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pgvtx 01-05-2013 07:28 PM

I had very minimal acne on one side of my face about a month ago. I had never had trouble with acne other than the occasional pimple before my period. It was bothering me so much that I went to see a dermatologist. She prescribed me differin along with oracea. I have been on it 2 weeks now and my acne is 10 times worse! I have so many bumps on my face. It is disgusting. I've heard that differin takes a while to start working. And there is a "purging" period at the beginning, but I don't know if I can go to work with crazy red bumps and flakes all over my face!
Has anyone else experienced this with differin?
Has differin worked for you?
I've read soooo many negative stories with differin. I'm starting to lose hope.

LibraryKat11 04-07-2013 07:41 PM

Re: Differin / acne
I, too, am starting to lose hope. I'm trying very hard to hang on and give Differin the benefit of the doubt.

My acne was a bit more severe to start than yours was (whiteheads, blackheads, cysts that would last for weeks... fun, right?) but I am having a similar experience. I used Proactiv on my oily, acne prone skin for about 4 years (since I was 23) and it did fight off my acne and keep my skin clear, with the exception of the occasional cyst around my period. In October 2012, I stopped using it due to the cost, and my face EXPLODED. By Thanksgiving, I was crying myself to sleep most nights because I couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror.

I went to the gyno for my annual exam in January and mentioned it to her, and she put me on birth control (Lo Loestrin) and spironolactone (25mg) to help the acne. I finally got to the derm on March 21, 2013. He feels the BC and spiro is a good combo for my type of acne. He increased the Spiro to 50mg, and gave me Differn .3 and told me to use it 2x a day every other day for a week. If my skin didn't get too sensitive or dry, I could use it 2x a day every day.

Initially, family, friends, and co-workers told me they could see an improvement in my skin, which gave me some hope. By day 6 on the Differin, my face looked like it was recovering from a second degree sunburn. It was dry, blotchy, and skin was flaking off all over my face in huge pieces (very attractive, yes?). I took it down a notch and decided to use Differin 1x every other day for a week, then once a day for a week, thinking my skin needed to get used to the medication. I also bought a heavy duty sensitive skin moisturizer, which has helped the dryness quite a bit.

I'm now on Day 20 (it will be three full weeks on the Differin tomorrow) and am using it every night. My skin is dry in spots (the corner of my nose, around my mouth, and my eyelids of all places) and is much more sensitive, as well. It burns like crazy when I wash my face with Cetaphil and use the moisturizer. The burning stops quickly, but I dread having to wash and moisturize my face. The worst part is that I seem to be experiencing THE DREADED PURGE. My face looks as bad as it did when I started (at least it's not worse, right?) and I have a lot of red, painful, itchy pimples under the skin along my chin, mouth, cheekbones, and jawline. I have noticed, however, that the pimples that come to the surface scab over and heal a lot faster than they did pre-Differin. Unfortunately for me, I'm a picker... it might not be that bad if I could just keep my hands off my face.

I've heard from dozens of people and reviews that you have to be patient with this medication, and if you're willing to give it time that it will help. I have noticed some benefits... my skin is no longer oily and is extremely shiny and soft (except for the pimples). It's almost as if the top layer of skin has come off and revealed new, baby-soft skin underneath. I'm going to stick with it and hope the purge won't get too much worse. I have a follow-up appointment with the derm on May 13 so I'll see what he says and hopefully be able to report good news. *fingers crossed*

I hope you're faring better on your end!

pgvtx 04-07-2013 08:43 PM

Re: Differin / acne
Do not stop using differin. I have taken picture updates of my skin to have proof of how bad my skin had gotten. I wanted to take them in to my next appointment to scream at my dr for not warning me of the terrible side effects. She didn't tell me it would get worse before it got better. But now my skin is totally clear. It has been 4 months since I started using Differin along with Oracea. I am now off of Differin and only on Oracea. I can now go to the store without make up and not be embarrassed of huge red lumps on my skin! Do not lose hope. It will get better.

LibraryKat11 04-08-2013 07:36 PM

Re: Differin / acne
Thanks for the pep talk! I'm so glad to hear the Differin worked for you. My doctor didn't mention that it would get worse first either, which is frustrating given the condition of my face now. I'm going to stick with it though (I don't have anything else to try until I see the derm in May anyway, so why not?!) and hope that it'll clear me up in the end. Thanks for giving me hope!!

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