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Can retinoids prevent cysts/nodules (or promote better healing from them)?

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Has anyone found that your nodulocystic acne lessened as a result of using a retinoid? If so, which one did you use (including the concentration and formula type: lotion or cream)?

 

I've been told by some people that retinoids don't really help prevent hormonally-caused acne that occurs deep beneath the skin's surface. And I've also heard that they don't necessarily prevent scarring--as in real scarring (rolling, boxcar, etc.)--either. But I'm wondering if anyone here has experienced the opposite: a definite reduction in cysts/nodules and improved healing of the skin from cysts/nodules by using a retinoid?

 

Two drawbacks keep me from braving a retinoid at this point: 1) I don't think that I could use my trusty method for tempering a cyst/nodule--applying Tea Tree oil, then Benzoyl Peroxide--while using a retinoid at night; 2) many people on this forum contend that a retinoid makes existing scars appear deeper. (My derm. asst. that I see contends that a retinoid can't make scars look worse, but I lean toward believing acne sufferers who've used a retinoid on scarred skin.)

 

Thank you,

PI

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Retinoids can prevent all types of acne to some degree. They work by preventing hyperkeritinization,"which means they help your skin slough off (or desquamate) dead skin cells at a more normal rate so the dead skin cells don't bind together and clog your pores." -http://www.skinacea.com/retinoids/what-are-retinoids.html#.VmAYEPkrLfA

So if there's no clog, there's no build up of sebum and thus no invasion of the pore by bacteria who like to exist anaerobically (with no oxygen - occurring in the blocked pore, and no inflammation the body produces in response to such. 

Of course the problem with deeper, hormonal and more cystic pimples is that topicals aren't always able to penetrate the skin this deep. I'm speaking out of speculation here but retioinoids must have the capability to produce a pretty deep effect on the skin if they can control the replacement of skin cells. Even cystic pimples require some sort of deep blockage in the pore if it is true acne.

I guess the biggest thing is giving it time, as you've probs already read, it takes weeks to months to see improvement/clear your skin. 

As for scars I would say yes at first they look worse, but in my case as time went on my scars and PIH improved so much! My nodular lesions became much closer to the surface whenever they popped up, I regret not continuing using it as I think I was just looking for instant gratification. I used it for 5 months.

Perhaps try using a retinoid on one part of your face for a few weeks and seeing how that goes. I see you've made quite a few posts to this site so i hope could help you just a little bit. <3

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Retinoid cured my hormonal acne that i no longer suffer from. I had deep cystic painful horminal acne. Applying retinA gel got rid of them all. So I would recommend this. I tried changing my diet, becoming a vegan, eaying tons of veg, cutting out dairy, juicing and so on but nothing worked but retin A. I wish i used it sooner.

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On 12/3/2015 at 4:34 AM, AppleySauce said:

Retinoids can prevent all types of acne to some degree. They work by preventing hyperkeritinization,"which means they help your skin slough off (or desquamate) dead skin cells at a more normal rate so the dead skin cells don't bind together and clog your pores." -http://www.skinacea.com/retinoids/what-are-retinoids.html#.VmAYEPkrLfA

So if there's no clog, there's no build up of sebum and thus no invasion of the pore by bacteria who like to exist anaerobically (with no oxygen - occurring in the blocked pore, and no inflammation the body produces in response to such. 

Of course the problem with deeper, hormonal and more cystic pimples is that topicals aren't always able to penetrate the skin this deep. I'm speaking out of speculation here but retioinoids must have the capability to produce a pretty deep effect on the skin if they can control the replacement of skin cells. Even cystic pimples require some sort of deep blockage in the pore if it is true acne.

I guess the biggest thing is giving it time, as you've probs already read, it takes weeks to months to see improvement/clear your skin. 

As for scars I would say yes at first they look worse, but in my case as time went on my scars and PIH improved so much! My nodular lesions became much closer to the surface whenever they popped up, I regret not continuing using it as I think I was just looking for instant gratification. I used it for 5 months.


Thank you for the reply.  

I've been using Differin for about 5 months now. Overall, I still am unhappy with the depth and level of inflammation of my cysts/nodules, some of which have become huge, painful and even purplish in color. (I know that they're especially severe when they go from deep red to purple.)

Still, my worst outbreak occurred within days of me starting to take a digestive-enzyme supplement; so I stopped that and things have been somewhat better. But, still, I'm dealing with areas that are scarring--definite indentations seen--and PIH that takes its sweet time in going away. (When I wasn't using a topical retinoid or even a toner [Salicylic acid], I had PIH that was more than 6 years old! It still is slightly visible but greatly improved, since I began using Differin and SA.)

I will keep with the Differin, though I have some doubt that I'll see an improvement in terms of scar depth, even over time. For me, scars seem to stay in their original condition (depth), but I'll try to hold on to some hope!
On 4/12/2016 at 1:19 PM, Jojo2016 said:

Retinoid cured my hormonal acne that i no longer suffer from. I had deep cystic painful horminal acne. Applying retinA gel got rid of them all. So I would recommend this. I tried changing my diet, becoming a vegan, eaying tons of veg, cutting out dairy, juicing and so on but nothing worked but retin A. I wish i used it sooner.


Interestingly, I've made some serious dietary changes in the last 8 months, which caused my body to lose the 25 lbs. I'd been needing to lose--without any additional changes to my daily routine. Overall, I feel better and suspect that my skin heals a bit better, now that I no longer cause a constant inflammatory reaction with the foods that I'm eating. 

That said, though, I credit my careful skincare routine to helping my skin's overall appearance and integrity--even though both aren't where I'd like them to be. But I'll keep with using a topical retinoid, while eating the cleanest diet possible.
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