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Jack 27514

Getting Back on Differin and Duac

I'll start with a brief history of my battle with acne.

Like most, I started breaking out when I hit puberty. For the past 8 yrs or so (I'm now 21),

I've suffered from mild/moderate acne. At times, my face was 95% clear.

(The last time I was that clear was last Xmas.) But invariably, my acne would return.

I've used most OTC and prescribed topicals, including erythromycin benzoyl peroxide gel, but

nothing consistently kept my acne at bay. A month ago, I visited the derm for the first time.

He prescribed me Differin and Duac.

Desperate to rid myself of acne ASAP, I dove head first into the regimen, generously

applying both topicals daily. (Apparently, one is supposed to start slowly with retinoids,

so the skin can build up tolerance and wont be as irritated.) I didnt know that and I paid

a hefty price. After the first week, my face EXPLODED with zits (the worst it's ever been).

I freaked out and swore to myself that I'd never touch Differin and Duac again!

A month later, the marks from that horrendous breakout remains. My confidence teeters on the

cusp on little and non-existent.

Well, after reading ben's blog and learning of his success with the Differin and Duac regimen,

I'm ready to give Differin and Duac another chance. But this time, I'm starting off slowly. I'll

only apply Differin every other night, and work my way up from there (when I deem appropriate).

Feel free to offer advice and words of encouragement. I know it'll be months before I see results

(if I see any), and it will be discouraging at times, especially when I experience the dreaded IB.

But I'll be patient and hopefully, God will bless me with clear skin when all this is said and done.

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Good luck! The Differin/Duac combo has worked for tons of people ...and it's actually quite similar to the Retin-A/BP combo, which I can personally vouch for. It can be tough on your skin, at first, so don't be afraid to take a day or two off if things are looking overly irritated!

Just remember, patience is key!

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Welcome to the forum, Jack! Sorry about the rough start .... I hope things go much more smoothly this time around.

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I've been on Duac for about a month and find it so-so. I think it needs something to compliment it, and i've heard Differin is the best thing. One reason to like Duac is that its not too harsh on your skin like other topicals. So, being on Duac will give you a skin break from Differin. Keep us posted! and be patient! :)

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Hi Jack,

Good luck with the Differin. I also did the gradual application approach. I don't get any irritation from the differin now (I used to have problems with it irritating my forehead). It cleared my forehead and nose/cheeks of blocked pores really fast (4-5 wks). I am almost 100% clear in those areas. The only problem is my chin - I also stopped using the Differin after the IB got bad on my chin (4 days ago). I'm trying to decide if I want to use it again or not.

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I am sorta in your position.

My doctor perscribed differin and bactrum a reeeaaly long time ago. A few weeks into the differin, I had a huge breakout...not unlike yours. My face turned dark red, and I just thought to myself that it was better to have pimples than have an ugly red sheet over my face; plus some pimples, so I stopped the differin completely. So then I lived with a large ammount of pimples on my face for a few months. A few weeks ago, the doctor also gave me a perscription for benzaclin cream to use in the morning. I thought that maybe it was just a temperary reaction, and that it would fade. After about 3 weeks on that, I already look better! It doesn't even look red! I am confident that my skin will look normal in a few more weeks.

Ask your doctor for the differin cream, rather than the gel, because the gel was the one that didn't get me anywhere...so I'm thinking we may have the same skin type.

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Thank you everyone for your responses.

Mark, I'm interested to know the difference between the cream and gel (e.g., is ones less irritating than the other?) Also, I've been using differin one day and duac the next for the past two weeks, but my face is just as red and has as many pimples as before. (It's SOOOO frustrating! I hate my life now!) How long did it take before you saw results? How often are you using differin and any other product, BTW?

So anyways, here's my update #1: Two weeks after using Differin one night and Duac the next, my face is just as bad as before, if not worse! (I also started taking 2 tablets of Doxycycline last week.)

Life blows right now :(

Hopefully, my next update will bring more encouraging news.

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Sorry to hear that you are going through a rough spot with the acne treatment. I had problems with my skin getting worse on Differin. It works ok on my forehead and around my nose, but it made my chin break out very badly (I didn't have any active acne on my chin when I started the Differin). I think it was just constantly irritating my skin there, and wasn't allowing the spots to heal. I stopped using it on my chin a week ago, and things have calmed a bit. I had used it for about 6 wks, I think. I am still using it every other night on my forehead and nose though. I just found the gel to irritating for nightly application.

I have heard that the cream is less irritating, so you might consider asking your derm to switch you to the cream?

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Thank you everyone for your responses.

Mark, I'm interested to know the difference between the cream and gel (e.g., is ones less irritating than the other?) Also, I've been using differin one day and duac the next for the past two weeks, but my face is just as red and has as many pimples as before. (It's SOOOO frustrating! I hate my life now!) How long did it take before you saw results? How often are you using differin and any other product, BTW?

So anyways, here's my update #1: Two weeks after using Differin one night and Duac the next, my face is just as bad as before, if not worse! (I also started taking 2 tablets of Doxycycline last week.)

Life blows right now :(

Hopefully, my next update will bring more encouraging news.

I've read your 3 posts and can't find you mentioning the word moisturizer anywhere. Are you using one? It's really recommendable to use a GOOD moisturizer in the morning, very preferably with a nice SPF (10+) since you're skin is so red. The BP proces in your skin causing redness is very similar to getting a bad sunburn. What you could do is just moisturize a lot throught the whole day since you're not using anything specific acne thing in the morning.

Afaik you could also very well moisturize right after the Duac has dried on your face at night. I don't believe you can disturb the anti biotic process of the clindamycin.

Also I believe that you could moisturize after applying, after waiting 30-45 minutes. Is this right? I know this is possible with Retin-A and that Differin is a much more stable retinoid-family-member remaining stable in the prescence of BP or (sun)light (unlike Retin-A (retinal)).

I think it's smart thing to skip a few Duac days when your skin is so irritated. Generally it's easy to pickup the BP proces again. Again I am not sure what the influence would be on the antibiotic, if there are bigger odds on bacterial resistance when taking longer time outs. Since Differin is not that agressive (atleast in my experience it isn't, it's like candy for my skin) I'd recommend keeping on using the Differin every 2 days since you want to remain in the differin progress as much as possible (it will take a loooooong time already).

Anyway, check the moisturizer stuff, are you using one, if you are, are you using a good one for your skin? You can find a lot of moisturizer experiences on these forums and in the product/treatment rating section. Every moisturizer has different effects on different skin so maybe the one you currently use doesn't really work out for you.

Again to make the point very clear; you need to let your skin calm down before continueing with the rather harsh products. It simply won't work if your skin is so irritated since it basically causes extra acne (and a lot of frustration). Trust me I know this one. I've been on a new regimen for a few months now (about 2,5) and after havin been too fanatic with the products and finally deciding to let my skin calm down before continuing at full strength I'm getting results. I just added the Differin and I have lot's of hope.

Throughout the whole period I have just done the things I wanted to do (social stuff) and nobody cares about your acne, only you. And you will get rid of it (if not with this regimen, than with smth else).

Last note (lol, sorry for the huge lap of text again, I really need to work on that): If you haven't experienced any improvements at all after like 3 weeks it's very likely the clindamycin (the antibiotic in the Duac) isn't working for you (your bacteria are resistant to it). This means you could actually drop the Duac and get normal BP instead, preferably Dan's Clear Skin Regimen BP 2,5% gel. It's much much less harsh than any other BP I've tried and 2,5% should be close to just as effective.

(definitaly talk to your derm about dropping the Duac first though)

Good luck and don't worry :>. I worried for the past 2-3 years but it was all a big waste of time and energy.

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I'm interested to know the difference between the cream and gel (e.g., is ones less irritating than the other?) Also, I've been using differin one day and duac the next for the past two weeks, but my face is just as red and has as many pimples as before. (It's SOOOO frustrating! I hate my life now!) How long did it take before you saw results? How often are you using differin and any other product, BTW?

The cream is definately less irritating than the gel. My skin was flaking when I used the gel, even though I moisturized. With the cream I don't even use a moisturizer. If you think the gel is too drying, ask for the cream.

I've only used differin along with different antibiotics and on it's own... I don't remember exactly when I started to clear when I was on differin combined with antibiotic pills, but it was definately later than week two, more like week four, and I wasn't completely clear until about week 10. But if you have duac too, you'll probably clear sooner. On the information pamphlet I got along with differin it says the effect can be seen from week 3, but I know that for me it was later than that. Probably depends on how bad your acne is. I think you're still in the initial phase tho, just stick with it and I bet things will improve. Hang in there!

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