didn't think I'd need SPF. Not only that, but I was down by the sea so think I got a bit windburnt too. That night I applied the Epiduo and cried for about half an hour, it was the worst it has ever been! Are you exposing yourself to any sun at all without using SPF?

Also, don't forget to use the recommended dosage - a pea sized amount for the whole face! I find that applying more doesn't actually increase effectiveness, but still seems to make me flake more.

Please don't give up! It gets better, I promise!

Edited by Nicoleblk9
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Hey Guys, Thought I'd chime in here.

I'm on day 12 of Tacupump and am struggling with an initial breakout (at least I think that's what it is?) I am not experiencing too much flaking (YET!) as I try and gently exfoliate with my fingers when I wash my face every morning. Dead skin literally just rubs off in the exfoliation. I'm primarily struggling with the breakout and feeling incredibly self-conscious at work - I work with senior executives in a professional capacity - but I'm trying to remain optimistic.

Just wanted to get an update on your progress and satisfaction with this product - did you suffer with an initial breakout too; how quickly did this phase pass?

Fingers crossed,

R

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I'm 3 ½ month in and things are looking very good. An IB is very normal within the first month or so. I began to see consistent improvement by month 3. It's ups and downs.

Patience is the key.

Take a look at my log if you want to see my journey from day 1 to now.

Edited by elfantasma
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I have been using natural manuka honey to treat my acne. I have actually an acne prone skin and I often suffer from allergic reaction to some skin care products. Manuka honey contains highest levels of antibacterial properties that prevents infection associated with acne.

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I've been on Tactupump for about 3 months now and my skin looks much worse than it did when I first started. It this normal (and should I continue using it) or am I basically just headed down a road of more disappointment?

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I have been using natural manuka honey to treat my acne. I have actually an acne prone skin and I often suffer from allergic reaction to some skin care products. Manuka honey contains highest levels of antibacterial properties that prevents infection associated with acne.

This adds nothing to the conversation, and you are getting on my nerves since all of your posts are about this and have no relevance to the thread. Manuka honey has nothing to do with people's experiences on Epiduo/tactuo, which is what this thread is about.

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Help I need encouragement to keep going!

I am on about week four of epiduo. I went to the derm with about three cysts. He told me o your acne is not that bad. And gave me a prescription for epiduo and doryx. At about day 7 I had to quit the doryx I could barely stand up.

I stuck through with the epiduo and was prescribed kephlex as an antibiotic. I have prob been on the antibiotic for 2 and a half weeks and as I said the epiduo for about four.

My face is freaking out! I have called out of work twice for pain and irritation. I also look like I am engulfed in pimples from my nose down and around. I take 600 mg of Advil three times away but it's still painful. I'm so scared I have always had a few flare ups a year with cysts but never this little white head acne.

I am getting married in three months! I feel like my life is ruined!!

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Thankful I found this forum

I've been on tactupump for one week and my face is flaking like crazy esp. Around my mouth

Can I get some recommendations on some moisturizers

I got a moisturizer that has a high spf - it feels like it makes my face more flaky

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I've been on Tactupump for about 3 months now and my skin looks much worse than it did when I first started. It this normal (and should I continue using it) or am I basically just headed down a road of more disappointment?

I am at this point, 3 months and no improvement (worse if anything), has anyone gotten this far with tactuo/epiduo and then gone on to actually see results?

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I had the same issue.. Didn't start breaking out until I got the Mirena IUD. I tried to stick it out and tried so many topicals and antibiotics. I had Tactupump which helped for awhile but new bumps kept popping up. My skin started to look better, pores were smaller, but acne kept popping up. My skin didn't start to clear up until I removed the IUD. It's only been a week but there's been such a great improvement already. My suggestion is to remove the IUD unless you can put up with it for about a year. I heard it takes about a year for your body to adjust to the IUD but it contains a hormone that contributes to the acne so...

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Hello,

i realize that this thread is sort of dead but I am new to the site... i hope i'm not breaking any rules by replying. Anyways,

my doctor prescribed me tactuo approx. A month ago, and i haven't yet gotten it from the pharm as it is extremely expensive and i do not know if it is worth it. I do not have any inflammatory acne (if i do its like 1-2 spots), but i have at least 150+ whiteheads (closed comedones) all over both cheeks, both sides of chin, and forehead. I have had this for about 8 years (im now 23)... some of these whiteheads have literally not budged in years. so my question is, if anyone is out there still, did tactuo help you with these pesky closed comedones at all? inflammatory acne is of zero concern to me, and i do not want to pay upwards of $150 for meds that won't work for my problem (i realize everyone's skin is different, however).

any and all replies would be greatly greatly appreciated.

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On 9/6/2015 at 3:32 AM, zedz92 said:

I have had this for about 8 years (im now 23)... some of these whiteheads have literally not budged in years. so my question is, if anyone is out there still, did tactuo help you with these pesky closed comedones at all

I know the thread is on tactuo, but have you tried a BHA/AHA combo? I had two patches of closed comedones around my mouth and the BHA/AHA has completely prevented new comedones from arising and is slowly purging (the only way to get em out) the spots.
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Derm gave me epiduo, clindamyacin, and antibiotics. 

Im taking the antibiotics but from all the reviews I've read, I'm scared to start the other two. 

Edited by holdingontohope
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1 hour ago, holdingontohope said:

Derm gave me epiduo, clindamyacin, and antibiotics. 

Im taking the antibiotics but from all the reviews I've read, I'm scared to start the other two. 

Yea..unfortunately you have good reason to be scared. 

Pesonally i I had no issues with clindamycin..but anything with a retinoid in the mix could be bad news..I'm talking possibly permanent texture changes (orange peel), color changes and mottling, indented "scars" and lines and wrinkles appearing out of nowhere...id read my post about tazorac destroying my face if I were you..before you put anything with a derivative of vitamin a topically on your face...which I believe epiduo has. 

What I wouldn't do to have had someone to warn me before I put that death cream on my face..let me tell you, it's an extremely short list
 
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