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Hi everyone, I'm a 21 years old female who suffers from the worst type of acne in my opinion. Each one of my cheeks have at least 40 closed comedones (clogged pores/ Whitehead and blackheads) mainly whiteheads. I have had them for about a year and they don't form a head to become a pimple nor do they go away. I have combination skin and tend to get oily on my T-zone, this is my only form of acne besides of course the once cyst every month around my cycle. If I squeeze them hard white stuff comes out for some and some nothing comes out. For those that do come out will refill a few days later. I don't have any on my chin or forehead only on my cheeks. I'm a picker and I can't help not touching them which leaves my skin with scabs and hyperpigmentation. I finally decided to see a dermatologist and she diagnosed me with clogged pores (closed comedones) like I thought. She gave me Benzoyl peroxide 2.5% with Clindamycin lotion in the morning and Tretinoin gel .05% at night for two months. I'm on my seventh week now and still no improvement at all. This is what's happening so far which is scaring me..
Some comedones are becoming pustules, huge, red and painful... I thought this was good because this means that they are leaving my skin but wait for this, after the inflammation is gone and everything is calm I come to see the comedone still there, which means that this comedone basically got inflamed only to return as soon as the inflammation was gone.

I have noticed this happen on a couple of them and that just drive me crazy after I had hope in the Tretinoin to solve the problem.

Note: Using the tretinoin I had no new acne or comedones at all, just some of my OWN comedones inflamed. Also since starting the tretinoin I stopped picking my face.

If anyone knows what the hell is my skin going through or is going through this right now or have gone through it please please please tell me what you did and what exactly is happening and if this is normal. Shouldn’t my skin be starting to show some improvement on seven weeks of tretinoin?

My regime:

Daytime-

Cleanse with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Apply Clindamycin lotion and Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%

Moisturize with Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

Night time-

Cleanse with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Wait 30 min then apply a pea size Tretinoin Gel .05

Wait 30 min then Moisturize with Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

 

 

 

Edited by marcela123

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Hi marcela, i don't know if you have already looked into diet, but since you haven't mentioned it in your post, its definetely something to look into, i remember reading somewhere that eating alot of sugar can cause acne, basicly acne is the by product of your oil glands producing too much sebum, and sugar stimulates oil glands by releasing igf-1 into your blood stream, i also have heard dairy has an affect on alot of people, so definetely consider your diet if you haven't already, fiber is also important as it helps flush out toxins from your gut, and if you have too much toxins in your blood stream it eventually surfaces to your skin in the form of pimples, try maybe a food intolerance test? and just generally try to eat healthy, drink alot of water and limit junk foods.

As far as topically applying things on the face, in my experience what i have experienced that helps is not using a bunch of chemicals on my face, i found that actually using only water and nothing else on my face helps and just exfoliating once a week with the pmd, before when i used to use lots of chemicals on my face i found i would actually break out more and my skin would get so dry and irritated from all the chemicals. I find that for me the most natural route works best and for most people i know and try to stay away from stress. Your skin doesn't look bad at all by the way, just a few comodones here and there nothing to feel depressed about, some people on here would love to have your skin

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Hi laffy, 
Thank you for your reply. I do try my best to keep away from all the dairy and sugars but it is not easy at all. Unfortunately, almost everything is considered of sugar or fats or dairy which are all bad for the skin but I do try my best to keep away. Honestly, I am grateful that my comedones are not spreading or getting worse or more but I would really like to get rid of them which is why I went to see a dermatology and created this post. Since I can't help but pick them I wanted to see if I can completely get them out of my cheeks. Also, this picture only shows few of them and my skin looks worst in real life.

Edited by marcela123

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As far as comodonal acne goes, retinoids are what work best for them, try a Salicylic acid fashwash with a glycolic acid gel, or some combination of the 2, and dont forget to moisturize aswell, and picking is not going to help your skin, it will make it worse and spread germs, unfortunately getting clear skin isn't an overnight process and can take some time to clear, but with patience and the right skin care routine along with good lifestyle habits, clear skin will definitely come with time, it may be what your doing now is fine, but may just need to allow it more time, also look into the PMD, i've used this and had some pretty good results for my pores, and texture of my skin, its quite pricey but worth it in my opinion

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Try the pumpkin masque, charcoal masque and vitamin c elixir from Banish. I use them too and works for me little by little. Try and see if it suits your skin.

There's no harm in trying especially for natural products like these.

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I feel like Tretinoin gel is somewhat working in bringing them to the surface but my main problem is that after the inflammation and redness are gone  I'm stuck with a painless pump sitting under the skin... I don't know what that is and what to do to for them. I have like seven of those on my skin. and I can feel them more than seeing them. My doctor injected them with mild steroids and said that the next day they should go away but they only got a little smaller and did not completely go away.

16 hours ago, skyesthelimit said:

Try the pumpkin masque, charcoal masque and vitamin c elixir from Banish. I use them too and works for me little by little. Try and see if it suits your skin.

There's no harm in trying especially for natural products like these.

I tried a lot of things similar to this before and it didn't really help

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I use to have so much more comedones than you. I don't know why, but the only exfoliant that worked for me was mandelic acid. Not only did it clear my comedonal acne, it also cleared up my inflammatory acne. In fact, it's the only thing I need in my regimen to stay clear. 

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Wash your face then steam it for 5 minutes  (bowl of hot water with towel over your head) this will open up your pores. Dab skin dry then apply a clay mask to the skin (fullers earth mixed with neem powder and water is what I have used in the past when I had this issue) and leave it on till it's dry. This should help draw the impurities to the surface and you may need to extract them when they show a head. Always disinfect after picking a zit. Do the steam and mask once or twice weekly. I notice you don't use a mild exfoliating scrub...try using one regularly, especially before steaming your face (Garnier have some good ones) I used cetaphil for a few days once because i heard such great things about it. I noticed how bad it actually was for my skin..it caused a break out similar to your picture so I stopped using it. How about cleansing with whitch hazel on soft cotton wool instead. 

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Ok thank you Goldenoval I will do the clay mask like you suggested also I have been using cetephil cleanser for a very long time.. do you think thats what caused this comodonal acne?? And what other cleansers do you suggest to use while on Tretionin gel?

On 7/21/2017 at 4:02 PM, ImTheTinMan said:

I use to have so much more comedones than you. I don't know why, but the only exfoliant that worked for me was mandelic acid. Not only did it clear my comedonal acne, it also cleared up my inflammatory acne. In fact, it's the only thing I need in my regimen to stay clear. 

What brand of mandelic acid did you exactly use and the percentage??? So far im on 10 weeks of tretionin and no improvement.. just my initial break out still going and the acne after inflaming its coming back to the small comodone it was before :/

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10 hours ago, marcela123 said:

Ok thank you Goldenoval I will do the clay mask like you suggested also I have been using cetephil cleanser for a very long time.. do you think thats what caused this comodonal acne?? And what other cleansers do you suggest to use while on Tretionin gel?

What brand of mandelic acid did you exactly use and the percentage??? So far im on 10 weeks of tretionin and no improvement.. just my initial break out still going and the acne after inflaming its coming back to the small comodone it was before :/
Tretinoin didn't work for me either. I use a 5% mandelic acid toner to keep myself free from blackheads and comedones. It's amazing, trust me. No initial breakouts either, it just gets the job done. 

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On 7/25/2017 at 11:24 AM, ImTheTinMan said:
On 7/25/2017 at 1:05 AM, marcela123 said:

Ok thank you Goldenoval I will do the clay mask like you suggested also I have been using cetephil cleanser for a very long time.. do you think thats what caused this comodonal acne?? And what other cleansers do you suggest to use while on Tretionin gel?

What brand of mandelic acid did you exactly use and the percentage??? So far im on 10 weeks of tretionin and no improvement.. just my initial break out still going and the acne after inflaming its coming back to the small comodone it was before :/
Tretinoin didn't work for me either. I use a 5% mandelic acid toner to keep myself free from blackheads and comedones. It's amazing, trust me. No initial breakouts either, it just gets the job done. 
OMG really!!! I will give it a try for sure but let me ask you first did the mandelic acid get rid of the once already on the skin or did it just prevent new once from coming in??? Also please tell me the brand you used of the mandelic acid? I have looked so much online and I am not finding any mandelic acid 5% toner so please tell me where you got it from and what exact brand you used... it really doesn't look like tretinoin is doing anything so I really want to try the mandelic acid 5%.  thank you so much

Also do you happen to have before and after pictures?

Edited by marcela123

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15 hours ago, marcela123 said:
OMG really!!! I will give it a try for sure but let me ask you first did the mandelic acid get rid of the once already on the skin or did it just prevent new once from coming in??? Also please tell me the brand you used of the mandelic acid? I have looked so much online and I am not finding any mandelic acid 5% toner so please tell me where you got it from and what exact brand you used... it really doesn't look like tretinoin is doing anything so I really want to try the mandelic acid 5%.  thank you so much

Also do you happen to have before and after pictures?

I use the mandelic acid from Makeup Artist's Choice and this thing eliminates AND prevents acne from forming because it cleans out my pores so much. It's pretty much the only thing I need in my entire skincare regimen to keep me free from acne. I do not have before pictures because I avoided cameras when my skin looked like the topographical view of Afghanistan. Believe me, my skin was much bumpier than yours. 

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2 hours ago, ImTheTinMan said:
17 hours ago, marcela123 said:
OMG really!!! I will give it a try for sure but let me ask you first did the mandelic acid get rid of the once already on the skin or did it just prevent new once from coming in??? Also please tell me the brand you used of the mandelic acid? I have looked so much online and I am not finding any mandelic acid 5% toner so please tell me where you got it from and what exact brand you used... it really doesn't look like tretinoin is doing anything so I really want to try the mandelic acid 5%.  thank you so much

Also do you happen to have before and after pictures?

I use the mandelic acid from Makeup Artist's Choice and this thing eliminates AND prevents acne from forming because it cleans out my pores so much. It's pretty much the only thing I need in my entire skincare regimen to keep me free from acne. I do not have before pictures because I avoided cameras when my skin looked like the topographical view of Afghanistan. Believe me, my skin was much bumpier than yours. 
is that it??? 

IMG_1713.PNG

After how long should I expect to see results.. tretionin they tell you 2-4 month is the mandelic acid going to take as long?? Also do you think that if you stoped using the acid they will come back.? I tried many things that made them fade but not completely go away like witch hazel and 2%BHA.

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1 hour ago, marcela123 said:
is that it??? 

IMG_1713.PNG

After how long should I expect to see results.. tretionin they tell you 2-4 month is the mandelic acid going to take as long?? Also do you think that if you stoped using the acid they will come back.? I tried many things that made them fade but not completely go away like witch hazel and 2%BHA.

lmao I saw results in less than a week.... and yes, that's the one I use. I don't know if your comedones will come back.. it depends on some people. For me, I have really oily skin so my pores keep getting clogged; I have to keep using it or else they'll come back. I suggest you keep using it for the best result. A bottle lasts about 2 months for me and I use it about 2 times a day. I personally think paying $20 bucks every 2 months is definitely worth the money when I get to have clear skin and my confidence back. :) 

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I purchased it right away.. I just have very stubborn skin, my skin is not oily its combination and something as strong as tretionin is removing those bastarts comedones.. I hate them so much and I hate how tretionin has turned my skin.. im still in the initial breakout phase of the tretionin and it has been 12 weeks.. idk how much longer to wait, I just feel like tretionin is not made for this type of acne.. for how long did you stay on tretionin and did it purge your comedones like its doing to mine?

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2 minutes ago, marcela123 said:

I purchased it right away.. I just have very stubborn skin, my skin is not oily its combination and something as strong as tretionin is removing those bastarts comedones.. I hate them so much and I hate how tretionin has turned my skin.. im still in the initial breakout phase of the tretionin and it has been 12 weeks.. idk how much longer to wait, I just feel like tretionin is not made for this type of acne.. for how long did you stay on tretionin and did it purge your comedones like its doing to mine?

I did not purge from tretinoin. It just didn't do anything for me after 4 months. It did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I listened to that 'pea size amount" BS and I felt like my dermatologist was mocking me. 

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My comedones purged but after the purge was over the comedones return to being the old comedones that  was in the first place. I'm wondering how this is supposed to help with comedonal acne. I will post a picture later today of my skin right now, I have like a whole cheek of inflamed tiny and pimples that take so much longer than usual to heal.  And of course you can't pop those pimples even if they have a whitehead because if you do while on tretinoin you can scar your face. I'm just upset at myself because I insisted on treating those, domes yet instead now I'm stuck with acne that everyone can see.  My comedones are not so many but I can feel them when I cleanse my face and because I'm a picker I always squeeze them so that's why I wanted to get rid of them. 

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15 minutes ago, marcela123 said:

My comedones purged but after the purge was over the comedones return to being the old comedones that  was in the first place. I'm wondering how this is supposed to help with comedonal acne. I will post a picture later today of my skin right now, I have like a whole cheek of inflamed tiny and pimples that take so much longer than usual to heal.  And of course you can't pop those pimples even if they have a whitehead because if you do while on tretinoin you can scar your face. I'm just upset at myself because I insisted on treating those, domes yet instead now I'm stuck with acne that everyone can see.  My comedones are not so many but I can feel them when I cleanse my face and because I'm a picker I always squeeze them so that's why I wanted to get rid of them. 

I used to have the same issue. Those comedones are just absolutely stubborn even though they're classified as mild acne. By the way, mandelic acid is much different from retinoids. Retinoids do not actually work because they speed up cellular turn over, which is good if you're trying to brighten your skin tone. Mandelic acid actually exfoliates your skin and cleans out the gunk inside of it. Also, it's antibacterial (kills P. acne bacteria) so you can use it as a replacement for your benzoyl peroxide. 

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Thats so great to hear.. I will give it a try and let you know any updates .. thank you so much for helping people around with this same problem. Can i just ask you this.. how long after taking like a day or two off of the toner does the comedones come back or reappear. Do you feel like it pops out immediately after skipping like one day. im asking this because I have tried something recently that makes the comedones disapear for a day or two then it shows on the third day in the same place it was. It was more of hidding the problem than getting rid of it. Sorry for asking so much question. :) 

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21 minutes ago, marcela123 said:

Thats so great to hear.. I will give it a try and let you know any updates .. thank you so much for helping people around with this same problem. Can i just ask you this.. how long after taking like a day or two off of the toner does the comedones come back or reappear. Do you feel like it pops out immediately after skipping like one day. im asking this because I have tried something recently that makes the comedones disapear for a day or two then it shows on the third day in the same place it was. It was more of hidding the problem than getting rid of it. Sorry for asking so much question. :) 

The sebum on your face is highly comedogenic so if you do a nice job at keeping the oil off your face, you can last weeks without those things reappearing. Just try to keep your face clean. That means to wash off oil and dead skin cells more frequently, but at the same time don't overwash to the point where you irritate your skin. 

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The inflamed picture is the left cheek and the right cheek is the  .. this is update while on 12 weeks of tretionin gel 0.05 to treat black/whiteheads or comedonal acne.

 

 

Edited by marcela123

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