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About soniabegonia

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    New York

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  1. soniabegonia

    should i give up on retin a?

    Yes, you should definitely give up and try something else. My dermatologist told me that if you aren't clear by the end of the third month, retin-a is not going to work for you. I'm in the same boat as you.. I've been using Tazorac for almost four months and I'm still not clear. It's so frustrating. If I were you, I'd give Accutane a shot. You read horror stories about it on the internet, but all the people I know in real life who took it are thrilled with the results. I took it myself for a mon
  2. soniabegonia

    End of Week 12

    I'm really disheartened. Just as I was feeling better about my skin, I got a bunch of comedones around my mouth. In a fit of fury and frustration, I picked all of them and now I have little red scabs all over my face. I look ugly and weird. I also am not completely clear in the areas that I was treating, despite the fact that I've passed the magic 12 week mark. I still have maybe ten tiny comedones in the region, but the area is faintly red, making my skin look worse than it is. I have precisely
  3. soniabegonia

    Week 10, I think?

    My skin looks less red, but there are still invisible, flattened nodules under the surface. I don't think they're cysts because they aren't painful, aren't visible to the naked eye, and aren't raised. Whatever they are though, they don't budge. They just feel like hard discs under my skin. Besides those, I've got a few tiny comedones here and there. The whole area is still a bit pink, but the redness seems to be fading. I'm still not comfortable wearing my hair away from my face because of the p
  4. soniabegonia

    Topical retinoid breakout period ?

    Hi, I would stick with the retinoid.. I went on Accutane after using Tazorac for several months and my derm said that the fact I'd been using a retinoid might make my skin less likely to be irritated by the Accutane. I don't know whether that's true or not, but I didn't have an IB while I was on Accutane, just consistently improving skin. I had to quit taking Accutane after a month because of a problem with my blood test, but at that point I was 99% clear and I continued to clear for a few weeks
  5. soniabegonia


    The aforementioned nodules have flattened out and are still red, but no longer white-headed or active-seeming. Closed comedones pop up and are gone a day or two later. The area is still a little red, particularly around the flattened nods. I'm still following the same regimen as before. I hope I won't have too much trouble with nodules in the weeks to come and that my remaining acne will improve. Otherwise I'll be very discouraged. I've read about Taz users on this site who improved significantl
  6. soniabegonia

    OK, not sure what to think..

    I'm on my seventh week of Taz and, as I mentioned in the last entry, my millions of closed comedones have been gradually improving. Yesterday I woke up with four fat nodules on my jaw though. They used to be closed comedones, so I guess something irritated them and caused them to become inflamed. Today one of them is turning white, one has shrunk drastically, and two have flattened out. The area is red and angry-looking. Is this my IB? It seems pretty late in the game to be having one. Should I
  7. soniabegonia

    Stubborn closed comedones

    Three years ago I had a small breakout of closed comedones on one of my cheeks by my hairline. I hadn't had much acne before (the odd, isolated closed comedone here or there) so I panicked and went to the dermatologist. A year and a half later, I had tried antibiotics, Duac, Tazorac, Benzaclin, Klaron, Clindamycin, and hundreds (and hundreds of dollars) of over-the-counter cleansers, spot treatments, etc. The closed comedones were still there, but had also sprung up on the other cheek and around
  8. I know how you feel and I have those days too. I'm in college right now though, and I've noticed there are a lot of other people with acne. Nevertheless, most of them answer questions in class, talk to other students, and seem to have a fairly normal level of confidence. And other people respond to their confidence and seem not to notice their acne. It seems obvious, but it was a huge revelation to me that acne truly is a bigger deal to the person suffering from it than to anyone else around the
  9. soniabegonia

    Crossing the Border for Accutane

    Wow, $61! I live in New York and the pharmacies are telling me it'd be around $700 for just one month of the generic. I was thinking of going to a derm in Ontario. I might call some offices to see whether I can make an appointment without a health card. Is there usually a long wait for dermatologist appointments? How about to get your blood tested (you still need to have your blood tested to get Accutane in Canada, right?)? Is having your blood tested expensive? Thanks so much for the reply!
  10. I live in the US and I'm wondering if it would be possible to pay out-of-pocket to see a derm in Canada, get the blood tests and Accutane there, and just return every month for blood tests and prescription renewals. My parents have a house in Canada so I have an address there, I just don't live there on a regular basis (vacation house). Anyone have any info on how feasible this plan is? On how much it would cost? Any help would be very much appreciated, I'm pretty much desperate at this point (o
  11. soniabegonia

    Please stick with your retinoid!

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone could please offer some advice.. I have been using Tazorac .05% cream for five weeks now and my skin hasn't gotten worse OR better. I'm starting to really worry, because most people on here seem to have SOME reaction to their retinoid, whether it's peeling, an IB, instant improvement, or gradual improvement. The biggest reaction I've gotten is that my once-flesh-toned comedones have turned red. Some have turned into whiteheads or blackheads for a day or two, but jus