SKIN UPDATE #5: 0.04% to 0.1% Tretinoin, 6+ Months of Spironolactone, Professional Microneedling

My last skin update back in the summer 2020, I was using 0.04% Retin-A Micro for 1 month, and started taking Spironolactone. Since then, I have done 3 professional microneedling sessions for my acne scars, got prescribed the highest strength of Tretinoin, and have experienced a few side effects from Spironolactone.

For further context, please check out previous posts!


ACNE – 0.1% Tretinoin, 6 months of Spironolactone

As mentioned in my previous skin update, I noticed a huge improvement in acne control since upgrading to 0.04% Tretinoin from 0.3% Adapalene. A lingering pimple on my cheek finally disappeared, if I breakout, it’s not as inflamed and disappears very quickly. I’m now at the highest strength of 0.1% Tretinoin, and I did find my skin breaking out a bit from using it daily, so I cut back to using it 4-5 days of the week and it seems to be the sweet spot for my skin needs. Overall using topical prescriptions Retin-A Micro and Aczone have really boosted the clarity of my skin and I’ve been really happy with the results!

For Spironolactone, I experienced some annoying side effects the first 3 months of taking 4 tablets of 25mg. I was very dizzy for around two weeks, to the point where I had a few close calls of fainting. The second most annoying side effect was spotting. I’m not talking one week (which did happen), I’m talking an entire month. AN ENTIRE MONTH OF SPOTTING! I really wanted to give up at this point lol. However I stuck through it for 3 months, got my blood tests done (all good), and have currently found my sweet spot dose of 2 tablets daily. I noticed when I tried to go down to 1 tablet and I carb cycled that week, I would get breakouts – albeit not as large or inflamed as they used to be! With 2 tablets I notice I rarely break out and my skin has not felt uncomfortably inflamed from active acne in a long time! Overall Spironolactone is helpful at controlling breakouts particularly when I have too much carby foods, but other than that my skin seems well controlled with my regular eating habits plus the use of Retin-A Micro and Aczone.


SCARS – Microneedling Treatments

Yes, I FINALLY got professional microneedling done! I did all 3 sessions and plan on writing up a separate post on what both the medical esthetician and I have noticed prior to the treatment.

For those of you who have read previous skin updates, I mentioned that I would be getting treatments at my dermatologist’s office. However I went with the medical esthetician who’s certified in microneedling because I know her personally, and she has been in this profession as an educator and consultant for decades. Having said that, it also didn’t cost me $1525, but I saved up expecting to pay a high amount either way!


PLAN OF ACTION

  • Continue taking 50mg of Spironolactone – I have been thinking of discontinuing because I know how my eating habits effect my breakouts, this has just been a bandaid for my indulgences.
  • Use 0.1% Tretinoin forever – Seriously, I have the peak of its strength, my acne is under control, and all I can do at this point is be patient and consistent for well aging benefits.
  • Still apply Aczone (5% Dapsone) day and night – I’ve noticed this year using it consistently has greatly contributed to my acne control. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Since I have completed 3 sessions of microneedling, I was told to wait 8 months to do more if needed. In the meantime, I can do other treatments (not like I can anymore).

And that’s it for this update! It’s probably the quickest one I’ve ever done, but I guess that’s a good thing – less things to complain about and pay attention to lol. I have to say, with a shit show of a year 2020 has been, at least I’ve come to the point where I am quite content with my skin – at age 30!

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