Retin A Blog - Irvine, CA

It's been 1 week so far and I'm planning...

It's been 1 week so far and I'm planning to track my progress on here. I want to write down what I'm doing and I hope you guys can help me regulate what I do so that I can achieve the same successful results. what I'm using: Cetaphil Facial Wash (gentle) --> Should I switch to a bar? Aveeno SPF 15 for daytime. Anti-Itch Cream Night: A small amount of Retin-A-Micro every other night after washing my face and waiting 30 minutes to apply. So far this is what I look like: Is this normal? I broke out like crazy with a million tiny pimples all over my forehead. Like everyone else I'm going to stick with it until the 6th week but what should I do? Should I minimize the number of times I use it to once a week?

1/10/2012 - 1/15/2012 It's been 5 days since I...

1/10/2012 - 1/15/2012

It's been 5 days since I last updated and I consider this... week 2. Now have a historical feel to how I'll react to the medication the very next day.

Completely inflamed! So therefore, I'm reducing the number of times I'm using it to once every 3 days now...

Since getting retin A micro I've purchased a very strong moisturizer to wear at night and during the daytime (along with sunblock).
I am also drinking a lot more water.
I exfoliate during my morning showers by scrubbing my face.

What my skin looks like now:

The millions of pimples which came out on the initial purge are now all gone except for 1 or 2 small bumps.

I have a large pimple near my chin that just came out as of yesterday.

The redness is around the frontal part of my face and not near my scalp or at the back of my cheeks. Also, it is more evenly red instead of random blotches all over my face.

I don't know if I'm extremely allergic to it or if it's working but the small bumps are no longer there and I see my skin clearing up (except for the huge pimple near my lip).

Should I drastically reducing the number of times I'm using RAM until the redness goes away? Should I discontinue use and retry it again but only at the pace of once a week? What should I do?

My skin feels scaly, like an alligator's skin.
Dr. Do

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Comments (8)

i dont know why people are not putting their comments on such a informative blog? this is really a good blog i like it and appreciate that you are telling something about retin a cream which is really a good product. thanks,
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I agree about the sunscreen, especially as Retin A will make you more sunsensitive. As for the breakouts, perhaps the base - cream or ointment - of the RAM has something to do with it. . .
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Hey Redredred,

I'm not a doctor, so definitely would encourage you to see your doctor about how your skin is reacting if you think it could possibly be an allergy. You can also post your question about it in our Q&A section (the doctors volunteer on here so its free to use).

As for layman's advice from me - I'd cut back the use to a point where your skin can tolerate it, then build up from there as needed. As I said before, I can't use it every night, but now after months of lighter use I'm seeing good change.

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SPF15 is not enough! Unless you avoid the sun like the plague or live like a vampire, please use sunblock (not sunscreen) of SPF30 or higher. Otherwise, you’ll get sun damage and dark spots. Also, wear a wide brim hat.

It’s hard to tell from your picture. Are you sure all those red spots are pimples and not dermatitis? If your skin wasn’t so red from the retin-a, I would say you already have good skin. It looks smooth and I don’t see any wrinkles nor brown spots. So, why are you using it? If it’s for anti-aging, it’s a bunch of bull. Just google the web and you’ll see lots of people who absolutely hate retin-a. For example, read the reviews on I wished I had but I trusted my doctor and took his word for it that retin-a was good for me.

I used retin-a for 3½ months and it damaged my skin – read my review. It’s been 6 months since I stopped and my skin has not recovered. I truly regretted using retin-a. I hope you have better results than I did.
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I just got Clindamycin Lotion! It's an antibacterial, no? I'm going to start doing that every morning as well.

Thanks for the washcloth advice, I'll try this all for 1 week and update next week. Many people recommend not scrubbing your face, though. Maybe the washcloth might be too rough on me. I'm using a damp flat rounded cotton so far.

I'm happy for the support! Work will be quite excruciating with this all over my face but I'm going to try and tame my breakouts.
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I soooo understand how hard it is with the breakouts/flaky skin - just plain embarrassing. It won't be like that forever, promise!!

As for if the Clindamycin is an antibacterial...I don't honestly know. I thought it was a topical antibiotic. Since neither of us know we'll just refer to it as a special magic potion. ;)


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So I posted a question in our Q&A section for us asking "I'm Using Clindamycin with Retin-A. What Exactly is Clindamycin?" You can click here to see what the doctors said.

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I'm so excited you are going to be blogging your results with Retin-A! I've been doing the same thing!

I started using it in early September & had the same experience as you - my skin got much worse. I was pretty self conscious, but committed to giving it the time it needed to really take effect.

I use Cetaphil cleanser also. For my moisturizer I've been using Olay Complete (it has SPF 15, which is plenty for sun-less Seattle in Jan.) I think whatever works for your skin is fine though.

The thing that really helped tame my breakouts was when my dermatologist gave me a prescription for Clendamycin lotion. I put it on in the morning as the first thing that goes on my face after washing. This combo was working so well for me that at my last appointment (about 4 days ago) they switched me to an ointment that combines a retinoid & the clendamycin into one. So far so good.

I know how much the breakouts suck - stick with it!! Oh, and as for the pealing, I've found using a damp wash cloth to gently exfoliate the dead skin off works well. I haven't talked to my dermatologist about my "method" but I had to do something to get that nasty flaky, grossness off my face!!! ;)

I'll be looking forward to your update!

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