My First Visit to the Dermatologist

I have struggled with acne for 9 years now and have tried so many things to clear it up. From Proactive to birth control to homeopathy to daily face masks, I have tried so many things over the years to see what will clear up my skin.

Proactive worked initially, but began to severely dry out my skin and actually caused me to break out all over again.

I’ve been working with my doctor for some time now to try medications to clear the acne. I’ve tried birth control to see if my acne is hormonal (it isn’t) and the topical medication Clindamycin. I found that the gel didn’t have any effect and felt like it was clogging my pores.

I’ve finally asked for a referral to a dermatologist. I really wanted to go to a dermatology facility (I don’t really know what to call it) as I wanted my doctor to be available in all situations, not a doctor who also works at a hospital and takes a few days to get back to you.

I wanted to write a post about my first visit to the dermatologist and chronicle my experience as it will help me to look back on, and may help some of you who are trying to manage their own troublesome skin.

I booked an early appointment and got a little lost before showing up at the facility. Everything was really quick, really easy, and I was in the room before I knew it.

As I have really painful acne on my back as well as superficial acne and scarring on my face, I did need to change into a hospital gown, but for most people you wouldn’t have to do anything. I’m not sure I need to say it, but don’t wear makeup to the dermatologist. Duh. They need to see your skin to help you solve your skin issues, don’t cover it up and clog your pores before going in!

My doctor and I talked for some time finding what I’ve tried already, what worked, what didn’t. She was surprised that birth control didn’t work, but I am no longer taking it and she said that was probably for the best if I don’t need it as a contraceptive. She definitely understood that Proactive was too harsh and I honestly wouldn’t recommend it.

We went through my current routine to see if there is anything I should add or take away, but she said I was doing everything right and, if I felt it wasn’t hurting anything, it could only help. I’m currently using the First Aid Beauty gentle face cleanser twice a day. In the morning I use the Sunday Riley Martian water-gel toner, Origins’ Original Skin Renewal Serum with willowherb, and the Origins Zero Oil moisturizer. In the evening I cleanse again, and then use the Pixi Glow Tonic, an argan oil, and sometimes the Burren Perfumery Clarifying Night Cream. I really focus on having clean skin, promoting cell turnover (to get rid of scarring), and moisturizing.

My dermatologist said that everything was perfect, so we should start by trying to reduce the inflammation of the acne. I started off by taking the antibiotic Minocycline twice a day and using the topical Adapalene gel every other day.

I haven’t had any issues with the gel as of yet, but I’m only using it sparingly and am not going out in the sun with it freshly applied to my face. The antibiotic however, I had the side effect of dizziness. I felt like I was constantly on the verge of having a headache and was dizzy for several hours of nearly every day that I took it.

Once I realized that I was having side effects, I immediately called the dermatologist and asked for something new. She put me on Doxycycline, which is basically the same thing but with less side effects. The downside to this one is that it makes me more sensitive to sunlight. I just need to be very careful to wear sunscreen constantly (which I’m generally pretty good with being as pale as I am).

I haven’t had any issues with this antibiotic yet, so I’m hopeful. However, I’m not sure I’m seeing any results yet. I know it’s early, so I’m being patient, but I’ll definitely keep updating as I move on with this acne journey.

I hope you found this helpful, I’ll definitely keep updating as I keep working on getting rid of this stubborn acne, and I’ll be back next week with another post!

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