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Good ol' Retin-A and Tetracycline. Man, they've been prescribing that combo for decades now. I'm an almost 10 year veteran of that combo. The first time I ever used it was when I was about 14. It was pretty bad, mostly pustules but a few cysts. Mostly appearing on my cheeks and jaw line. I used the 10% retin-a for only 3 months which was presribed by a general physcian. It worked, completely cleared up my skin. Flawless!
When I turned 17, my acne came back with a vengance. Mostly cysts in the same area. Went back on the same combo. Big mistake this time! I had a bad reaction to it this time. Appearantly my skin became overly sensitive as I grew older. The Retin-a turned my cysts into scabs. I had scabs all over my cheeks and jawline for almost 4 months! Arrgh! The pmiples went away but I was left with a horde of nasty scars: red marks and craters.
At the begining of this year at 22, I broke out again. The same areas, but mostly pustules and white heads. The Derm prescribe me Avita cream (which is a lesser concentration of Retin-A .10) and Erythamyocin. It made me break out even more. It eventually cleared up my acne but left me with more scars.
Just 3 months ago, broke out again at 23. This time I believe the breakout was due to the change up in prescription meds I was using. I was still using the Avita cream but told my doctor I wanted to try Micro-Retin-A. Supposedly Micro-Retin-A is more powerful than the regular Retin-A .10 because Micro is timed release. I changed up the meds because like everyone else, I wanted to get rid of my old scars as fast as possible. I thought by bumping up the concentration it would work. Bad idea! I'm just now getting over the pimples, they've pretty much gone. Now I gotta deal with the scars again.
The moral of the story: use ACCUTANE!! The reason why I didnt go on it much earlier in life is because just like you I couldnt afford it. Now that I think about it, I wouldnt mind burdening my parents with the cost of it because of all the suffering I went through with Retin-A. Now that I have health insurance, I can afford accutane and the lab tests. Sorry for the story of my life. Hahahah! Hope this helps.

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