Moving on, let’s head on to how I got a barrage of pimples.
How I got multiple acne breakouts
After a facial before using isotretinoin
It all started at around June-July of 2018. I was sent a product called Salmon Oil Cream which costs 2,500 PHP for free. That’s around 50 USD and is quite pricey, which left me with the idea that it would be a great product.
However, when it comes to skin care, compatibility always defeats price.
Albeit its packaging, execution, top-quality ingredients, and testimonies… it still did a lot worse than good on my skin.
To quote my dermatologist after showing her the product…
Please know that I am not here to ruin its reputation. I am not saying that it’s a bad product. After all, it’s targeted towards women of a certain age who have less active sebum production.
Not only do I have sensitive skin, I also have an acne-prone one which is why it didn’t work well with me.
Now let’s move on to what you really came here for…
How to remove Pimples by Visiting a Dermatologist
Come September of 2018, my mom got really annoyed with how my face looked like and told me to stop self-medicating with anti-acne products that various companies send me and to seek help from a professional.
My mother is a dentist and she has a very scientific approach towards every health issue. If you tell her something that includes a shaman or a witch doctor, she will give you a side-eye and giggle on the side lol.
Yes, from around July – September of 2018, I still experimented with different products to address my acne.
You can read my Some by Mi review if you’re inclined to know what happened to my 30-day challenge in removing pimples.
Going back to the story, I asked my kinakapatid Marianne if she knew of any good dermatologist near our area which I can conveniently drive to or is just one tricycle ride away and I found…
The Skin Clinic by Dr. Susana B. Arcigal
located in Quezon st. cor. A. Bonifacio, Ave. Cainta, Rizal.
At first, I had no idea of its location but it appeared in GRAB and I was surprised to know that it’s very close to our house (around 10-minute drive lang).
The place reminds me of my mom’s dental clinic, cozy and inviting. I especially love the channel that they have on in the receiving area because it’s what I mostly watch as well on my free time.
You’ll know if Dra. Is a Kapamilya or Kapuso when you visit her clinic lol.
Wow Amanda, may pa-hula portion ka pa!
How much does a consultation in The Skin Clinic cost?
Only 380 PHP and every follow-up is free! Also, if you are wondering if she is a good doctor, let her title MD FPDS (Fellow, Philippine Dermatological Society) speak for itself.
How to remove Pimples by a Dermatologist
So now that you know how much the consultation costs, let’s continue this How to remove pimples with isotretinoin article with what the doctor advised.
I was asked about my acne history (how long I’ve had the breakouts and etc.) and what sort of medications I was taking. I answered everything honestly without leaving a single detail. My hormone replacement therapy as a transgender woman was also shared with her.
Suffice to say, be honest with your doctor. She won’t judge you even if you’re addicted to Benadryl or your child’s ADHD medication.
Alright Mary Poppins, before we get to straying too far from how to remove pimples, let’s get back to the doctor’s advice.
I knew I looked like a Crunch bar but I didn’t expect that I needed that kind of help. Isotretinoin is like the last resort into treating acne but she told me that with how my skin looked like (pustules and nodules) and what I have shared with her, my pimples were getting nowhere but cascade.
Added to that, since I told her that my skin is sensitive, she chose to go the oral route as my skin reacts badly to most topical products available in the market.
My only medication was 20mg of isotretinoin partnered with a very mild cleanser from her clinic which is called Transparent Soap.
The latter contains trethanolamine, stearic acid, water, glycerin, myristic acid, sodium hydroxide, cocamide DEA, mineral oil, tetrasodium EDTA, sodium metabisulfite, and BHT.
Soap doesn’t lather generously but cleanses well while retaining my skin’s moisture.
She also added that I should not use any hair conditioners which contain oils such as Moroccan argan oil, jojoba seed oil, and etc.
Long story short, avoid oil!
Furthermore, she advised me to use toothpastes of only white color.
Bonus information from the Dermatologist
Because I’m annoying, I asked her a lot of questions and I’ll share with you some information that I got from her.
Vitamin A is the most important vitamin when it comes to skin care. Most products advertised with Vitamin C and E are just fads.
Food isn’t proven to be correlated with sebum production so go ahead and continue eating your favorite nuts, spreads, and chicharon.
If you’re acne prone, you should avoid topical oils as much as possible.
Isotretinoin worked greatly on her patients who didn’t respond well to benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. Albeit isotretinoin’s bad rep on the net (you know how most bloggers tend to exaggerate things and play pretend doctors most of the time), it is very safe to use unless you are pregnant.
Let’s continue my story with how I responded to the medication.
How to remove pimples with Isotretinoin
There are 3 different brands of Isotretinoin that I know of being sold in The Skin Clinic. Acnotin (Thai brand), RoAccutane, and EON with the latter being the cheapest.
All brands are trusted by her so I didn’t really mind what I was getting. However, I started with Acnotin.
My experience with isotretinoin can be defined by 2 words; Instant gratification.
Yes Maritess, or whatever your name is, it almost instantaneously works!
I didn’t grow new zits within the first week of use (I used to grow clusters of pimples weekly after the Salmon oil cream fiasco).
It’s like something has died inside of me and no necromancer could bring it back to life.
If you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself through my Instagram Stories which documented my isotretinoin journey complete with video and photo updates.
I’ve made a list of important anecdotes about my experiences when I was using isotretinoin to remove my pimples.
Acnotin and RoAccutane cost 60 PHP per 20mg in The Skin Clinic
20mg is required daily until you see your desired results
One cycle of isotretinoin to treat pimples goes from 2-6 months, depending on one’s skin
Isotretinoin makes the skin, especially lips, very dry. It’s always good to have a lip balm in tow
It can be used together with topical clindamycin or benzoyl peroxide, and whichever works well for you to expedite the treatment. However, my skin reacted badly to topical clindamycin so I just stopped using anything topical within the first 6 months that I’ve been on it
Also gets rid of blackheads and whiteheads
Your face will constantly get a micro-peeling effect
You can keep on using isotretinoin to maintain your skin’s flawlessness. Once you’re satisfied with how it looks like, you can continue taking it in a much lower dose.
No, it did not evoke depression or suicidal thoughts from me
It not only treats acne, it also exfoliates and helps the pores look finer
PS: I’ve also been using toilet paper to dry my face. It’s economical and I don’t want to burden our helper with numerous face towels in the laundry bin every week.
Me before isotretinoin
How to remove Pimples with Isotretinoin After 6 Months
Currently, I’m very happy with how my skin looks like. However, I’m still taking 10mg of isotretinoin with the brand name EON which only costs 35 PHP a piece.
I think that paying 1,050 PHP a month is not a huge price to pay for maintaining a pimple-free face.
It’s also better to slowly get it out of my system rather than abruptly.
Furthermore, I get to incorporate topical products again on my face with more confidence as I know that my face produces less sebum.
I’m not saying that isotretinoin is the only answer on how to remove pimples. Moral of the story is, consult your doctor.
Me after isotretinoin (6 months)
Currently, my skin care routine is very simple with all products approved by my dermatologist.
I’m not new to hydroquinone and I will make a review about it soon.
If you are someone who’s dealing with acne, I suggest that you look for a reputable dermatologist near you. Location is very important especially if you don’t have a crazy amount of money to afford “the best” everything.
Taking isotretinoin can be quite pricey especially if your doctor will require you to incorporate other products with it. It’s not very economical to go to the clinic monthly with the fare costing as much as the medication.
After all, for the first 2-6 months, you will be spending 1,800 PHP a month on medication alone.
However, if you’re lucky enough and live near The Skin Clinic, what are you waiting for?
By the way, this article is not sponsored in any way. This was written in homage to Dr. Susana B. Arcigal for treating my acne and saving my social life. I published this in order to help my readers who don’t know where to begin.
Please stop experimenting with skin care products especially if you’re not being paid to do so.
Let me be the guinea pig and just keep checking my blog for reviews of skin care products in the Philippines. However, I’m veering off products which contain hefty amounts of oil so look elsewhere for that lol.
Contact your local manananggal kung adik ka sa pagpahid-pahid ng oils. (IMG Source)
If you enjoyed my How to remove Pimples with Isotretinoin guide, please share it on your timeline.
I mean come on, I just wrote 2,000~ words that may potentially turn your Crunch bar face to something less textured. Just kidding. I love you for reading!