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Retin A Micro. What The Heck Is Happening To My Skin

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Hey Everyone,

I am 23 years old and have been on Retin - A Micro since the start of September (4 mths). I have prior history with Accutane, which I feel worked somewhat well, but not nearly as well as expected.

I am honestly so fed up. I thought at 23 years old, with mild but consistent acne (which is the worse due to the psychological effects.. like how is it possible I *always* have at least one or two zits, they clear up, then I get another one or two!?, like why doesn't it all come at once or not come at all!?!?!?) that Retin A Micro would finally be the death blow to my Acne. Good God was I wrong.

My face honestly feels like it has never been worse. I have dry skin, red patches near my eyes, my face is red and patchy, I have weird bumps near my chin and mouth on the one side of my face that I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell they are (they aren't acne, just these weird ugly patch of bumps). Furthermore, I am in University and this is absolutely brutal for me. How am I supposed to go out and meet a lady friend, stay over at her place, if when I wake up my face is a friggin scaly and peeling dry mess?!

I am seriously considering getting off of it. The moisturizers I have to wear (which make my skin look oily and gross) coupled with the fragile state my skin is in, coupled with the fact I can't go anywhere overnight since my face is falling off by the morning, is incredibly messed up.

I made a terrible, terrible mistake going on this garbage, and I feel like I have yukerd myself, because I feel if I get off Retin A now, my face is going to absolutely blow up into World War frickin 3.

FML. Someone please help me.

(P.S.... My skin will be a complete joke for a week or two.. Then look amazing for 3,4,5 days, then completely fall apart again. I. Do. Not. Get. It)

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After 4 months and no consistent improvement, it is time to reconsider treatment . Maybe adding ina antimicrobial such as bp or topical antibiotic . Or trying a different retinoid . You can also look into supplements or diet changes too. Retinoids are rough and different ones work for diferent people so dont give up.

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Thanks leelowe. Since this last post the rash around my eyes has gotten worse, but the other weird red spots have started to gone away.

What I started to do was simply use alot less of the Retin - A Micro.

I have also figured out why my eye rash has gotten worse - just 5 minutes ago - *it pays to read the labels on prescriptions*. I had assumed the eye rash was from the Retin - A Micro (which I believe it was), but what has made it so much worse - and explains other rashs I have had in other 'sensitive areas' - was the fact I was trying to cure it with something called 'Metrogel'. I was under the impression Metrogel was used to treat Rosecea (which it is, another failed prescription from my Doc)... So I assumed it would work wonders on my red marks. I was dead wrong. It clearly states on the tube "DO NOT APPLY AROUND EYES" and I assume this also applies for other sensitive areas (corners of mouth, etc). Good God am I a fool.

So obviously I have just tossed the Metrogel in the trash, and I have decided I am going to take a new approach from now on.

Step #1) Use a lot less Retin - A Micro. Rather then get off it completely, I have decided to use the most minute amount possible. Just the smallest dab on my cheeks, chin and forehead.

Step #2) Tone it down on the moisturizer. This applies for both day and night. I am not sure why, but it seems the more I increased my moisturizer, the worse my skin was getting. Espiecially at night. In my brief experience, the Retin - A was working much better when I applied it, and only it, at night. Applying the Retin - A with moisturizer has not reduced the dryness on my face (which was the point) and has instead appeared to simply reduce the effectiveness of the Retin - A while also somehow irritating my skin more. I can't explain why, but I hope this theory proves correct.

Step #3) Do not use other products. I had been using Retin - A for my Acne, as well as a non-drying cleanser. I had also been using several other products for the various skin rashes and the such (one being Metrogel), and I feel like this amount of chemicals has simply made my skin worse - while also possibly reducing the effectiveness of the Retin - A. I have decided that if I get rashes and the such from now on, I will simply load on moisturizer on that specific area (which is how I am now treating my eye rashes). I will continue to use the non-drying cleanser - but in very small amounts.

Step #4) Do not leave the Retin - A on my skin for more then 8-9 hours. I had been getting lazy, and not showering some days as soon as I had woken up, and I feel this prolonged exposure to the Retin - A could have possibly (and probably) added to my skins problems. From now on I will time when I put the cream on with when I take it off, and make sure to shower and remove it as soon as I wake up.

I really hope this altered and simplified approach works. I am not ready to give up just yet.

I must add as well - in my previous post it may have seemed my Acne itself wasn't getting better. I would say that is somewhat false. The overall trend is on the upward - I was simply frustrated with all the added irritation which made my skin *overall* appear worse. In terms of the Acne alone, I can say while my skin isn't perfect, I would be lying if I said I am not getting less breakouts.

Wish me luck guys. I will check in just after the New Year. I have hope.

Edited by Canada91
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