Acne Treatment Advice for African American Female, 26 YO

I'm an Afican American female, 26 years old. I went to the dermatologist in January for my acne and he prescribed me the following medications: Retin-A micro (grey cap), Duac, and an oral antibiotic. I was also told to wash my face twice a day with MD Forte. I've been following his directions exactly, but I haven't seen any progress. I'm still having the typical breakout that I've been having before taking the medication, now with dry skin as well. My follow up appointment is next week; can someone please give me some suggestions for my appointment, or other acne treatments I can try?

Doctor Answers 2

Acne treatment advice

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Here are some suggestions:

1- Patience.  Acne does not clear instantly.  We usually give a treatment course 3 months.  If you are going to your first follow up then you are likely to still have lesions.

2- Moisturize.  Research has shown that applying moisturizer twice daily helps clear acne.  In fact, dry skin causes acne flares.

3- The MD forte wash may be too harsh if it contains glycolic acid and you are using retinoids.  Check with your docotr.

4- Communicate with your docotr.

New York Dermatologist

Would Leave Much Up To Dermatologist

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My recommendation would be to tell your dermatologist exactly what you have mentioned here. We always like to know whether a patient is compliant. It seems that you have been compliant so it might be time to step up or change therapy.

Your dermatologist will probably step up the Retin A to a higher strength, the 0.1. This mkght cause increased drying so he might tell you to wash your face once a day. He may want to switch you to something milder but increase the strength like Differin 0.3.

He might try a different antibiotic or add a birth control pill such as YAZ.

Three tips that sometimes we dermatologists miss: check for hormonal problems in patients recalcitrant to treatment ( ??polycystic overy disease...not always in the overweight and hairy); diet (definitely has a role in my opinion..South Beach Diet excellent); Vitamins ( Vit A, C and Zinc.

Blue light and PDT treatment help too but they ( and laser) are expensive ( Isolaz, Smoothbeam for example). Peels also may help.

Good luck.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.