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Day NUMERO UNO 1.

Yeah so I'm kinda new at this but I want to keep a log of my progress. Hope I'm doing it right.

So... history:

I'm 16 right now, sophomore in high school. I guess you could say my history is pretty normal? I actually started getting acne in fourth grade... so the age of like 9? I dunno.. is that young? But it wasn't severe or anything really, just few outbreaks once in a while... but my mom still dragged me to the dermatologist because we had mad good health insurance. Soo... I was put on lots of weird topicals and through those years, 4th to 7th grade, I learned the use of good skin care and you would think that would help huh? Nope. Well like I said, my acne wasn't that bad. I had lots of clumps teeny tiny bumps that you had to look really hard to see and a few normal outbreaks. I stopped going to the derm in around 7th grade. I started using coverup to cover up a few pimples in the end of 7th grade, but like only on special occasions. I was happy with my skin. Up to about two monthes ago. I now wear a full face of makeup versus a few monthes ago where I covered up my like two red spots and three active acne. It sucks. These two monthes... the acne I get leaves marks... which I don't really understand because it never used to do that. I kind of related it to how within the last year, whenever I got like a cut or a bug bite, it would leave scars for monthes afterwards, but when I was little it didn't. I'm guessing my rate of healing is slowing down or something because I have a plethera (vocab word!!!!) of red marks on my cheeks and I never even knew that red marks existed two months ago. And I started breaking out A LOT on my cheek area, whereas in the past, I broke out in my forehead/nose/chin area. It's hurt me pretty emotionally... I'm not going to go deep into that but I got dragged (willingly, I might add) to the dermatologist again after my mom noticed my depression and stuff.

Sooo here I am.

My mom picked up the medication yesterday, and I started fresh today.

My dermatologist (he's really young, 25 maybe?) put me on antibiotics, something called DOXYCYCLINE 100MG CAPS to be exact (which I'm hesitant about... but I figured I would try it for two months and be off it no matter if it does improve or not). I'm supposed to take two a day along with washing with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne wash, then applying something called ERYTHROMYCIN BENZOYL GEL and then Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion and then finally my war paint aka make-up. At night I wash with the same cleanser and then I'm supposed to use Tazorac .05%.

Ooook.. so that's what I'm supposed to do right?

Yeah so my mom comes home yesterday with the medicine and all I see are the antibiotics. So I'm like... where is the rest of my medicine. My mom just shrugs and says she gave the pharmacist all the prescribtions and stuff and that's all the pharmacist gave back. So... who am I to blame? My dermotologist (who is sketchy, more on that later), the pharmacist, or even me because maybe I heard wrong. It works out anyways because my brother has the same derm and he uses the same ERYTHROMYCIN BENZOYL GEL, so I guess I'm supposed to use his? and also I've been on Tazorac when I was little so I still have some unused tubes that haven't expired.

So that is one thing that makes me so unsure of this regimen.

Other thing: My Derm. He's young (my mom says he's young therefore he's inexperienced... not sure) and well I just figured oh well maybe he can help me anyways. I'm not trying to be paranoid, but he definitely wasn't sympathetic. I had to pry information out of him. When I expressed my concern that antibiotics might be bad in the long run he just waves it off and mumbles something about how a lot of his patients are on it. I had to pry and ask about what cleanser is good and what moisturizer I should use... I know if I didn't bring it up and if I hadn't been well informed in my years before, he would've just handed off the prescribtions and left. He didn't even say "bye" or "good luck" when he left. And when he warned me not to get pregnant and stuff because it's bad when I'm on this medication he was all like "not that it's likely you will". I don't want to be paranoid... BUT WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?! Is he saying that since I have acne it makes me ugly and not able to get it on?! Jeez like I'm not self-concious enough and I don't feel ugly enough. And then when I was pondering whether I should go on antibiotics or not he said "And cosmetic surgery will not happen until all your active acne is gone, and our department doesn't even do it here. We have to send you to another place and it isn't covered by your insurance." First of all, I didn't even mention cosmetic surgery at all, and second of all, is my acne really THAT bad that he would even THINK of sending me to get surgery done?!??!?! Yeah, so I've thought about cosmetic surgery before, but does he not have faith tht I will clear up and the marks with go away with time instead of going to extreme measures of surgery? He just doesn't seem like he cares and is genuine...

Back to regimen. I've been on Delna's regimen so I kinda incorporated my new one into it. Not sure if it's a good idea. I've decided to do Delna's regimen only every other day though- the bs and acv and the egg mask alternating every other day. I also use Aloe Vera Gel to try and fade the red marks but it doesn't seem like it's working.

So today, I took the pill and used the bs and acv. Then put on the ERYTHROMYCIN BENZOYL GEL. It stung. It's got like 5% Benzoyl Peroxide in it and man did it sting. It felt like my face was like slowly burning even two hours after. I'm not sure if that's a sign that's telling me to stop using it, at least for a day, or a sign that says HURT! THAT'S A SIGN THAT IT'S WORKING AND SO YOU SHALL CONTINUE. I'll decide by tomorrow.

Currently: A handful of medium size zits (I guess) and lots and lots and lots of small ones mostly on my cheeks. Lots of red marks and probably soon to be red marks. I'd take a picture but I'm out of batteries.

Ugg. Wow this is mad long. It got out my fustration though. Wow this thing rocks!

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Hi, gingle ... welcome to the forum!

Honey, I am staggered by that post. If you use everything you mention, your face may very well fall off.

Tazorac is the strongest and most irritating topical retinoid available. Since you are going to use it, you need to plan the rest of your skincare regimen around it.

1) Antibiotics -- Go ahead and do this short course .... and then re-evaluate. Taz can cause an initial breakout, and the antibiotics and BP should help you get through it. But don't let your derm hand the pills out to you like candy. Do a little reading and find out about what you are taking, and what the overall effects are. Think about what YOU are comfortable with. There are lots of other derms in the world.

2) BP -- Sounds like this is a topical antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide. BP is very drying to your skin. So is Taz. So I advise using the tiniest possible amount of the BP to cover the affected area. Also, you are going to need a very gentle cleanser.

3) Cleanser -- That Neutrogena oil-free acne wash is horribly dehydrating and potentially irritating. Don't use it. Find the mildest cleanser you can with no active ingredients (such as salicylic acid), no detergents, and no mention of "acne" on the label if possible! The Purpose and Cetaphil cleansing bars are both OK; Cetaphil's other cleansers contain sulfates, which damage the skin barrier, so I would avoid them if you can.

4) Delna's regimen -- The eggwhite mask is fine, but baking soda has no place on your face when you are using Tazorac. Taz compromises your skin barrier anyway; baking soda is highly alkaline and could really damage your skin. I'd put it and the ACV on the shelf for awhile. In the long run, Taz should help with your redmarks.

Watch out for irritation ... if your face gets horribly red and tight and sore, you can back off the Taz for a little bit. Try using it every 2nd or 3rd night; or wash it off after 15 minutes; or whatever helps you. Read the other Tazorac logs and see how other people have coped with the irritation.

Good luck ... I am sure the Tazorac will help you, it is strong stuff ... you just need to figure out how to make it work for you.

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Hear, hear to Queen's post ...I agree with everything she said.

I'd like to add, if you dislike your derm/aren't comfortable with him/think he doesn't care/doesn't know what he's doing ...FIND ANOTHER ONE! I cannot stress this enough. It may take a while to find the right derm for you (I know some people who go through 4-5 before finding one they like), but in the end it's well worth it. Having a doctor that you are comfortable with and who is sensitive to your needs and concerns is very important. The best way you can find a good derm is through recommendations ...you might try searching for local dermatologists online, and see what others have to say about them.

Edit: Also, I'm kind of a BP veteran, and after re-reading your post I'd suggest ramping that up slowly, as well. If you start by using the Taz every 2nd or 3rd night, trying applying the BP on non-consecutive days ...that is, don't use BP the morning after using the Taz, because your skin will be much more sensitive. And if your skin starts to get very red and irritated, stop! It's okay to take a day or two off to let your skin heal. The main thing (which Queen already touched on), is to avoid over-irritating the skin. Moderation is key.

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Day TWO.

THANKS so much for the advice. I learned so much from it and wow I'm really happy you took the time to help me. Can't express my thanks in words so... thanks. That's all I can say.

So now I'm going to try and adjust my routine but since it's day two not much has happened yet.

The antibiotics did make me nausaus the first time I took it but it got better. I did some research and found that it's better to take it on a full stomach so that's what I did and I didnt' feel like throwing up anymore.

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You are welcome! And Caf's advice about the BP sounds excellent to me. Maybe for the first week, try alternating Taz and BP at night, and just cleanse GENTLY in the mornings (fingertips only, no washcloth), and moisturize if you need it.

Hmmmm, you don't mention moisturizer ... do you have one you are planning to use?

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Hey Gingle,

Your a good writer, that was actually pretty fun to read. Anyway, I'm 22 now and my skin has cleared, but I remember when I went to my first dermatologist. I had the same experience. He put my face under a a big magnifying glass, told me it was acne, and prescribed 4 things to use twice a day. I was like...dear god, will I be able to feel my face after that? Oh and he barely told me anything about my condition. he just said here do this and come back in a month. I never went back. I went to a new doctor.

I used doxycycline 100mg 2 times a day for about a year and i had no bad effects from it. One thing i wanted to tell you though, I was told not to take it with food. Definitely not milk. In fact I wasnt supposed to eat within 2 hours of taking it. It apparently takes away from its absorption from the body. I know it makes u want to throw up at first, but you get used to it very soon I promise. I was put on Aknemycin also. I didnt use it at first because I thought I knew better than the doctor. But after 6 months and I still had a few pimples and red marks I gave it a try and It cleared my skin really fast.

As far as washing your face goes, I personally dont feel that you need much more than water to clean your face. Especially if you have sensitive skin. It was actually using lots of products and moisturizers that gave me problems to begin with. But then again Im a guy and dont wear makeup. I know water alone cant get that off and if your putting creams and stuff on your face you probably need cleanser for that also. I dont use any soaps now unless i get really dirty (on my face i mean, other areas definitely need soap) and my face is completely clear, no dryness, no oiliness, plus...the big big plus...it doesnt take me half an hour to clean my face. Anyway if you have any questions on doxycycline feel free to ask, I did a lot of research on it back then. ;) good luck. keep posting.

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DAY FIVE:

Ok so not much has been happening. At least it doesn't seem like it to me. Well I haven't really broken out that much. And I don't know if it's just me... but my acne seems to be going away faster and fewer are leaving red spots. Old red spots are still there of course. Again I'm not exactly sure because I've been really busy lately and haven't had time to really look at the mirror. Which I guess is a good thing because I hate mirrors.

I've been taking advice of other people and so now I'm not using Taz and the bp gel on the same day. It's kinda hard to explain but I'm going to try it like this for a few days.

Oh and thanks for saying I'm a good writer :D .

And also my derm told me to use Cetaphil Moisturing Lotion. It sort of helps I guess. I've been getting REALLY dry skin and LOTS of peeling lately. It's kinda gross.

Oh also, in the first post, I said that the bp gel thing I use burned my face and it really stung and stuff and I think I found why. See, I put my make-up on after I put the gel on my face and I guess the ingredients don't go well together? When I put the gel on alone, my face feel's fine, but as soon as my make-up goes on there's a burning sensation. I tried letting the bp gel like absorb for 20 minutes before my make-up went on and it was a little better. Less stinging.

Oh and thanks for the heads up on taking the anti b without food. I did get a little nausea but I'M STRONG yeah haha and I'll keep fighting it.

That's really all I have to say. Sorry I'm kinda boring today. I'm a little depressed because there was a school band trip to NYC today and my mom wouldn't let me go so now my good friends and the guy I like are there and I miss them. I just called them and they are wondering around time square looking for dinner and I wish I was there... I mean NEW YORK CITY! sure I've been there plenty of times but I've always been with my parents, and now my friends are let out alone wondering... FREEDOM... AHH... yeah it's bringing me down... I'm hanging out with some friends tonight though so hopefully I'll cheer up.

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That's you in your avatar pic, right? Honey, you're gorgeous! I hope the Taz and BP keep working for you.

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Have you checked the ingredients in your make-up? Some foundations and concealers contain salicylic acid (esp. those made by Neutrogena), which is very irritating when combined with BP. I wish you luck in finding something non-irritating! I know how hard it can be to find good make-up.

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I have really enjoyed reading your log:)

dont worry about the nyc thing...it does suck to think that your friends are out there without you, but dont worry they are wishing you were there too. my parents were always the strict ones so i know how you feel.

anyway...i would def check your makeup for salicylic acid as it can be really tough on skin when youre using bp (and even more so when youre also using a retinoid).

good luck!

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Good luck with your new regimen. :)

You will get used to the anti-biotics on an empty stomach I promise.

I second or third what everyone said about your makeup. It should not be causing you any discomfort.

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DAY 20ish.

Wow sorry I haven't updated in awhile. I've been sooo busy. Who knew spring would bring so much... busyness.

Anyway, back to business. I personally haven't noticed any change. Not much change at all. There has been minor changes like my face has been a little dryer than usual, but I keep it moisturized with Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. (It actually makes my face a little too moisturized... kind of leaves my face a little greasy which is weird because right when I wash it off, my face is mad dry.. I blot of excess like grease with a tissue though). My red marks from a few months ago are still stubborn and aren't even fading. My new breakouts still leave red marks. Oh, I've read stuff like experiencing an initial breakout... yeah I don't think I've experienced that yet. Lately my pores seem bigger though.

I have switched my make-up from Neutrogena to L'oreal and there is no longer a burning sensation! when I put it on the BP gel! Thanks for the advice! To tell you the truth though, sometimes I skip the BP gel because it really dries up my face and even my lotion doesn't help which makes it harder for my make-up to go on making the rest of my day pretty much miserable. My friend the other day commented on how my skin looks really clear and how I look like I glow and I was thanks... maybe this whole regiman I'm suffering through is working! Then she was like are you using new make-up? and I am so that is possibly the factor to my glowing clearer skin.

The pills.. they are a pain. It messes up my whole eating schedule and I love to eat. It usually gives me the vomitting sensation in the mornings and not at night. I take it right when I get up in the morning then eat my breakfast right before I leave the house an hour and a helf later. Then at night I take it right before I go to bed, but it says on the container that I should refrain from laying/lying (don't remember which one to use... guess my english teacher didn't drill it in enough) down half an hour after taking it. I find that weird but I usually follow it but sometimes I'm just so tired I go right to bed and I'm out.

Finally got the special batteries needed for my cam so maybe pics soon?

hopefully.

mad busy though with exams and prom stuff and end of school and sports ahhh!

Thanks for reading! And more later!

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I'm glad to hear that you found a new make-up that works! I use L'Oreal as well, and I love it. :)

Don't get discouraged! In my experience, you have to give any regimen at least 3 months before giving up. This is especially true for retinoids, because it can take up to 9 weeks to restructure your pores! I don't think I've said this in your log yet, but I say it in everyone else's: you didn't get acne overnight, so it won't go away overnight, either. Just stick with it ...you WILL see results in the end, I promise. ;)

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Glad your new makeup is working well for you. Makeup can only do some much so if your friend say's your skin looks good it probably does. So :dance:

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That's good news about the new makeup! And if the BP is drying you out, don't put it all over your face ... just spot treat with it. Getting too dry will not help you clear up.

Have fun with all of the end-of-year activities ... it's a crazy time, but so much fun. What are you doing for the summer?

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Thanks for your support!

Ok so now I'm supposed to be researching for this essay but I'm just going to add a quick little update.

I'm in my living room right now with this mirror in front of me right in front of the light and I'm examining my face.

My face is pretty red. From like three feet in front of the mirror you can't really see the red marks because they're kind of small and in clusters and it kind of like camoflauges into my redish face. I can't see many outbreaks in this lighting (it's a good week for me not many huge outbreaks) but I know in this lighting you can't see the plethora of small outbreaks on my face that I notice in the morning in natural lighting. Also, it's weird but I've noticed that I'm oily at certain times of the day and dry at other times. Like right now my face isn't really that dry but I have some glow in my t-zone areas.

As I move closer to the mirror my pores get soo much bigger and the red marks become a lot more visable. Yup. My face is seriously red. My pores are HUGE. And the red marks are annoying and in clusters mostly on my cheeks. They probably only look this good in this lighting. Oh and I have a few blackheads on my nose.

Let's see if I can get some pics up...

pic one

why am i posting these again?

cameras don't capture everything!

Oh LionQueen... summer... planning to get my liscense!!! So excited. I might be traveling too not sure. Might also be hosting some spanish exchange student. All I know for sure is that I'M SO EXCITED for summer! Do you have any plans for this summer?

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Let's see if I can get some pics up...

pic one

why am i posting these again?

cameras don't capture everything!

Oh LionQueen... summer... planning to get my liscense!!! So excited. I might be traveling too not sure. Might also be hosting some spanish exchange student. All I know for sure is that I'M SO EXCITED for summer! Do you have any plans for this summer?[/font]

You are SO pretty! And remember, what the camera shows is pretty much what other people see ... I assure you, NO one but you is staring at your pores. So just keep on with your treatments and don't stress.

Ah .... summer! I am moving from California to Wisconsin this summer ... it should be a year to remember. :)

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Whoa LionQueen, hope the harsh wisconsin winters dont reek havoc on your skin. Trust me, I have lived here my whole life, and the winters are terrible! What city are you planning on moving to? I am from the Northern part of the state. Good luck with your move though, Wisconsin is definitly beautiful.

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Whoa LionQueen, hope the harsh wisconsin winters dont reek havoc on your skin. Trust me, I have lived here my whole life, and the winters are terrible! What city are you planning on moving to? I am from the Northern part of the state. Good luck with your move though, Wisconsin is definitly beautiful.

We're moving to Madison. I grew up there, actually, so it is not unknown territory! Then I went to college in California and ended up just staying there .... until now. My husband is from the Menomonee Falls area, and went to UW-Madison ... he has wanted to move back for awhile now.

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I agree...You're very beautiful. And dont worry about the stuff, bc like said before if you cant see it on camera, no one else can see it either. Keep up the regimen:)

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hey thanks guys

quick update: so it's about day 34. not much of a major change from a month ago. it kind of seems like the outbreaks are bigger than usual though. i'm hanging in there though. today i was at a mall and i looked in the mirror and i was oh shit i look like crap. but yesterday i felt very good about myself. my self esteem just changes so much daily.

thanks for the support.

ps. i live in new york and i've been thinking about colleges in cali! any tips/advice?

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hey thanks guys

quick update: so it's about day 34. not much of a major change from a month ago. it kind of seems like the outbreaks are bigger than usual though. i'm hanging in there though. today i was at a mall and i looked in the mirror and i was oh shit i look like crap. but yesterday i felt very good about myself. my self esteem just changes so much daily.

thanks for the support.

ps. i live in new york and i've been thinking about colleges in cali! any tips/advice?

I hear you about the daily changes in self-esteem. Yesterday I felt like my skin looked terrible ...today it seemed a lot better. I guess the good side is that whenever you think it looks bad, it'll always look better in another few days! :)

I can't offer much advice on colleges in Cali ...the only one I looked at was CalTech, and they were like "Our average SAT score in math is an 800." Lol. So, uh, I didn't give it much thought. I know a few people who went to UCLA and really liked it, but it's pretty expensive, especially if you're coming from out of state.

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ps. i live in new york and i've been thinking about colleges in cali! any tips/advice?

Where are you thinking of going? I went to Stanford and loved it ... the UC schools are also great.

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