Tretinoin Oil/Acne Questions
I know there's a lot of tretinoin and retin-a posts already, but I have a few questions about it's affect on oil production and acne and exactly what tretinoin does. Let me run through my acne history real quick just to give all the details.
So here's my story real quick. I've had acne since I was about 13. It sucked, but it was never really horrible until I turned 18. Then it erupted and tore my face to pieces. After trying a few antibiotic pills of which I can't even remember the names, and letting the scarring get worse and worse, my dermatologist finally put me on accutane. Unlike some of the people's stories I've read, my acne didn't clear up after a few weeks. It took about 6 months and then my doctor went an extra month just to get rid of the rest of it. I hated taking accutane. My nose bled, my lips cracked, my skin was dry, my joints ached. But when I was done taking it, I was pleased. All that was left was the scarring. My face had no pimples and it wasn't incredibly oily like it used to be. The doctor told me that I needed to use Tretinoin Cream 0.025% to get rid of the scarring, and that I needed to get to a point where I used it every day. I didn't stick to that for very long though because even after putting it on 2 nights in a row my face would feel singed and it would sting to the touch. So I stopped and my face has been fine for the last 5 months. All I would have to do is put some moisturizer on my face after I shaved in the morning.
Then, about a month ago I started getting acne again AND my face started to get as oily as it used to be (which was ridiculously oily). This drove me insane, considering I thought that I was done with acne and an oily face. I know I shouldn't let it get to me so much, but when I don't have acne problems I'm in an overall better mood and I'm pretty outgoing. When I do have acne I find myself angry most of the time and FAR less social and fun to be around.
So now I have acne and an oily face again. The acne isn't as bad as it used to be, but I wouldn't consider it mild, more like moderate. And I used to have pimples on my back and chest and none have returned in those spots. So I went back to see my dermatologist and all she said was "use the tretinoin cream" and I would ask her a question and she would just say "use the tretinion cream". She said it would cause the skin cells to turn over more rapidly and make the scarring go away. Now that I can believe. But what about the excessive oil on my face? What about the acne? How can skin cells turning over cause the sebum glands to produce less oil and cause my acne to stop? Cause she made it seem like the tretinoin would solve all my problems. Not to mention that this stuff hurts to put on, but I plan to try to slowly be able to put it on daily over Christmas break. It just really burns and causes cracking and flaking of the skin on my face. So I guess what I want to know is if the Tretinoin cream can really solve all my problems and if not, how can they be solved? Would another round of Accutane be the right thing? First and foremost, I want the acne to go away. But the oil on my face comes in a close second to the acne. It bothers me a lot. Who wants to touch an extremely oily face? Then, of course, there's the scarring. I just don't want to still have pimples and a very oily face when I'm 52, like my mom. Or now, for that matter.
Any replies would be very helpful and greatly appreciated.