Acne Treatment Journal

2nd Dermatologist, Minocycline Antibiotic & Differin Gel - # 5 2001

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After I started college, my family moved to another part of South Florida. It was a good excuse to try out another dermatologist instead of going out of my way to go back to the first one.

The new doctor at the local dermatology clinic confirmed that I had progressed from having just moderate acne to some severe inflammatory "nodular", "cystic" or "nodulocystic" acne.

I had some of these deep acne cysts on my neck, chin, cheek, back, shoulders, and chest. Luckily, puberty had given me some face and chest hair so I could hide some of it.

My second dermatologist prescribed Minocycline 50mg oral antibiotic pills twice daily, Cleocin T Gel and Differin Gel.

I had learned my lesson with the Doxycycline antibiotic pills and was now taking each dose of the Minocycline with a full glass of water and food if possible.

Sometimes the oral minocycline would still cause a bit of upset stomach or nausea but I could usually quickly alleviate the problem by having a snack or drinking more fluids.

I learned to keep my antibiotics either by my toiletries or in front of my computer monitor to make sure that I remembered to take them twice a day every day. I'm not going to lie. Every now and then I would forget a pill but it was a rare thing. Being consistent with taking your oral antibiotics and keeping the level of medicine in your bloodstream constant is the #1 most important thing to make sure they actually help reduce your acne breakouts. It took over a month before I really started to notice my skin clearing up a bit.

While the pills were killing the P. Acnes bacteria from the inside, the doctor had me using the Cleocin T Gel brand of topical clindamycin antibiotic to help eliminate the P. Acnes bacteria that were living on my face, neck, back and shoulders. When I first starting using the clindamycin gel, it caused a bit of irritation, redness and peeling but those side effects eased up after about a week of daily use after my morning shower. Learning to use just a tiny amount and spreading it well also helped.

The Differin Gel is a "topical retinoid" with .1% of the drug adapalene as the active ingredient. It works by slowing down the production of skin cells, reducing the oil or sebum that your skin releases, and causing your skin to exfoliate or shed dead cells. My first two weeks of using Differin Gel was tough because my skin became very red and was peeling off thin layers of skin like crazy. My over eagerness to clear up my face probably caused me to use too much Differin and exacerbate the side effects. Just like with the Cleocin T Gel, when I learned to only use a tiny pea sized amount spread thinly over my face did the peeling and irritation subside (but never completely).

Previous Journal Entry # 4 2000          Next Journal Entry # 6 2002


My Skin Pictures 2001

The first few pictures of my face below are the "before" shots. The middle of the year is when I began using the Minocycline, Cleocin-T Gel, and Differin Gel. The last few pictures show how the products, and my dedication to using them correctly, paid off with much clearer skin.

I bet that if I lived in a more temperate climate with less humidity, that the anti-acne medications would have had an easier job fighting the bacteria on my face. Bacteria thrive in hot and humid environments which is why my face always seemed to look worse during the summer months.

Neck & Cheek Skin Picture - January 2001
Neck & Cheek - January 2001

Forehead Skin Picture - January 2001
Forehead - January 2001

Neck Skin Picture - February 2001
Neck - February 2001

Cheek Skin Picture - February 2001
Cheek - February 2001

Neck Skin Picture - March 2001
Neck - March 2001

Neck & Cheek Skin Picture - March 2001
Neck & Cheek - March 2001

Forehead Skin Picture - March 2001
Forehead - March 2001

Neck & Cheek Skin Picture - April 2001
Neck & Cheek - April 2001

Neck & Cheek # 2 - April 2001

Neck & Cheek Skin Pictures - May 2001
Neck & Cheek - May 2001

Neck & Cheek - June 2001
Neck & Cheek - June 2001

Neck Skin Picture - June 2001
Neck - June 2001

Forehead Skin Picture - June 2001
Forehead - June 2001

Neck Skin Picture - August 2001
Neck - August 2001

Forehead Skin Picture - August 2001
Forehead - August 2001

Chin Skin Picture - August 2001
Chin - August 2001

Neck & Cheek Skin Pictures - November 2001
Neck & Cheek - November 2001

Forehead Skin Picture - November 2001
Forehead - November 2001

Previous Journal Entry # 4 2000         Next Journal Entry # 6 2002

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