Obagi NuDerm for Acne and Hyperpigmentation

I’ve been obsessed with skincare since I can remember.  I suffered from cystic acne as a teenager starting at age 14.  Back then I had been put on several prescription treatments such as Prescription Strength Benzoyl Peroxide, Retin-A, T-Stat (topical erythromycin), Clindamycin, Benzaclin, you name it.  Although my acne cleared up before I graduated High School, I have always been prone to cystic acne.  When I do get a pimple, it’s typically cystic and painful.  I had been a faithful user of Shiseido Skincare for almost 10 years until recently last summer I had a bad bout of cystic acne that literally flared up all over the place.  I am living proof that you can be an adult and still suffer from cystic acne, it’s not limited to pre-pubescent teens.

My acne started to act up Dec 2010, I was having more than normal cystic pimples here and there.  Early 2011 it started to escalate from there.  Come March I started searching for different skincare systems as Shiseido was no longer cutting it.  I tried Murad’s acne line at first and all that did was dry my skin up miserably, my skin took on a tight and dry feeling to it and yet for weeks I wasn’t seeing any improvement. After that I moved onto Proactiv.  At first I felt as if it were helping, however, through the course of a couple of weeks I noticed very little improvement.

Finally with the urging of my mother, I gave in and went to a dermatologist.  The first thing the dermatologist said when he walked in was, “Oh yeah, you need help.”  I think I wanted cry right at that moment as I knew I probably should have made it over to the dermatologist sooner.  For 30 days I went through his prescribed regimen of a Benzoyl Peroxide wash, Finecea, Clarifoam and Erythromycin (oral antibiotics) 3 times a day. I honestly felt like this whole regimen was killing my skin.  Every time my skin cleared up it seem like new pimples would pop up.  My skin was painfully dry and had this leathery look to it.  It was awful.  When I went back for a follow up, although it improved some I still had pretty big breakouts and quite a big of hyper pigmentation left from the acne.  Going forward the Dr. recommended that I try a VI Peel (Chemical Peel) and move into the Obagi NuDerm Skincare system.  At this point I was desperate to try anything.  My skin was wrecked.  I was nervous about the peel but I was told that this would help with the hyper pigmentation.  So I went forward with it and was very happy about the results.  I have a day by day series on my YouTube channel with my experience of the peel.  Feel free to check it out:

After the peel I went on immediately to using the Obagi NuDerm Skincare system.  I had never heard of the system before, however, after reading lots of information on the internet I was very excited to try it.  The system is designed to address specifically acne and hyper pigmentation.  It is very heavy duty, so as a result my dermatologist put me on a schedule to ramp up the usage of products instead of using everything all at once which would have caused severe drying, pain and discomfort.  Ramping up the usage of the products allowed my skin to gradually adjust instead of shocking it all at once.  Below of pictures of the system and the usage instructions that come on the box.

I began using the system in the beginning of July and went off the products with Hydroquinone and Retin-A in early October.  Once your skin goes into the “maintenance” phase it’s no longer necessary nor safe to use Hydroquinone long term.  I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing my results were.  And because of that I have continued using Obagi Products.
From L-R:  My skin July 2011, My skin Oct 2011
From L-R: My skin June 2011, My skin January 2012
As you can see I have had dramatic results.  I was fortunate enough to not have any scarring left from the acne, however, I still do get my occasional cystic pimples.
It seems to me that skincare is such a personalized solution.  We all have different skin and what works for some does not necessarily work for others.  With my complexion, my skin tends to leave dark marks after I have a breakout and the Obagi system has helped tremendously in clearing up these marks.  I hope this post is helpful to some  Stay tuned for my next post on the new skincare system Zo Skin Health created by Dr. Obagi that I will be transitioning into.  Bye for now!

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