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Hi all,

I've been posting weekly updates in the main regimen forum, and expect to continue to do this.

I figured some folks reading the log forums wanted to see the progress of folks over the long haul, so I might as well consolidate all my posts into one thread to make it easy for those folks to do that. I'm happy to answer any questions as well so feel free to ask.

Warning, my posts are often long, bordering on verbose ; )

Anyway, up to now I've posted

My Long History With Acne

Report after 1st Week

Report after 2nd Week

Report after 3rd Week

I'll keep this thread updated with links to my weekly reports from here on in.

hope this helps someone.

30.

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I'm here, I'm ok.. it's not great.

Here's what's going on.

I didn't shave for almost two weeks, giving my skin a chance to heal from the abuse of daily shaving and the constant visibility of all my red marks and healing pimples. I still followed the regimen spot on during that time, just had to work a little harder to get the bp in, but my beard grows coarse, not thick and I was able to get it into the skin no problem.

During this time, my left cheek (the problem area I often refer to) actually stopped breaking out, it was awesome. For a solid two days I was really cheerful and thinking woo hoo, it's happening, I'm turning the corner!

Then I got a cyst on my right cheek, same area but other side. I left it completely alone and within about 5 days it was starting to go away, it' still there nearly two weeks later, but not really a problem. However the one that showed up right next to it a week in is still visible. Oh and the one that started on Saturday right above that second one is getting bigger.. so that flat out sucks...

When I finally shaved friday evening, my skin where the beard had grown was looking fantastic. Not a pimple in sight. Saturday morning I woke up feeling pretty good about that. Said to my wife: "This isn't so bad, I can live with this..."

By Saturday night I had four new pimples where the beard had previously been... Anyone else doing this math? I hate having a beard, it was uncomfortable and I don't like the look and I live in the freaking desert so it's pretty damn hot, but it may be my best solution.

To be perfectly honest I have a call into my derm, I hope she dials me back soon. I think I am going to beg for Septra/Bactim, and if I can get that alter my regimen to the following:

Take the Antibiotics as prescribed, use BP gel in the morning and use some .5 tazorac cream in the evenings. The taz is something I've used in the past with reasonable success on evening out skin tone and managing the abuse my skin takes from the breakouts. The BP clearly helps some, but can't seem to bring down the nasty pustules I get and I've never tried Septra/Bactrim and I want to at least give one more thing a shot before tane...

For now, I'm hanging on. The regimen may be working, may be not. I'm certainly not a poster boy for it, despite my strict adherence thus far...

I've been on the boards, just too depressed by my lack of progress to bother posting. Be sure, I'm still around, digging through the archives reading about Bactrim this morning... Sure am reading a lot of good success stories about it....

Thanks for checking in on me.

30.

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30,

I'm glad you wrote.

That sucks you are still having problems. It seems to me, if I read your post right, that your acne seems to stem mostly from shaving, do you think? There have been so many posts in the Regimen forum lately about shaving, I really feel for all you guys having to factor that in as well. Shaving is probably hell for sensitive skin, I would think.

I can understand your frustration, and you do what you gotta do that's for sure. Perhaps adding in an antibiotic will be just the ticket. I've taken Bactrim before for other things, but it was never one my derm prescribed, that was always either minocycline, tetracycline, erythromycin. Let me know what your derm suggests, if you can.

Try not to be a stranger around here, I think you have some good input and advice to share.

Take care.

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The whole shaving thing is such a quandry, I mean clearly I presume that shaving is causing some of the acne right, as I didn't have any pimples in the area that I was not shaving until the very next day after I did shave.. But who knows... What I do know is that my cheek area was NOT being shaved during that time and I still broke out there... It's just a long slow battle that I am simply not winning.

I'll report back when I hear something from the derm (if she actually calls back, not sure they like it when you leave them messages instead of paying the 50 bucks to come see em for three minutes...)

-30

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Well I just hung up with my Derm (she's cool) and is calling in a script for me for Bactrim, well the generic I guess... but whatever.

So I'm gonna pick that up on my way home.

I chatted with her for a few minutes and she really liked the idea of:

BP in the AM

Tazorac at night

I think I will probably be straying from the regimen proper and giving this a go in conjunction with the new Antibiotic and crossing my fingers.

I'm certainly completely ready for something to just work.

30.

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Yeah, I'll try and post a few updates here and there to let you all know how things progress.

Work and life have been a little more hectic recently, and I was a tad bumbed about my continued break outs for the last two weeks or so, but I'll be around wink.gif

off to a meeting, where I will hope to get a chair that lets me hide the right side of my face...

-30

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Bah!

OK OK...

I couldn't take the seprta/bactrim.

I took a total of three pills over a couple of days, and I always felt *weird*

I admit, a big part of that might just be the fact that I was really nervous about the potential side effects and so I was probably hyper sensative, but my piece of mind (which is so fragile to begin with!) just couldn't take it.

I have however been sticking with the tazorac at night and BP in the morning routine. Is it better? Is it worse? I don't know... the redness is way down, not even really an issue as it was a few weeks back..

The nasty right side of my face break out seems to be subsiding somewhat, but I still have that awful hills and valleys feeling over there if I rub my finger across the area. At least it's not a bunch of HUGE RED LUMPS anymore, but still some obvious discoloration.

I did get two nasty two weakers back on the left side. Both are in the healing stages now, and nothing new over the last day or so.

IF... IF!!!! If, these two were healed, I would probably be pretty happy and consider myself the best I've been since I started documenting all this. I'm hopeful that will be the case in a few days.

What's a real downer is that my red marks are really a lot worse then they have ever been. The residuals of these break outs are pretty bad. I don't know if this is the beginning of the end, I mean complaining about red marks is a whole lot better then complaining about active acne... I guess however, I'm not really *there* yet... a few more weeks of sticking with what I am doing and we shall see. I won't be able to go on much longer if I get any more of these big nasty ones, I can't really take it anymore and doing all this crap every morning and night will simply have to stop if I am not experiening any tangiable benefit (ie, genuine improvement).

I remain hopeful, albeit skeptical...

regards,

30.

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hello 30

I am sorry if you have already mentioned this in your other posts. I have read them over the weeks but can't recall if you have.

I was wondering if you were putting AHA onto the big spots you are getting, as is recommended for the stubborn ones, and if you think that it makes a difference.

Thanks

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I tried the walgreens 8% AHA for about two weeks from weeks 5 to 7 and noticed no real difference.

In an effort (at that time) to really try to minimize any variation in my routine I stopped using it when I felt it had no effect (either positive or negative).

Dan swears by the Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion over the walgreens, so it may be worth ordering some of that, but I've not yet bothered.

I think I talk about it most in the week seven update, link should be above.

Regards,

30.

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well I am glad you are seeing some improvement, even if it isn't alot. Some antibiotics really make me feel yucky, so I'm not surprised you had a tough time of the Septra, it is pretty strong, and not always well-tolerated (I used to be a nurse is how I know that).

As for your redmarks, if you could work in something with an aha, that would probably speed up the resolution of them. Has your derm ever done peels on you? When I was a "regular" at the derm, I went once a month for a mild peel, for years, and never had any red spots that remained. Just something to think about.

Thanks for the update, I'm still rooting for you!

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Thanks Brandy, I'm still rooting for me too wink.gif

I think the tazorac that I'm using in the evening is supposed to help with the red spots over the long haul, so that might be good. I do also use the SPF15 skin renewal lotion with AHA, so I'm getting some right now, just not too much. I guess it wouldn't be too hard to order up some of the AHA cream from drugstore.com that Dan suggests and see how that goes.

One of the things I really do not like about this (or any!) skin care regimen is that amount of time I have to spend doing things. I already wake up a solid hour earlier then I did before the regimen just to give myself the time to get it done right, and that's a tough gig. Adding the AHA in the morning would prolong that even further. Not to say I won't do it though wink.gif

As for the antibiotics, agreed that they can really take a toll on you. I don't eat much in the mornings (OK I never eat breakfast) and I think that had a big effect on the negative impact of taking them. I took mino for a long time with no real side effects, but no real positive effects either, but that Septra stuff was really messing with me. Plus, I was acutely aware of the potential negatives of the drug and therefor hyper sensitive to everything. I'm WAY too stressed out to be adding that kind of variable.

Right now, I'm actually reasonably clear. The two bad pimples from last week are mostly gone, the red spots are not too bad on them. In fact, today I put a tiny tiny touch of the Eucirin redness stuff (that is normally my saving grace for going out into the world) on only ONE small area and other then that, I am all me... that is actually a pretty significant change. If I can make it through another two days without getting another bad pimple (or ten!) I will probably be able to say that I'm more or less clear. That would certainly be something! I can definitely say that using the tazorac at night, despite the redness that while better still comes and goes, is helping. I think it really helps to clean up the skin in the areas that have recently been affected by a break out. As I really think the areas are healing MUCH faster then they were when I was only using BP. I'm not sure if others find this to be true, or I am just imagining it, but it's working for me at the moment and I so I am going to go with it.

I'll post another update in a few days or a week or something and let you know how things go. I certainly am extremely hopeful that I am finally turning that proverbial corner as I seriously think I can say that today is the clearest I have been in months....

30.

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Well after my last update, things once again took a turn for the worse and I had several large pimples come up again. So I gave up. I couldn't stand putting this crap all over my face every morning, the redness I was getting from the tazorac at night at the BP in the morning. I quit, cold turkey as it were two weeks ago.

I'm certainly in no worse shape at the moment then I was during any time on the regimen. I get a few pimples here and there just like I did while on the regimen, but I'm not red and dry anymore. I've started to use a little neosporin on the spots that I end up popping (some of the pimples I get require expressing or they will never go away) and that *seems* to help them heal faster. At the moment, lots of red marks, some peeling skin where a few larger ones are healing.

But in the end, the regimen was not the miracle for me, despite my best efforts. Should I have stuck it out for another month? Maybe, but I don't know that I could deal with any more weeks of thinking "next week I will really turn the corner!" just too many false starts for me to handle. Who knows, maybe I will start to clear on my own some time in the near future. Maybe I won't and I will break down and go on accutane.

One thing I definately learned during all this is that minimizing shaving really helps my skin. I have to wonder if maybe I should try my hand at an electric razor for a while. I've used one a few times in the past and never really got the clean shave I like, but maybe it's time to invest in a quality unit and see if that does the trick because I am certain that the irration from shaving has a casual relationship on my breakouts.

Anyway, that's it for me... too bad it didn't work out, I would have really been thrilled if it had.

-30

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Yup, not using anything at all (for the first time in years!) and I'm enjoying my litle vacation. I am aware that sooner (rather then later) I will probably break out horribly and get back to using SOMETHING, maybe one of those three unopened tubes of BP gel I have for instance, but at the moment the only thing I'm doing is dabbing a bit of neosporin cream on anything that gets too nasty. Honestly, at the moment it's really not too bad, if only I didn't *know* it won't last....

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Brandy,

It's definately one of my next moves if things get bad again. My derm will write the scripts if I ask, I'm just still scared of the side effects... Time will tell if things regress to that point or not. If they do, I'll pull the trigger on it.

30.

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redness gone, skin no longer dry, getting more sleep, not slopping stuff all over my face, have two pimples annoying me, still not shaving very often (much to the delight of my boss I'm sure).

things certainly no worse then when I was on the regimen, but not like I'm 100% clear either... mostly trying not to think about it as much...

30

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So it was a lousy couple of months. I've been growing my beard on and off to help hide the pimples and to keep my face from being brutalized but I've been getting more breakouts on my cheeks again. Ugh.

I did quit smoking though, after 18 years, haven't had a smoke since nov. 1st.

By the way, no effect on my complexion for those of you who ask that question.

However... I've started taking bactrim /septra stuff twice a day for about 4 days now, and it's already making a HUGE difference.

I tried it before but it made me feel "weird" because I was so freaking on edge about everything that I decided I must be having a reaction to it. I'm a little mellower now and I'm not seeing ANY side effects except the existing pimples I have going away and no new ones coming.

I've read a ton of people have had great success with septra / bactrim and now that I've managed to not talk myself out of it, it seems to be working for me too...

I'll post back in a few days or weeks to follow up in the event that it goes as well as I would like it to (My wife is praying it will work too, she's sick of me being depressed about my skin) or if it goes poorly.

Tara, I'm hoping it's as good as we though it might be, this time I'm sticking with it!

-30

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oh hey 30! good to see you back!

and congrats on quitting smoking! I quit about 12 years ago, it's no easy task!

Glad the antibiotic is working for you! Please continue to keep us updated!

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Now 11 days after starting bactrim aka septra (I'm using the generic) I have not one single active pimple. There is one dime sized red mark left from the massive under the skin cyst that I had for a few weeks before I started taking the meds, but it no longer has anything in it, and is just healing.

This stuff has been the miracle I have been needing for a couple years now.

-30

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