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Moonface

Blackheads: Which retinoid is most effective?

Hello everyone,

Nowadays my acne consists mostly out of blackhhads on the T-zone. I'm a extremely pale person (people often ask my if I have an illnes :hand: ) and because of my skin tone my blackheads are very visible. Also, these blackheads have the nasty habbit of turning into large icepicks (last month I got another one by scratching my nose accidently while applying gel :doh: ).

In the past two years I've used differin with no result, so I'm looking for something new. I was thinking of Retin A (micro) or Tazorac, so now I wonder which retinoid is the most effecitive against blackheads.

Thx

(P.S. please excuse my english, I'm not a native speaker)

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Guest been13years

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I loved the effect Tazorac gel had on my skin. Clear, glowing, and blackhead-free. I tried Retin-A (redness and flakiness), and Differin (no effect whatsoever), and Tazorac. It is drying but not as irritating in my experience. Just make sure whatever retinoid you use not to put too much on. A pea-sized dab spread gently in a very thin layer over the face will give you the best results with the least irritation (I used to make the mistake of thinking more was better.)

Good Luck!

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Hi all,

I have had lots of blackheads on my nose and excessive oil problems there for the past 6 years. Unfortunately this type of acne is the hardest to get rid of.

I have often felt along with Knightinrustingarmour that we should have a specific forum to tackle comedonal mild acne which is often EXTREMELY persistane and a real pain in the ass...

I myself have a lot of great suggestions I would like to share with people that I have picked up over the years, what works, what doesn't etc but I don't want to post it all over the place on different forums as its a waste of my time.

Like Knightinrustingarmour suggested recently, there should be specific acne disease subforums, just like theres one for scars etc...

There should be one from comedones (black and white heads) one for inflammatory acne (papules and pustules) and one for severe acne (nodules and cysts).

I for one am going to ask Dan his thoughts on this - if it looks liek this isn't going to happen, I think I may start creating the foremost blackhead resource on the internet, with forum attached, to use in conjunction with acne.org (which is great).

On the retinoids front if differin is not working (it has helped for me, but not achieved the resolution desired) switch to Retin A Micro. Next step up is Tazorac Gel.

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@ gloriousbach

It would be only fair if acne.org would have a subforum specificly on comedones. Perhaps he could open a subforum called "Comedones and other acne issues".

Anyway back OT:

@ Waste of Time

Differin really sucked for me.

Actually since I ditched Differin and only used salicylic acid, my skin has actually improved a tiny bit.

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Hi Moonface,

I am liaising on the forums issue with Dan at this moment.

Out of interest how was Differin for you and what were you using it to treat? Persistent blackheads?

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Hi Moonface,

I am liaising on the forums issue with Dan at this moment.

Out of interest how was Differin for you and what were you using it to treat? Persistent blackheads?

Hi mate,

Well i've been using differin gel for about 2 year's.

At first it worked ok,but recently my skin has gone really itchy and sore.

My doc has put this down to the persistant use of the differin.

So now im waiting to go back to my derm.

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@ gloriousbach

I really hope tou can convince Dan to give us our own subforum.

OT: I used Differin only for comedones, didn't do any good. I've tried the lotion and the gel, applied small ammounts and large ammounts. It didn't really matter. It was like I was using a bad, expensive moisturiser.

@ Deano28

What did you use Differin for?

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Exactly the same for me Moonface and Deano29, with our own blackheads forum I could collect this data and pass it onto others. My blackheads have got slightly better on differin, but not a whole lot better.

In short we could save people 3 months on Differin to find out it doesn't work by saying that Retin A, Retin A Micro and Tazorac are more likely to work.

This is the next step. Essentially the way to tackle persistent blackheads is by using a strong retinoid nightly (one of the above only) and then every month have extractions done (which I haven't had done yet).

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@ gloriousbach

I really hope tou can convince Dan to give us our own subforum.

OT: I used Differin only for comedones, didn't do any good. I've tried the lotion and the gel, applied small ammounts and large ammounts. It didn't really matter. It was like I was using a bad, expensive moisturiser.

@ Deano28

What did you use Differin for?

Hi moonface.

The derm put me on differin gel and antibiotics for mild acne,most of the acne was on my back.(only a few on my face which i could deal with really).

Anyway the first 3 to 4 month's it worked,it made me itch abit ,but it wasn't that bad,so i put up with it.

Anyway so i was clear and the derm said i could stop using the differin.

Until about 3 month's later when the acne all started to come back but worser.

The worst was on my face.So he put me back on the differin and antibiotic's,but this time they havn't worked,they are just making my face itchy,sore and red.

As for the antibiotic's,i just don't think any of them work on me now,it's as though my body is just immune to them!

Im going back to the derm in about a month's time.

Im going to try accutane.

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Hi all,

I have had lots of blackheads on my nose and excessive oil problems there for the past 6 years. Unfortunately this type of acne is the hardest to get rid of.

I have often felt along with Knightinrustingarmour that we should have a specific forum to tackle comedonal mild acne which is often EXTREMELY persistane and a real pain in the ass...

I myself have a lot of great suggestions I would like to share with people that I have picked up over the years, what works, what doesn't etc but I don't want to post it all over the place on different forums as its a waste of my time.

Like Knightinrustingarmour suggested recently, there should be specific acne disease subforums, just like theres one for scars etc...

There should be one from comedones (black and white heads) one for inflammatory acne (papules and pustules) and one for severe acne (nodules and cysts).

I for one am going to ask Dan his thoughts on this - if it looks liek this isn't going to happen, I think I may start creating the foremost blackhead resource on the internet, with forum attached, to use in conjunction with acne.org (which is great).

On the retinoids front if differin is not working (it has helped for me, but not achieved the resolution desired) switch to Retin A Micro. Next step up is Tazorac Gel.

I, too, have comedonal acne and think it deserves its own forum ... a lot of things that work for people with inflammatory & severe acne totally trash my skin, and stuff that works for me would probably not help them at all! seems to me this is an important distinction to make early on so people don't waste their time.

So thanks for your efforts. And, BTW, I use an OTC retinoid that is giving me fabulous results (see my sig).

Q

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Hi all,

I have had lots of blackheads on my nose and excessive oil problems there for the past 6 years. Unfortunately this type of acne is the hardest to get rid of.

I have often felt along with Knightinrustingarmour that we should have a specific forum to tackle comedonal mild acne which is often EXTREMELY persistane and a real pain in the ass...

I myself have a lot of great suggestions I would like to share with people that I have picked up over the years, what works, what doesn't etc but I don't want to post it all over the place on different forums as its a waste of my time.

Like Knightinrustingarmour suggested recently, there should be specific acne disease subforums, just like theres one for scars etc...

There should be one from comedones (black and white heads) one for inflammatory acne (papules and pustules) and one for severe acne (nodules and cysts).

I for one am going to ask Dan his thoughts on this - if it looks liek this isn't going to happen, I think I may start creating the foremost blackhead resource on the internet, with forum attached, to use in conjunction with acne.org (which is great).

On the retinoids front if differin is not working (it has helped for me, but not achieved the resolution desired) switch to Retin A Micro. Next step up is Tazorac Gel.

I, too, have comedonal acne and think it deserves its own forum ... a lot of things that work for people with inflammatory & severe acne totally trash my skin, and stuff that works for me would probably not help them at all! seems to me this is an important distinction to make early on so people don't waste their time.

So thanks for your efforts. And, BTW, I use an OTC retinoid that is giving me fabulous results (see my sig).

Q

Hi Queen of the Hills, nice ot hear from you. I am in the process of putting forward a very logical argument for a comedonal acne forum and two others for inflammatory and severe. As things stand we have to share our problems here on the prescription which isn't the right place for it.

Out of interest can you tell use more aout your comedonal acne. Blackheads or whiteheads? Do you suffer from hyperactive oil production too and if so in what areas? Is the retinoid you use the vitamin a solution and if so why that instead of the more convention vitamin a derivative retinoids?

Thanks

GB

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Out of interest can you tell use more aout your comedonal acne. Blackheads or whiteheads? Do you suffer from hyperactive oil production too and if so in what areas? Is the retinoid you use the vitamin a solution and if so why that instead of the more convention vitamin a derivative retinoids?

Well, I'm 41 and have had acne since I was 11, so I've had it all. Recent history includes scattered blackheads on nose, cheeks, and jaw; hyperactive oil production throughout my entire T-zone; and scattered pustules and occasional cysts during my monthly hormonal breakout. But I came to these boards a few months back because I was looking for a solution to a suddenly horrendous whitehead problem -- it looked like I had developed pebbles under my skin all along my jaw and upper throat, plus patches of the same on cheeks and forehead. I still don't know what caused it.

Now, I've had success with Retin A in the past, but I had stopped using it for two reasons. One: I just hate having to keep going back to the doctor (it's a hassle, I have young children, there are enough hassles in my life). Two: for a long time, I had ascribed my earlier success to the tetracycline that the derm had prescribed to accompany the Retin A; it wasn't until I got more info from this board that I realized the tetracycline was just to keep the initial breakouts in check, and it really was the Retin A that had cleared out my clogged pores so thoroughly.

So then I started scouting around for an OTC retinoid, and settled on the Green Cream (more info at www.greencream.com) because it was the strongest product I could find and got rave reviews everywhere. I had previously ordered the topical A from www.thevitamincure.com to test it out, and ended up using the 2 products together because the green cream is drying and the topical A is not and they have balanced each other out very well. Since I started using them 5-6 weeks ago, I have had no cysts or other large pimples; most of the bumps have purged or dried up; my pores are much clearer; my skin is no longer an oil slick. I still have a ways to go to completely clear out my pores, but the difference in skin quality is quite dramatic. Nearly all of the old red and brown marks along my jaws have disappeared (along with a facial mole I wasn't actually trying to get rid of). :)

So this is strong stuff ... and I'm really happy with it. I've had very little trouble with redness, dryness, and other irritation. I wish I'd found out about Green Cream a long time ago, and I think it could help a lot of people ... it seems to me that it's much less irritating to the skin than Retin A was, and maybe people would stick with it longer. But that's just my opinion.

Oh, a couple more things ... I have been keeping a log since the beginning of this regimen, so if you want more detail about the products & process, you can find the thread in the the personal regimen logs. Aside from that, I have been posting mostly in the OTC forum ... it only occurred to me recently that people who have had trouble with Retin A or other prescription retinoids might have more success with green cream.

Cheers,

Q

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Thanks for the reply Q - certainly a prescription retinoid like Retin A is the most potent anti comedogenic agent save for accutane, so would be front line in helping to clear out pores.

I have lots of tips for dealing with blackheads but have to wait really until hopefully we have a blackhead forum or similar!

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I got rid of my nose blackheads only once, it was by using isotrexin and then half an hour later applying some BP, unfortunately that was too aggressive a regime and a week later I applied the products and my face felt as though it was on fire. Differin is the only other retinoid I've used and that hasn't done much. I think accutane is the only thing that will work

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Hi moonface;

I actually was doing an internet search before i got put on retin a, and I read on a link from the retin a micro site that a study was done which found that retin a was more effective than differin for getting rid of blackheads. I don't know about tazorac though.

I've been on retin a for a week, and a couple of blackheads have shown up, which I'm guessing is part of the initial purge of crap from underneath the surface. I'm hoping that after this, my skin will be blackhead/acne free...

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Thanks for the reply Q - certainly a prescription retinoid like Retin A is the most potent anti comedogenic agent save for accutane, so would be front line in helping to clear out pores.

Yes, I completely agree that Retin A should be the most effective topical.

The only advantages of Green Cream are that it is OTC and (I think) less irritating to the skin.

Q

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@ ben100604

Been there, done that. I've also tried aggressive methods like yours when I was younger. They empty the pores temporary but the side-effects are terrible: redness, greasy skin, inflamed pores with possible scarring as a result.

There are beter alternatives to clean your pores out (or atleast partly clean them out).

@ jeniferjupiter

Good luck! Let us know how things are working out for you!

I will try RAM soon too, at least if my derm has even heard of it (Europe :().

If my derms don't know RAM I will try Green Cream which will cost me a fortune to ship *sigh*. :)

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Afraid to say it looks like RAM isn't prescribed in the UK. I'm thinking of going to NY USA to get it so desperate am I hahaha.

The only pretty much sure fire way to get rid of blackheads is a full course of accutane, extractions followed by maintenance therapy indefinetely with a strong topical retinoid.

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I am not arguing with that ... but I do think a lot of people (maybe most?) can get rid of blackheads without accutane. Personally, I'd go with the topical retinoid + extraction line of defense first and only bring in the big guns if absolutely necessary. Accutane seems a little scary -- though I must say, if I had cystic acne, I'd be beating down doors to get it.

Q

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Q you are absolutely right :)

My mistake I should have emphasised SURE FIRE as the method using accutane is all guns blazing. The accutane first of all gives you a head start in moderating the excessive sebum production that leads to the blackheads and secondly from lots of accounts I have read, it reduces sebaceous gland and pore size, hence actually squeezing out the majority of blackheads from the insider, rather than from the outside like a retinoid.

I completely agree to start with use a good retinoid for at least 3 months, then extractions, 3 more months of retinoid, more extractions, and then if you are persistently oily be prepared to use the retinoid indefinetely - this was what my derm didn't tell me after I took accutane at 19, and of course all the blackheads came back.

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Afraid to say it looks like RAM isn't prescribed in the UK. I'm thinking of going to NY USA to get it so desperate am I hahaha.

I knew it! That's why these derm idiots keep giving me Differin...it's the only thing they know. I hate those greedy bastards. They don't even know RAM or Taz exist.

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Here's another product that might be worth a look and some research.

The Vitamin Cure

Because I am using their topical vitamin A in conjunction with the Green Cream, I can't separate out the effects of the two; however, I havenoticed a HUGE decrease in oiliness. I used to wake up every morning with an oil slick on my face, and I now wake up to totally normal, balanced-looking skin, neither oily nor dry-looking.

Just something else to consider.

Q

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