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Everything posted by HKguy1234

  1. Week 75 wrap-up: I was washing my face yesterday night when I realized that all of the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is finally gone. At this point, I look like I've never had any acne issues at all. I'm tremendously happy to have discovered this website and have learned about tretinoin. Before starting this regimen, I had so many doubts and concerns. I had read all of the horror stories -- that my face would be red and super sensitive to sunlight; that daily shaving would irritate my sk
  2. Week 60 wrap-up: I am now more than a year into my tretinoin regimen, and my skin has been great! The hyperpigmentation has faded to the point where it is almost unnoticeable, and my pores seem to be a bit smaller. My complexion overall looks brighter, clearer and smoother than it has in years. I've continued with the above regimen, although I occasionally skip a day or two of tretinoin here and there, especially when traveling. I have returned to consuming dairy, and I've largely stopped the FC
  3. Week 50 wrap-up: It's been four months since my last post, and approximately 1 year since I started using tretinoin. I'm happy to note that everything remains pretty much the same. My skin is still generally clear, except for the occasional inflamed spot or small pimple - around one or two per month, and each of those usually lasts for just a few days. I still have a few lingering spots of hyperpigmentation, but the texture of my skin is pretty smooth and free of under-the-skin bumps. My skin al
  4. Week 34 wrap-up: Just a quick update: no significant changes to my skin in the past two months. I still get the occasional inflamed spot or clogged pore, but nothing serious and it usually lasts a few days. The hyperpigmentation has faded slightly; I think, however, that some of the redness and dark spots are just lingering signs of sun damage and aging over time. On a related note, it looks like the tretinoin is finally starting to help with my overall skin texture. My pores are still fairl
  5. Week 27 wrap-up: I'm just past the six month mark. I haven't been diligent about posting here because my skin has continued to remain the same. Still a few hyperpigmentation spots, but overall, my skin is free of clogged pores and I haven't had any acne breakouts in the past month. I still occasionally get the reddish spot that looks like it'll turn into a pimple, but then it fades in a day or two. This must be what it feels like to have "normal" non-acne-prone skin! My current regimen appe
  6. Week 23 wrap-up: I am just a few weeks shy of the six month mark, and my skin remains roughly the same since my last update. The dark spots of hyperpigmentation are still the same, but I don't have any new acne breakouts. Last week, there were a few spots that looked like they might turn into acne, but these quickly faded without breaking out. At the moment, I also don't seem to have any clogged pores or ingrown hairs. I don't know if it's due to the tretinoin, azelaic acid or the topical cl
  7. Week 20 wrap-up: Now that my skin has largely settled down, I don't feel the need to post as often. In the past two weeks, I haven't had serious acne concerns. I had two bumps that looks like potential acne but turned out to be inflamed ingrown hairs. Credit to all the chemical exfoliants in my regimen -- one of the ingrown hairs literally pushed itself out of my skin over the course of a day or two, while the other also came to the surface, allowing me to yank it out with tweezers. The p
  8. Week 18 wrap-up: My skin continues to look pretty good. I stopped the oral doxycyline last week and have continued to be lax with my diet, i.e., consuming moderate quantities of dairy, gluten, etc. The initial breakout seems to be well over and tretinoin appears to have "normalized" my skin. Last week, I had two whiteheads pop up near my mouth, but both of them quickly came to a head and faded within days. Other than that, I don't have any currently active pimples, and the dark spots contin
  9. Week 16 wrap-up: My skin remains about the same since my last update. I have generally clear skin except for one small whitehead near my eye brow, a handful of clogged pores, and discoloration that is slowly fading. While things are not perfect, I am relatively happy with the current state of things since I've been lax about my regimen in the past two weeks: minimal exercise, plenty of gluten and a bit of dairy every day, and irregular sleeping habits. I've also scaled back the doxycyline to
  10. Week 14 wrap-up: This was an okay week for my skin. No huge cystic pimples, but I had a whitehead form just below my nose and an inflamed clogged pore at my upper lip that has left a small dark spot. These are both in spots where I don't usually apply tretinoin, which might explain why I'm still breaking out in those areas. Additionally, I'm traveling at the moment and I've been much more lax about my diet and exercise regimen, so this may result in a bit of a reversion over the next few we
  11. Week 13 wrap-up: Great week for my skin. I have absolutely no active breakouts at the moment. I did have a very, very small whitehead that emerged on my cheek two days ago, but it dried up and flaked off in a matter of hours, without leaving a trace. All of the dark spots are fading, and while a few of the marks from the cystic acne are still noticeable, nothing looks that bad. In fact, just this week, someone was lamenting to me that the pollution and humidity in Hong Kong causes acne, and
  12. Week 12 wrap-up: This is finally the three-month mark, and I can definitely see improvement from weeks 2-8. I still have some breakouts this week, but overall my skin continues to look okay. I had one clogged pore that finally emerged, and two other small pimples that popped up, quickly came to a head, and are now healing. There are still some lingering clogged pores and a few irritated patches that look like they might turn cystic at some future point, but nothing too bad at the moment. I
  13. Week 11 wrap-up: A third good week in a row for my skin. This week, I got three very small whiteheads around my chin/mouth, one of which quickly came to a head and two of which just sort of flaked off and disappeared after a few days. My one lingering jawline cyst also came to an ugly head yesterday and is now in the tender but healing stage. My overall skin continues to look bright and smooth; I don't have any active acne at the moment, and the dark spots are slowly starting to fade. It's
  14. Week 10 wrap-up: This was another good week for my skin. My two remaining cystic pimples came to a head, flattening out and leaving just dark spots. My only other new pimple was a whitehead on my chin, which also came to a head and is now healing. Overall, though, my skin is looking much brighter than before. I still have a few clogged pores near my eyes, but my cheeks are otherwise smooth and free of active blemishes. The only problem is all the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which
  15. Week 9 wrap-up: This was a relatively good week for my skin. A lot of my pimples came to a head, including five cysts, two whiteheads and one clogged pore. I popped them, extracting lots of pore plugs and sebum, which has allowed them to flatten. I still have two active cysts on my face and two just below my jawline, as well as two whiteheads that just emerged along my hairline. As a whole, however, my skin looks much better than last week, and the overall texture is smoother. I still have
  16. Week 8 wrap-up: Back to another bad week for my acne. That potentially nodular pimple from my last post has since developed into a full blown cyst, and four other cysts emerged: one on my left cheekbone, one on the left side of my chin, and two along my jawline. All in all, I currently have seven active cystic-nodular pimples, and a whole bunch of red spots and PIH on my face. Looking at my face in the mirror is a bit depressing, since I went from a relatively clear complex just a few months
  17. Week 7 wrap-up: This was a relatively good week for my skin, although I am still breaking out. Most of the cystic/nodular pimples from the past few weeks are finally flattening; I only have one lingering cyst on my left cheekbone and one tiny cyst on my right cheek. One of the cysts finally came to a head and I popped it; a lot of pus and a hard plug came out, so now there is a large, dark spot but it's flat and healing. I also had another spot that looked like it going to become a full-on pi
  18. Week 6 wrap-up: There is still no end in sight for my breakouts. One of the big cystic pimples from last week finally subsided, leaving a very dark spot. The rest of the cysts have persisted, and I also have a few new breakouts along my lower right cheek and all around my chin. A few of them are cystic/nodular bumps, and the rest are large whiteheads that I am spot treating during the day. It's frustrating because I don't know how long the breakout is going to last, but I am just taking thi
  19. Week 5 wrap-up: This was a so-so week for my acne. Of the two cystic pimples on my left cheekbone, one still hasn't emerged (although it appears to have shrunk a bit) and the other came to a head and then flattened. The bad news is that a new cystic pimple literally formed right next to the dark spot where the other one used to be, essentially making the dark spot even bigger. I have another tender and fairly prominent cyst that formed on my right jaw line. Both of these new cysts have been
  20. When I first started applying Ziana, I would wake up with an incredibly sticky face. The tretinoin gel made my skin feel sticky and tacky, almost as if it were covered in a thin layer of pancake syrup. After about a week, that sensation went away, and I would wake up with fairly normal skin. In the past few days, however, my skin has been looking oily in the morning, especially my nose. I am also noticing more small blackheads on my nose. I am not sure why this is the case, but I think ther
  21. Week 4 wrap-up: My skin seems to be alternating between good and bad weeks, and this is one of the bad weeks. Since my last post, the two pimples on my left cheek became cystic, although they haven’t fully emerged. A third clogged pore erupted into a giant pustule, came to an ugly head, and now is finally healing. I also have a closed comedone above my lip that developed into a large red pimple and come to a head. I am thinking about resuming oral antibiotics for a few weeks in order to rid
  22. Just when I thought the initial breakout might be subsiding, another wave of breakouts is emerging. I woke up this morning to discover that two clogged pores on my left cheekbone are red, swollen and tender to the touch. They don't look that bad yet, but I am spot treating them today with the hope that they don't become cystic. I also have a number of small but annoying under-the-surface pimples just below my nose, although these aren't inflamed yet. I have made another change to my regimen
  23. Week 3 wrap-up: This is my third week of using Ziana daily after moisturizing. No new breakouts this week, and in fact, I have no active acne at the moment. The two cysts from my last post are now flat and healing, although I can feel the remnants of the nodules in my skin. I had one other spot that looked like it was going to become a cyst, but it ended up coming to the surface like a whitehead, quickly dried up, and then flaked off the same day. I still have a handful of clogged pores and
  24. @ Convinceme: Thanks. I guess how we feel about our skin is all relative; I am thankful that I don't have severe or even moderate acne, but my breakouts and the dark hyperpigmentation spots are still bothersome. I also work in a senior, client-facing role at work, so it's easy to get self-conscious about my skin, especially since it can literally go from completely clear to broken out in a matter of weeks. Week 2 wrap-up: I used Ziana every day this past week, applying a few hours after moist
  25. @ Convinceme: Yes, my acne has gotten noticeably worse since early September. It's still mild, but I do have two small clusters of breakouts: one on the lower part of each cheek, just above the jawline. Each cluster consists of 2-3 pimples, mostly a mix of whiteheads and cystic/nodular acne. I also have a few spots of hyperpigmentation above my lip, which are especially noticeable in bright light. Since starting tretinoin, I've avoided applying glycolic acid or hydroquinone, so these spots m