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Retin A creating open pores and bad texture

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maggie_p
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Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:56 pm      Reply with quote
OncePerfect wrote:
I stayed up til' 5 AM last night reading all the posts here, until then I couldn't figure out why my skin had suddenly developed scars literally overnight. It started three months ago and I can't even begin to say how my life has been turned upside down from this. My fiance and I live together and she has had a hard time coping with my depression and doesn't really understand which has caused a ton of problems - life has been absolutely hell.

I started googling after realizing that the Retin-A had basically turned my skin to "mush" in the sense that if I press on my skin very lightly with my finger nail it will leave a permanent indented scar, i've ordered the Source Naturals supplements that were recommended here and hopefully they'll have some effect but i'm feeling very hopeless. To the people who are going through the same thing, after some time did your scars eventually start to fill in or are they still pretty much the same? Looking at pictures from just before this nightmare started is nauseating.. I had such smooth skin. Crying or Very sad


To be honest, this doesn't sound like scarring to me, just the beginning of skin peeling (if it is sort of like skin cracking, like snake skin, that is how it looked on me)... After it is finished, your skin will be more beautiful then ever Very Happy
I would invest in a peel, nothing harsh, 5% ones are good for every day, if it is stronger it needs to be done less frequently... You could try with Clearasil Stay Clear Pads, they are quite cheap...
And of course, I hope you are using retin-A correctly (no more than pea size amount for face, after waiting for the skin to dry naturally). Personally, I apply moisturiser immediately after retin-A. And after 2-3 months still can't do it more than 2-3 times per week. Also, sunscreen during the day.

Oh and one more thing: as moisturiser, I use Panthenol immediately (B5) after retin-A and nights when I am not using retin-A, I use something with niacinamide (B3) in it (Cerave, Olay)... You need to experiment to find what soothes your skin. These B vitamins are perfect for me.

Hope this helps!
OncePerfect
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Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:36 pm      Reply with quote
It's definitely not my skin exfoliating, that was over with a long time ago - there is no redness/irritation/peeling, just dents/scars where light pressure was applied to my skin (like my gf fixing her hair and tapping my forehead with her fingernail, which is now a vertical indented scar, and that was two months ago), I had no acne or breakouts either, the best way I can describe it is it seemed to have made my skin "soft" and any amount of pressure applied to it would result in indents and scars, I wasn't too worried about it at first because I figured it would go away, but months after the fact i'm still dealing with these marks and enlarged/scarred pores and there doesn't seem to be any resolution in sight. I did order Skinceuticals B5 gel based on electricboom's recommendation as her story sounds very similar to mine, with random scars and indents after using Retin-A (Tretnoin) so i'm just trying my best to stay hopeful.

EDIT: This thread is full of people that had similar experiences, though not much help as far as reversing the damage goes.
maggie_p
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Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:26 am      Reply with quote
I'm so sorry... I apologize for misunderstanding...
I don't know if there is any chance for you to go to your derm to ask for advice.
If not, if I were you I would try something medical, I also recommended B5, Panthenol, it is a lot cheaper than Skinceuticals with the same main ingredient and is used to treat various skin conditions including scarring and burns, I always use it on evenings when I put on Retin-A. Cetraben is also often prescribed, paraffin is the main ingredient, used for eczema and dry skin. On the forum, there was also mention of Tepezcohuite for treating scars... I don't have any experience with this one, just found it mentioned here somewhere.

I wish you the best of luck finding the product to improve your condition! Take care!
OncePerfect
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:57 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks Maggie, i've been trying a slew of products on/off for months with no improvement so i'm not very hopeful, it's crazy how this happened in the first place, none of the minor incidents that caused the scarring broke the skin (or even close!) and they're so noticeable. Ugh I feel terrible.. I just want to be myself again. The B5 serum for Skinceuticals arrived today so i'll try start trying that, I caught my reflection today and I swear I look like Frankenstein.. vertical dents about 1 CM long on my forehead/cheek, ugh.
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Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:10 pm      Reply with quote
I've experienced this. But I think mine was a combination of being prescribed with a really high strength tretinoin from the beginning and TCA peel every week.

My skin became even-toned and all my acne disappeared. But my pores became huge. Like a dry orange skin peel.

I still look better now compared to when I had a lot of acne. But I'm looking for ways to improve my skin texture and to reduce the size of my pores.

I am still using Retin A because I'm afraid that my acne will come back. Currently, obsessively moisturizing seems to be working. Have also been using a toner and moisturizer with niacinamide (olay) because I read a study that it helps minimize the side effects of tretinoin.
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Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:48 am      Reply with quote
I had to post a reply to this feed as I have experienced the exact same thing! I have been using Osmosis, which is suppose to be this great professional product line, which I am sure some products are great. Yet, the vitamin A serums made my pores look much more open and have created a scarred like texture on my face. I took me awhile to notice, as I have some acne scarring. I used their 0.5 percent, then switched to 0.25 and still had a problem! I guess these products are best for people with thick, normal or aging skin, not delicate skin that already has some scarring!
lutanica
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:13 am      Reply with quote
ANewHaven wrote:
Thanks luntania, what u said is quite true. Anywhere that I have applied retin a before all enlarged with open pores. It has been many many pores n they haven't closed. It has a weird plastic shine n looks abnormal. Reducing retin A to once per week, reducing to half a pea, reducing to retinoids all didn't help. In fact it makes things even worse. I have thrown all retin a retinoids anything with vit A out. Using a heavy moisturizer over retin A doesn't help as well. Forehead all with open pores n lines constructed by pores together. It's horrible. This is not imaginary n people definitely notice it. All chemical peels after retin A, lasers don't help as well. Only last few ways is to put on emu oil n dermaroll.


I really cross my fingers for all of us. Just one thing about dermarolling. Remember, after dermarolling the skin is inflamed. And for 3-4 days your pores and scars may seem bigger but be patient. That will heal and get much better. Just remember one thing, the thing that leads to denting and scarring is low grade chronic inflammation in the skin over long periods of time. This is how retinoids damage the skin. That's exactly how these substances lead to scarring.

So, after dermarolling the skin gets an acute inflammation which is actually good cause it's very very limited. It's actually necessary for the healing process. Now, if you use emu oil right after dermarolling, it could reduce that acute inflammation. This is something you don't want. Cause the skin needs that acute inflammation for repairing itself.

So, I have done this several times with wonderful results. The pores are much much smaller. I'm still dermarolling. I'm on my 7th time. For some skins you will need many sessions with plenty of time in between each session.

One last thing, derma stamps are much much better as you can't damage your skin with them (you have to be very careful so you dont drag those things horizontally on your skin. Only vertical movements). Dermarolls can in theory drag on your skin to cause tears.
Pandax12
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:25 am      Reply with quote
lutanica wrote:
ANewHaven wrote:
Thanks luntania, what u said is quite true. Anywhere that I have applied retin a before all enlarged with open pores. It has been many many pores n they haven't closed. It has a weird plastic shine n looks abnormal. Reducing retin A to once per week, reducing to half a pea, reducing to retinoids all didn't help. In fact it makes things even worse. I have thrown all retin a retinoids anything with vit A out. Using a heavy moisturizer over retin A doesn't help as well. Forehead all with open pores n lines constructed by pores together. It's horrible. This is not imaginary n people definitely notice it. All chemical peels after retin A, lasers don't help as well. Only last few ways is to put on emu oil n dermaroll.


I really cross my fingers for all of us. Just one thing about dermarolling. Remember, after dermarolling the skin is inflamed. And for 3-4 days your pores and scars may seem bigger but be patient. That will heal and get much better. Just remember one thing, the thing that leads to denting and scarring is low grade chronic inflammation in the skin over long periods of time. This is how retinoids damage the skin. That's exactly how these substances lead to scarring.

So, after dermarolling the skin gets an acute inflammation which is actually good cause it's very very limited. It's actually necessary for the healing process. Now, if you use emu oil right after dermarolling, it could reduce that acute inflammation. This is something you don't want. Cause the skin needs that acute inflammation for repairing itself.

So, I have done this several times with wonderful results. The pores are much much smaller. I'm still dermarolling. I'm on my 7th time. For some skins you will need many sessions with plenty of time in between each session.

One last thing, derma stamps are much much better as you can't damage your skin with them (you have to be very careful so you dont drag those things horizontally on your skin. Only vertical movements). Dermarolls can in theory drag on your skin to cause tears.


Dr.Setterfield has a different view on inflammation. http://needlingguide.com/the-basis-for-avoiding-the-inflammatory-response-in-wound-healing/#comment-99
lutanica
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:02 pm      Reply with quote
Pandax12 wrote:
lutanica wrote:
ANewHaven wrote:
Thanks luntania, what u said is quite true. Anywhere that I have applied retin a before all enlarged with open pores. It has been many many pores n they haven't closed. It has a weird plastic shine n looks abnormal. Reducing retin A to once per week, reducing to half a pea, reducing to retinoids all didn't help. In fact it makes things even worse. I have thrown all retin a retinoids anything with vit A out. Using a heavy moisturizer over retin A doesn't help as well. Forehead all with open pores n lines constructed by pores together. It's horrible. This is not imaginary n people definitely notice it. All chemical peels after retin A, lasers don't help as well. Only last few ways is to put on emu oil n dermaroll.


I really cross my fingers for all of us. Just one thing about dermarolling. Remember, after dermarolling the skin is inflamed. And for 3-4 days your pores and scars may seem bigger but be patient. That will heal and get much better. Just remember one thing, the thing that leads to denting and scarring is low grade chronic inflammation in the skin over long periods of time. This is how retinoids damage the skin. That's exactly how these substances lead to scarring.

So, after dermarolling the skin gets an acute inflammation which is actually good cause it's very very limited. It's actually necessary for the healing process. Now, if you use emu oil right after dermarolling, it could reduce that acute inflammation. This is something you don't want. Cause the skin needs that acute inflammation for repairing itself.

So, I have done this several times with wonderful results. The pores are much much smaller. I'm still dermarolling. I'm on my 7th time. For some skins you will need many sessions with plenty of time in between each session.

One last thing, derma stamps are much much better as you can't damage your skin with them (you have to be very careful so you dont drag those things horizontally on your skin. Only vertical movements). Dermarolls can in theory drag on your skin to cause tears.


Dr.Setterfield has a different view on inflammation


As I mentioned before, I'm a medical student finishing my last semester. I'm also a researcher. The things this doctor says could have some points. I read that text and some of that doesn't make sense at all. He says:

"However, given the overwhelming evidence in all other systems in the body that inflammation is to be avoided at all costs.. "

This is not true at all. It this was true after every surgery no matter what kind, they would put the patient on steroids just to avoid inflammation. What he tries to say that yes long term chronic inflammation must be avoided at all cost. The examples he uses for the things inflammation leads to are: cancer, arthritis, heart disease.. All of these are diseases caused by long term low grade chronic inflammation.

If the acute kind of inflammation is to avoid at all cost, why the hell would nature or evolution develop such a mechanism in all living creatures?? And why would this mechanism be activated every single time any living creature gets hurt or injured?

What this doctor tries to say is that the best kind of rejuvenation of skin is the kind with minimum amount of inflammation for the shortest possible duration. Now that I can agree to. But you need the acute inflammation in order to achieve a healing process. He uses the healing process in embryos as an example of healing without inflammation. Of course it will be without inflammation cause embryos don't have a functioning immune system and embryonic cells have huge ability to proliferate and repair the injury by producing more cells. That's something found only in embryos.

Again, there are tons of doctors recommending using retinoids but just because they are doctors, it doesn't mean they know that they are talking about.

I will read more of Dr. Settlefield's writings. If his statements are based on empirical research I will apologize.
Pandax12
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Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:32 am      Reply with quote
As I mentioned before, I'm a medical student finishing my last semester. I'm also a researcher. The things this doctor says could have some points. I read that text and some of that doesn't make sense at all. He says:

"However, given the overwhelming evidence in all other systems in the body that inflammation is to be avoided at all costs.. "

This is not true at all. It this was true after every surgery no matter what kind, they would put the patient on steroids just to avoid inflammation. What he tries to say that yes long term chronic inflammation must be avoided at all cost. The examples he uses for the things inflammation leads to are: cancer, arthritis, heart disease.. All of these are diseases caused by long term low grade chronic inflammation.

If the acute kind of inflammation is to avoid at all cost, why the hell would nature or evolution develop such a mechanism in all living creatures?? And why would this mechanism be activated every single time any living creature gets hurt or injured?

What this doctor tries to say is that the best kind of rejuvenation of skin is the kind with minimum amount of inflammation for the shortest possible duration. Now that I can agree to. But you need the acute inflammation in order to achieve a healing process. He uses the healing process in embryos as an example of healing without inflammation. Of course it will be without inflammation cause embryos don't have a functioning immune system and embryonic cells have huge ability to proliferate and repair the injury by producing more cells. That's something found only in embryos.

Again, there are tons of doctors recommending using retinoids but just because they are doctors, it doesn't mean they know that they are talking about.

I will read more of Dr. Settlefield's writings. If his statements are based on empirical research I will apologize.[/quote]

I thought retinoids were good for the skin?
lutanica
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Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:19 am      Reply with quote
Pandax12 wrote:


I thought retinoids were good for the skin?


Well, title of this thread suggests otherwise.. All these people getting big pores with Retin A, that's what we're are talking about in this forum/thread.

As it has turned out many many people don't tolerate retinoids (Retin A being one of them). They get orange peel texture with big pores.
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Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:58 am      Reply with quote
lutanica wrote:
Pandax12 wrote:


I thought retinoids were good for the skin?


Well, title of this thread suggests otherwise.. All these people getting big pores with Retin A, that's what we're are talking about in this forum/thread.

Quote:
As it has turned out many many people don't tolerate retinoids (Retin A being one of them). They get orange peel texture with big pores.


Retinol (and higher strengths - prescription only) do have benefits but not everyone can successfully use them.

I got red irritated skin from Green Cream and it took months for my skin to get back to its pre Green Cream state. At the time, Green Cream had its own forum and was encouraging everyone "to keep with it" despite posts of redness, etc.

I recently purchased a sample of Paula's Choice 1% and again despite slowly working into my routine; irritation.

I am ok with Avene products. I was successfully using Avene Tricneal and the forumla has changed. I will try it again - my usual baby steps and patch testing, etc.

I wish I could use the "big guns".

_________________
Canadian with fair skin. 50+ years old stll prone to breakouts; but sensitive and reactive.
BlueJay
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:26 am      Reply with quote
Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum - I was so moved by this topic that I felt I had to sign up and comment.

I too have damaged my skin after retinol use. Prior to using an OTC retionl (it was Dr. Brandt's Glow line) I would not have labelled myself as having overly sensitive skin. So, stupidly, I used the product without much thought (I did, however, use a sunscreen, but did not proceed with much more caution than that). The result was the formation of discoloured, indented "scars" all over my cheeks. From some angles and in some lighting, it looks like dozens of indentations. One cheek has longer, vertical "scars" and the other has round, indented "scars". I am using quotations marks around the word because I am not sure if they are truly scars, or weakened skin...or what they are. I am also not sure as to the reason and/or cause for this, but can only think about the retinol I used.

Once I noticed the dramatic change in my skin, I immediately stopped usage and did a 180 and switched to all natural topicals - namely oils. It has been almost 10 months with some difference, but my skin is nowhere near where it was.

I am hoping someone out there has also gone through this and can reassure me (and others who have posted regarding this issue) that it gets better?
kitteechaos
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Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:02 am      Reply with quote
Hi BlueJay, I also have the slightly indented, discolored "scars", but from using 10% glycolic acid. It is going on 9 months since it happened and my skin is a complete mess compared to what it used to be. I think our skin can heal to an extent but it may take a couple years. I spoke to someone who had retinol damage and she said her skin healed though I believe it took a couple years. The hope that my skin could better someday is what is keeping me going, because I have been pretty depressed over this (that is an understatement). My dermatologist also told me that the "scars" could heal with time because they are shallow.
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Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:44 am      Reply with quote
Kitteechaos,

Thanks for your post. At least I know that, if left alone, my skin will heal. What you wrote gave me something to look foward to. I just wish there was some way to speed up the process, but, on the other hand, I also don't want to do something else to my skin that will only make it worse. If what I have to do is leave it alone to heal, I will try.

Thanks again for replying.
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Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:54 pm      Reply with quote
Hi to the peeps on here, I am worried I ruined my skin through poor Retin-A usage. I go off to college in a month and am very anxious about the current state of my skin.

A few months ago I was on the 0.025 formation of Retin-A (cream) but my skin didn't seem to be responding to that after a while, so I was bumped to the 0.1 strength. Like an idiot I hopped right in, thinking my skin would be able to adjust. I'm just going to admit I abused the medication - I put on probably around 5 peas worth every night, and did not gradually use it. Well, I have now paid the price. It has been eight weeks of the 0.1 cream and I am unsure of what to do. I have what looks like little colored indents all over my forehead, as well as scars from pimples over a month ago that suddenly have surfaced. I have enlarged pores, dry skin, and am still breaking out on top of that! I am unsure of what to do. Did the Retin-A ruin my skin, or did the misuse of it?
lutanica
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Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:53 am      Reply with quote
I have posted several posts here before. So, I'm here to underline what I have said before. I have been using 0.5mm derma-stamps (much better than rollers) with hyaluronic acid serum and the results are amazing. The pores are getting smaller and smaller for each time I do it. And at this point I think I have got my skin back.

To all with dents, big pores, and orange peel texture:

- Stop using retin-a and any kind of retinoids
- Stop using exfoliants
- Stop or cut down on suger
- Get a 0.35mm - 0.5mm derma-stamp (not roller) and use a good quality hyaluronic acid serum (with no perfume or any harmful additives) after the stamping.
- Do this every 2 weeks

After 8-10 rounds, you will see amazing results. You have to be patient. Remember, if your skin is very sensitive and very thin, start with 0.35mm stamp.
®
My skin is almost returned to what it was 3 years ago. It may take more than 10 rounds with stamping.

If after a while, you think your skin tolerate it, you can use 1mm stamps. But DON'T use it more than once a month.
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Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:57 am      Reply with quote
lutanica wrote:
I have posted several posts here before. So, I'm here to underline what I have said before. I have been using 0.5mm derma-stamps (much better than rollers) with hyaluronic acid serum and the results are amazing. The pores are getting smaller and smaller for each time I do it. And at this point I think I have got my skin back.

To all with dents, big pores, and orange peel texture:

- Stop using retin-a and any kind of retinoids
- Stop using exfoliants
- Stop or cut down on suger
- Get a 0.35mm - 0.5mm derma-stamp (not roller) and use a good quality hyaluronic acid serum (with no perfume or any harmful additives) after the stamping.
- Do this every 2 weeks

After 8-10 rounds, you will see amazing results. You have to be patient. Remember, if your skin is very sensitive and very thin, start with 0.35mm stamp.
®
My skin is almost returned to what it was 3 years ago. It may take more than 10 rounds with stamping.

If after a while, you think your skin tolerate it, you can use 1mm stamps. But DON'T use it more than once a month.






How long or how many sessions of dermastampping did it take for you to see positive results? I had my damage from a chemical peel last December and have had no improvement since then and itís so discouraging.


Also, what HA serum do you use? I was thinking to purchase the Skin, Inc. one but Iím not sure. I donít know that much about skin care and am trying to do anything to repair the damage on my skin.
lutanica
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Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:30 am      Reply with quote
ashleymorrow wrote:
lutanica wrote:
I have posted several posts here before. So, I'm here to underline what I have said before. I have been using 0.5mm derma-stamps (much better than rollers) with hyaluronic acid serum and the results are amazing. The pores are getting smaller and smaller for each time I do it. And at this point I think I have got my skin back.

To all with dents, big pores, and orange peel texture:

- Stop using retin-a and any kind of retinoids
- Stop using exfoliants
- Stop or cut down on suger
- Get a 0.35mm - 0.5mm derma-stamp (not roller) and use a good quality hyaluronic acid serum (with no perfume or any harmful additives) after the stamping.
- Do this every 2 weeks

After 8-10 rounds, you will see amazing results. You have to be patient. Remember, if your skin is very sensitive and very thin, start with 0.35mm stamp.
®
My skin is almost returned to what it was 3 years ago. It may take more than 10 rounds with stamping.

If after a while, you think your skin tolerate it, you can use 1mm stamps. But DON'T use it more than once a month.






How long or how many sessions of dermastampping did it take for you to see positive results? I had my damage from a chemical peel last December and have had no improvement since then and itís so discouraging.


Also, what HA serum do you use? I was thinking to purchase the Skin, Inc. one but Iím not sure. I donít know that much about skin care and am trying to do anything to repair the damage on my skin.


I have done maybe 8-10 sessions of stamping. The key word is "patience". Each time you stamp your skin, you have to wait for about 10-14 days (I recommend 14 days) before the next session. You want your skin to heal completely first. And remember, stamping should not make your skin bleed so much. Pointbleeding is what you want. Cause that level of needling won't invoke so much inflammation. Cause too much inflammation is equal to scarring and worsening of your condition. It has taken me maybe 1.5 years to get the results I wanted. So, the process is slow.

I use the Lilian Fache HA serum. It's without perfume and it's almost pure.

And again cutting down sugar helps a lot. I have cut the suger completely out. Read my previous post about glycation of collagen in the body.

You have to treat your skin very gently. No scrubbing, no exfoliating, no nothing. Only natural unprocessed moisturizers and the HA serum.

Also, make sure you have enough D-vitamin in your blood.

Your skin will get better, if you give it a chance patiently. If you live healthy.
PhuongTN
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Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:19 pm      Reply with quote
I know why it's making huge pores! It happened to me too! Very big pores that I never had. You have to wait at least 45 minutes before apply retinol that's why! Since I started waiting the retinol has been working beautifully!
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Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:22 pm      Reply with quote
You have to wait for your face to be absolutely dry before applying retinol. After cleansing and toning, sit in a cool dry room to make sure face dries completely and no perspiration occurs. At least 45 minutes. Then apply retinol. Before I knew this, the skinceuticals 0.5 retinol was making my face worse not better. Now after only 3 days of doing it the right way, th retinol is helping it look so clear and smooth.
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Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:59 am      Reply with quote
hi everyone,

i also have severe skin damage from overuse of retinoids (in my case, it was tazorac). at first my skin looked so much better, but once i began using it with more frequency (every day), things went downhill. i persisted because i thought it would just take my skin some time to adjust (previously i'd been using it for a couple of years, on and off, 3-4 times a week, always with a 2 day break).

i can relate to the same feelings everyone else is experiencing. i also don't want to leave the house and i'm just so depressed that i let my skin get to this stage and that its my own doing. instead of trying to use every day, i should have just kept it at the stage it was and i wouldn't have destroyed my skin this way Sad

i'm going to try some of the tips here and hopefully my skin will recover. it's been almost 2 years since i stopped using the tazorac and my skin has improved a little but not a lot. hopefully we'll all be healed up eventually and have the nice skin we lost back again!
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Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:46 pm      Reply with quote
I had to register as I've been reading this thread for a few days. I am really touched by many of the stories here and I hope all of you will find relief.
I have a prescription for retin a ointment 0.025, but after reading your stories, I think I won't be using it on my face. I have no proper acne there, just some slightly enlargened pores - I was surprised the doctor even took notice of them as I actually went to get a prescription for my back acne.
I and have used clindomycin before and wound up with a couple of scars in strange areas on my face where I didn't even have pimples, and I had no pre-existing scarring anywhere. I think this sort of reaction is quite common when the topmost layers of the skin dry out abruptly as a result to aggressive medication. As the skin of the face is so thin, scarring forms easily as the drying substance reaches all the way to even the deeper layers. I believe this process is also much quicker than the normal scarring process as the skin is trying to renew itself so much quicker, leading to shorter overall healing process. But perhaps for some the scarring would fade when the deeper layers start renewing themselves.

To the actual point why I registered. I think most people on this forum are American (?)or from non-EU countries. Many have said that the medicine itself did not have enough warnings about potential side effects. I just opened my retin a box and read the instructions, and I'd like to share with you what they say (I'm from a EU country and moreover the ointment I use has been made in my country of residence by a local company so the instructions and warnings might differ from yours due to country/EU specific legislation).

Okay, so first of all, most of the side effects mentioned on this thread are mentioned in my instructions. This includes hypo and hyperpigmentation (though this is claimed to be temporary), scarring, swelling, peeling, strong irritation caused by wind and sun. These are claimed to be due to too frequent use or too strong ointment, or using too much. And to clarify, in my country 0.05 is the strongest available retin a, I was quite shocked that some of you have started out with even stronger stuff than our max.
The instructions advise that when starting, to spread a tiny amount of ointment on the skin for two hours before washing off. And to do this until the skin can handle over-night treatments. My doctor advised me to only use the ointment twice a week, not every night. Also, I live in a Nordic country and usage should be stopped entirely for summer months (as I'll only use this on my back which is in terrible condition and most certainly won't see the light of day this summer, I was given a prescription despite it being July). However I wonder if UV exposure, even moderate, has affected the outcome of many of you, living in hotter countries and using the cream no matter the season?
Also, my doctor told me that ALL scrubs, peels, microdermabrasions, are forbidden during using this product. Even this organic glycolic mask I've been using before is now off limits. Retin a itself is a sort of a peel working from the inside, and using any mechanic or cemical scrubbing is only going to destroy the skin as there's only so much it can do to repair itself.
Also, the instructions say the skin should start visibly improving in 4-6 weeks and it gets even better in the following few months. After this (when the skin has gotten better) the usage frequency should be dropped to 1 or 2 times a week, max, to upkeep the good results. If any side effects appear, the medication should be stopped immediately, and when the situation has corrected itself, to start using it less frequently or in smaller doses.

All in all, I was wondering whether many of the horrible side effects described here are the result of too much, too often? It seems that my instructions, both written and oral, were much more careful than those many of you have gotten. Retin a seems to be a very potent medicine and I think caution should definitely be exercised. For those of you who have endured damage to your complexions, I wish all the best in recovery, and for those of you wondering whether to start using retin a, I recommend you start veeeery cautiously and if after the 4-6 week mark your skin seems to be getting worse instead of better, take a long pause before trying again.
All the best!
hippie33
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:27 pm      Reply with quote
Hi guys:

I read this thread when I was looking for a solution after retin-a caused large pores with those ugly connecting lines on my cheeks, forehead and upper lip.

Sorry for making this post so long -- but I'm really grateful that people posted their experiences here for me and others to read. It's rare to find instances of people successfully reversing the damage, so I wanted to share what worked for me after a bad retin-a experience.

I only used retin-a twice and I followed the doctor's instructions. Readers, please ignore the people who say you only get damaged if you apply it wrong or don't follow instructions. Retin-a is a powerful prescription and not everyone tolerates it equally. Some people don't believe things until it happens to them personally, that's just how some people are.

I've had smooth, poreless skin my whole life. I've never done much to my skin, except use a baby wipe at night and the morning and sunblock during the day. After turning 40, I noticed a few fine lines and my skin looking duller overall, so thought I'd try retin-a (my mother in law has been using retin-a for 45 years and her skin looks amazing).

I had smooth poreless skin. After my second retin-a application, the pores on my forehead, cheeks and upper lip opened up. It looked awful, so I stopped using the retin-a. Then over the next week or so, the skin started looking worse, with strange connecting lines appearing between the pores: orange peel skin. Ugh. After a month or so, the pores got very slightly smaller (maybe 5 or 10 percent), but still looked really bad.

I felt dumb for ruining my face. A few months later, I decided to try something natural, hoping I would have better luck than the retin-a. I tried vitamin C serum. After 3 or 4 uses of that, the 5-10% improvement of the retin-A damage REVERSED -- my pores went right back to looking like they did right after the second retin-a application. After reading this thread, I tried EMU oil to sooth my skin but that didn't work.

Long story short, my skin doesn't appear to tolerate acidic treatments. So I did a lot of online research about the stratum corneum, which I believe was originally injured by the retin-a (retin-a is supposed to thin the stratum corneum) and then re-inflammed by the vitamin C.

I read up on Psoria gold, which was mentioned on this thread and is used to treat burns. So I came up with a hypothesis, some people look better with a healthy stratum corneum and retin-a and vitamin C had damaged or "burned" mine and inflamed my pores. I know this isn't scientific, I just needed to come up with a hypothesis that I could work with. I decided I needed to stop the inflammation and heal my stratum corneum.

So, I started using Psoria gold several times a day to reduce inflammation. I also, ordered Shark Sauce because its main ingredient, niacinamide, is supposed to help thicken the stratum corneum.

Once the Shark Sauce arrived, I mixed psoria gold with it, I put in on my face, put sunblock over it and went out for a day outside with my kids. When I came home and looked in the mirror, I was in shock, the pores had closed by about 10-20% in ONE day. I couldn't believe it. After that day, for the following 5 weeks, I put both psoria gold and shark sauce on my face at night. Then in the morning, I used those two plus my sunblock (neutrogena ultra sheer 70 mostly, and sometimes PCA weightless 45)(sometimes they mix a little oddly and form a film). I often reapplied in the middle of the day too, basically kept my face soaked in the stuff. Oddly, the days where I was out in the warm sun w/ this combination are the days where I seemed to heal fastest. I don't know if sun was an important part of the mix, but I wanted to mention that (note I did always have sunblock on).

5 weeks later, not only is the big pore, orange peely look 90% gone (the pores on my upper lip are still a little visible, but the pores on my forehead are now mostly closed and the ones on my cheeks are basically invisible) -- but also, my skin is glowing and looks younger.

I've now switched to including the psoria gold part only at night, and use shark sauce and sunblock during the day.

Unfortunately, the products are expensive, but they were a life saver for me -- I was sure I'd ruined my skin for life. One note, like me, you may have noticed that retin-a damage looks bad immediately, but then gets progressively worse, even if you stop using it. Therefore, for psoria gold, if you notice retin-a or acid damage to your skins outer layers, per the inventor's website, you should use it repeatedly as soon as possible after the damage starts because it will repress the inflammation response that makes the damage progress. I'm no doctor, so this is not scientific, but I don't recommend "toughing it out" if your pores blow open and you suddenly get orange peel skin -- that's a lot worse than just having a redness or dry skin reaction. I think people should trust their intuition when they think they are seeing real damage to their skin.

What worked for me surely won't work for everybody. Clearly, we all have different skin and different tolerances for actives like retin-a (note that niacinimide is an active too). But having your skin change on you is such a nightmare, so just maybe this will help somebody else -- I hope so.
ConstantCreator
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Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:26 am      Reply with quote
Ok. I am on month three of a regular retinol (non prescription). Here is what I have experienced with large pores and funny lines connecting them.

At first on retinol I experienced nothing but great skin. The first month I was smooth and beautiful, and I loved it. Then I started to notice that my pores were enlarging and getting funny little lines between them. I FREAKED OUT and came straight to Google to find out what was going on. It was TERRIFYING. There were all of these accounts of people's skin being 'ruined' by Retinol and Retin-A just the same way mine was.

I though 'that's it. I will pay for my vanity now.'

I found a post on moisturizing while using Retinol/Retin-a. The person who wrote it had the same issues. They stopped retinol/Retin-a and started a heavy moisturizing program where they fixed the problem without the Retin in their skin care routine anymore. I thought I would have to stop, but I was hesitant.

I also found accounts on line about retinol/Retin-a FIXING that orange peel texture. WHAT was going on? Was I one of the dreaded few? The people who can't use the stuff?

My face was burning and it looked like asphault. I was using Maracuja(sp?) oil before I started my retinol, then I switched to a line of products that were supposed to compliment my retinol cream. That was my first mistake. I went back to the oil, which at least eased the burning and the inflamation, (Maracuja oil is a natural anti inflammatory and is high in vitamin C) and I went online and ordered Cerave moisturizing wash and the day lotion with sunscreen. These two things saved my skin and my experience with retinol. My moisture barrier must have been completely depleted. My face was DEHYDRATED even though I was drinking so much water, and moisturizing every day.

I decided early on that I would persevere with Retinol even if it caused me issues because it was supposed to take up to a year to work, and there was supposed to be purging and bad skin before it all got better. So I chose to try a really good moisturizing routine. I started my heavy moisturizing regime when I got my Cerave. I kept using my maracuja oil with my cream, and I used Vaseline ONLY A FEW NIGHTS to keep the moisture in while I was asleep [there is a debate on whether Vaseline helps or hurts, so I just use it when I REALLY need to keep the moisture in. Some people say it disrupts the moisture barrier even more.]

I am just into month three. My pores are no longer enlarged. The lines between them are mostly gone, and my skin is starting to look firmer and radiant underneath of the purge. (ick 'THE PURGE')

Retinol is a heavy exfoliant. It WILL cause dryness and inflammation. Even now, with my great moisture and good skin, the first three or four days after I put it on, my skin looks like it's trying to crawl off of my face. I don't have a specific schedule either. I use my retinol after I give myself one day of great retinol skin (After like five days it looks great for a few, then I have to put the dreaded cream back on >:[ )I feel like the way it aggravates my skin will get better too though, over time as I begin to be able to tolerate it more.

I think you guys need to try more moisture, even if you think you're doing a sufficient job. Good luck!~<3 Let us know how it turns out for you!

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